Hi, I’m Kirill Lomachenko from Russia. I got to know about the MaMaSELF program when I was doing my bachelor’s degree in physics at the Southern Federal University in Rostov-on-Don. I worked in the field of X-ray spectroscopy and computational chemistry doing both experiments and calculations. For my needs the MaMaSELF program was a perfect match, so I could not resist applying.
My first university was TUM and it was really a remarkable experience. The classes were rather intense, but the best thing was that during the whole year only one (yes, one!) lecture was compulsory. All the others I was free to choose from the huge list in order to obtain the necessary amount of credits. It appeared that the compulsory class was exceptionally good as well, but the possibility to form the curriculum myself filling it with the courses which I needed most for my work was nonetheless greatly appreciated.
The second university was the one of Turin and my more than fruitful stay there was mainly focused on the research rather than studying. From the first days I started working under supervision of Prof. Lamberti, participated in the experiments at the ESRF synchrotron (Grenoble, France) and wrote a master thesis focused on the application of RIXS spectroscopy to the characterization of osmium compounds, which was followed by a paper in PCCP journal (doi 10.1039/c3cp51880a). As for the life outside the universities, it was full of events as well. I had a chance to explore not only Germany and Italy, but also France (where we had a summer school and integration week in the charming city of Rennes) and Switzerland (where the status meeting took place). Experiencing so many different cultures was fantastic!
To sum up, participating in the MaMaSELF program I got a lot of knowledge, experience, and friends. Moreover, I had a chance to get acquainted with the leading scientists in my field, which was of particular value for my future research. I did not break connections with my Russian group and now I am doing PhD working with both Prof. Lamberti from UniTO and Prof. Soldatov from SFedU investigating the catalytic activity of various zeolites by means of X-ray spectroscopy and DFT calculations. I consider it a beginning of the long and successful collaboration between the two universities, which, undoubtedly, was established due to the MaMaSELF project.