Meet Julia Blanksvärd, Master student at AIMES
Welcome Julia Blanksvärd, new Master Student at AIMES. We have asked Julia some questions.
What did you do before and why did you end up at AIMES?
"I've studied chemical engineering, specializing in materials science at Uppsala University for the past four years. During this fall I'm doing my master thesis, which I applied to do at AIMES because of the many interesting projects I read about on your website. I'm very interested in the combination of technology and materials science, so reading about organs-on-a-chip, microfluidics, electrochemical sensing and bringing studies from macro to nano really sparked my interest. Using polymer chemistry to study relevant global problems is what I'm most interested in, and what my master thesis is all about!", says Julia Blanksvärd.
Julias project will explore the correlation between surface properties for polymeric substances and the colonization of biofilms, specifically Salmonella. "There's a strong connection between Salmonella-associated foodborne outbreaks and the packaging of the food. While disposal is the simplest way to prevent the spread of Salmonellosis, it creates enormous waste which is a global problem. Food loss and wastage must be reduced to create a Zero Hunger world and meet the Sustainable Development Goals. Thus, I will examine how bacteria and biofilm colonization is affected by different surface properties conferred by different materials".
What are you looking forward to the most at AIMES?
"I'm looking forward to learning more about research outside of my university education. It will be fun to develop more knowledge in a field of my interest.
So far, I really like it at AIMES, everyone here has a different background and can complement and help each other with knowledge. It's a fun and futuristic workplace where many projects are ongoing at the same time, and many (including me) learn as they go! Since I'm very new, there's obviously a lot of questions but I feel like there's always someone there who I can ask.
My biggest challenge will definitely be to understand and implement all the biology that bacteria work requires. I have a lot of experience in the lab, but not so much with bacteria. It's a different mindset with sterilization than I'm used to, which can be challenging at first. However, I'm learning a lot and I'm sure it'll be something I have use for in my future job.
In the future I would like to contribute to finding new ways to solve problems for humankind, but I'm not sure in what way yet. I'm sure I will feel happy with my future job as long as I feel like I'm contributing for a better world in some way."
Tell us a fun fact about yourself?
"I love to travel! Every time I travel, I look for a snow globe to add to my collection, so far I have 39 snow globes from around the world."