Today marks the end of a great summer… I’m on my way back to Vienna after almost 9 weeks in Germany. It was an amazing experience! I had the chance to get a taste of a large chemical company for the first time, was able to visit large factory plants directly for the first time and had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world.
I’m really grateful to have had this chance and I’m already looking forward to my next adventure…

Until then… Greetings from Vienna 😛
Tobias Berger

Wow… This entry marks the end of my last week at BASF. It’s unbelievable how quickly the time has passed (8 weeks!). Since my project is now complete and I only had to concentrate on presenting my results, I used this week to do as much as possible in and around Ludwigshafen. As luck would have it, the Ludwigshafen Film Festival started this week… Of course I couldn’t resist being there at the opening and enjoying the amazing location at the Rhine river. I was also able to toast to our summer together with my work colleagues. On Friday we tried/tasted our way through the wines of the famous Rhineland-Palatinate Wine Route, while I was given a sightseeing tour through various towns such as Bad Dürkheim, Weisenheim, Grünstadt and Freinsheim.
And at the end of this weekend, there was even a closing party with the remaining BASF interns. Since quite a few of the interns are leaving BASF at the end of August, we said goodbye to Ludwigshafen appropriately…

Cheers! Here’s to a cool and exciting summer! See you in Vienna!
Tobias Berger

Impressions of the last week

Puhh… This weekend already marks the penultimate week of my internship… It’s amazing how time flies! It feels as though I am about to complete my project of in-situ XRD measurements of various precursor materials almost as soon as I started. At the same time, I am already preparing for the presentation of my research results to the various departments involved in the project next week. As you can see.. I don’t get bored even at the end of my internship.
But the weekends – and thus the time away from my work – are also slowly coming to an end… I used this weekend to get to know the city of Speyer and its surroundings and history. In addition, the long-promised volleyball rematch of the BASF interns finally worked out… What can I say…? I think I should work on my serves… 😛
I’m excited to see what my last week at BASF will bring!

Until then… Greetings from Ludwigshafen!
Tobias Berger

Impressions of Speyer

Aaaaand the 6th week of my internship is already over… The work in the laboratory is slowly becoming routine and the measurements are progressing. This week the evaluation of my measurements was explained to me for the first time. I was able to get to know the TOPAS software better. With it, I could monitor the course of the reaction and get information about crystal growth, changes in cell volume and phase transitions of my samples.
But enough of work… As in previous entries, my free time and my time outside of BASF should not be neglected in this one either. This weekend my boyfriend visited me in Ludwigshafen… And as luck would have it, on Saturday, Mannheim celebrated the CSD (Christopher Street Day) . Of course we couldn’t pass up this chance to take part, show our colors and celebrate diversity. BASF was also part of the parade! I can just say: amazing organization, cool people, great atmosphere!!

Greetings from Ludwigshafen!
Tobias Berger

Christopher Street Day in Mannheim

Wow… In the blink of an eye it’s already August… After nearly two weeks of quarantine I finally got to go back to work, and what an interesting week it was. My project at BASF is running and I’ve had already several chances to get to know new and exciting plants and methods. This week, I was allowed to visit a research plant on the industrial site of Ludwigshafen for the first time. The BASF approach to methane pyrolysis was explained to me and I was able to see the test facility directly, including insights into the process of developing such a project.
However, in addition to working, leisure time should of course not be neglected… One doesn’t want to overwork oneself. For this reason, I am glad I was able to spend a great weekend in the Tyrolean Alps together with the entire TUCAS team and other colleagues from the TU Vienna. That´s the reason this blog entry is a little bit late… Sorry for that! In addition to bouldering, climbing, and hiking, a game night (there was one or two heated discussions about who the werewolf in our group was…) couldn’t be missing.
Thanks for a great weekend!

Greetings from Ludwigshafen!
Tobias Berger

Impressions from the Tirolean Alps

The fourth week of my time in Ludwigshafen is already over. Unfortunately, I had to spend it in quarantine at home…. Aside from writing my diploma thesis and watching Netflix every now and then (cough cough), unfortunately, there wasn’t too much to do.
Luckily, I was allowed to go out again today! Of course, I had to use my first free weekend after COVID to explore the area around Ludwigshafen for the first time. Today, I went to Heidelberg… A beautiful old town including a castle ruin with a fantastic view over the city (and the biggest wine barrel I have ever seen!). And of course the obligatory visit to the zoo could not be left out either… I mean… If there is a zoo, you have to visit it too!
I’m already looking forward to next week, when I can start again at BASF!

Greetings from Ludwigshafen!
Tobias Berger

Impressions from Heidelberg

Third week in Ludwigshafen!! This week I had the opportunity to get to know Lukas Mayr over lunch. Lukas is part of the Carbon Management family at BASF and, together with his team, is working on ways to decarbonize BASF. While having lunch together, I was able to gain insights into the ideas which have already been implemented and with how much effort the reduction of CO2 emissions in production and energy generation is driven forward. Hopefully, Lukas and I are able to find the time to visit one of the pilot plants during my internship.
Unfortunately, this week was relatively short for me… Eventually, COVID caught me too, and I’m currently in home quarantine. Luckily, I only have mild symptoms and I hope to be able to get back to work next week.

Until then… Greetings from Ludwigshafen!
Tobias Berger

My home office setup in quarantine. The back screen does not show Netflix – that is just a screen saver!

The second week of my internship is already over too… In addition to getting to know a larger group of BASF colleagues, including colleagues from the microscopy department, I was already able to carry out and evaluate my first in-situ XRD measurement on my own. The results are already extremely promising! I was also able to use this week to explore the area outside the BASF site (yes…that actually exists too) and the cities around Ludwigshafen. I got to know other interns from BASF as well at a volleyball match at the Rhine River, including physicists, biochemists, and process engineers from all over the world… A rematch has already been scheduled.
Let’s see where next week leads me…

Until the next time from Ludwigshafen!
Tobias Berger

Other things outside of BASF exist in Ludwigshafen – at least one swimming pond.

Unbelievable! The first week of my internship at BASF has already passed. This week, I was able to get to know my team in our first joint jour fix and got first insights into the everyday work of my working group. For example, I was able to familiarize myself with various work processes and visited the first laboratories and measuring devices in our XRD and microscopy labs. Of course, I had to go through all the safety instructions and complete a number of training courses and safety tests, which certainly filled up my first week making it definitely not boring!
I am already looking forward to eight more exciting weeks! Let’s see what else awaits me…

Until the next time from Ludwigshafen!
Tobias Berger

The first week is already over.

Off to Ludwigshafen, Germany! An exciting summer at BASF awaits!

Breakfast at Wien Westbahnhof. BASF awaits!