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Erasmus+ in Austria at Montanuniversität Leoben

From March to June 2023, I completed a three-month internship under the Erasmus+ programme in Leoben, Austria, at the Department of General and Analytical Chemistry at the Montanuniversität Leoben (MUL).

My work there, as a PhD student at the University of Nova Gorica and a young researcher at the Geological Survey of Slovenia (GeoZS), was related to the activities within the international project MURmap, in which GeoZS and MUL, in collaboration with the National Institute of Chemistry (NIC), are trying to obtain data on the environmental geochemistry of conventional and modern inorganic pollutants in a European river basin – the Mur/Mura river.

More information about MURmap project you can find here:

During this time I gained knowledge and improved my skills in analytical chemistry, laboratory work, and social skills. After joining the university, I visited the department and laboratories of the Department of General and Analytical Chemistry and familiarised myself with the rules for safe work, especially in the clean room and the limitations of working with chemicals. I spent most of my time in the lab, where I learned abound the process of cleaning lab equipment and sample preparation procedures (e.g., measuring analytes). After acquiring the basic knowledge, I participated in the measurement of the chemical composition of the Mur/Mura water using inductively coupled mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). In addition to determining the chemical composition of the water, I was also involved in preparing samples for Sr isotope ratio measurements and calibrating them, using state-of-the-art equipment. In May, I also had the opportunity to participate in the Junganalytiker*innen Forum, where I presented a poster with the results of the MURmap project.

The whole experience was excellent. The people at the university are very friendly and the city is cosy and beautiful. I am very grateful for the excellent integration into the department group and participation in all their activities. I learned new skills that will help me improve my PhD, met new people and made contacts. I had the opportunity to work with renowned scientists, improve my English and get to know a new city.

Barbara Čeplak

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