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Suggestions on Progress for our Thesis

  • 1.  Suggestions on Progress for our Thesis

    Posted 07-02-2020 04:35
    Hey, fellow ChemE students!

    My thesis adviser and our thesis group will have a meeting soon to discuss our options regarding the progress of our thesis. Basically, our thesis is about developing a phosphoric-acid based geopolymer powder from silt and fly ash for copper adsorption in water. We're already on the first part of the methodology (experiment) phase of our research.

    Before the stringent measures were placed in various areas of our country, we were supposed to characterize the samples we initially tried synthesizing using some laboratory apparatuses in our university, but we weren't able to. Since our study is purely experiment-based and because of the increasing number of positive cases in our country (We've been on strict community quarantine since the 2nd week of March), there have been no significant progress at all with regard to our thesis. In fact, we were only able to synthesize some trial samples, not being able to characterize them. I have four more trimesters left before my OJT/internship, which is a prerequisite for graduation. Living in a third-world country my whole life, I cannot disregard the possibility that I might also be having a virtual graduation or that I might no longer be able to go back to the university before my OJT/internship.

    The thing is, I am targeting to graduate on time. I cannot afford to be delayed, regardless of sticking to our topic or not (as long as I finish all my courses, thesis, and OJT). So, I would like to ask for your suggestions on what to do regarding our thesis. Should we stick to our geopolymer experiment? How should we progress on this? Should we change our objectives (Even so, I can't think of ways to feasibly conduct a geopolymer research without laboratory devices)? What can we do to complete the requirement in a span of 1.5 unforeseeable years? Any advice would help.

    Thank you very much and stay safe y'all!


    Best regards,

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    Antoinette Joy L. Argonza
    IV - BS Chemical Engineering
    De La Salle University
    Manila, Philippines
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  • 2.  RE: Suggestions on Progress for our Thesis

    Posted 07-02-2020 09:04
    Hello Antoinette, how are you? I hope you're doing great during these challenging times!

    I question this: is there absolutely nothing more to be done besides experiments and discussion? Because, if there is, I would definetely jump to that part, even if that is not usual. But, as we are living unprecedented times, I think it would be comprehensible. This way you would be able to advance some part of the work.

    Four more trimesters are one whole year left. I've already seen people do their masters thesis in 6 months after some troubles they had. I believe it will be enough time for you to complete it, considering in a lot of countries (even though OMS doesn't advise this) are starting to loosen their confinement, with progressive phases. In Brazil, as an example, a lot of things are starting to reopen, and in my university, all (or almost all) the research area (labs, research centers etc) is about to reopen, respecting the appropriate security measures. If I had to guess, I believe that might happen with your country soon enough (2 months tops), in a way that you will be able, at least, to continue your research.

    Nevertheless, if it doesn't happen, I still think that in 6 months they will make this loosening of the quarentine. If you want to prevent yourself, perhaps you could start looking for another thesis, in case everything goes wrong, so when it's confirmed you won't have enough time, you have already started some work.

    In the end, I believe that in any case you will have to make up for lost time with overtime, whether you are choosing a new thesis or waiting to do the experiments. In either way, I would try to somehow advance as much work as I could.

    I wish you the best and good luck!

    Best regards,

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    Bruno Neves
    Student Chapter President at AIChE UFRJ
    Latin America Regional Liaison - ESC
    Publications Subcommittee/Student Central - ESC
    Chemical Engineering Undergraduate - UFRJ
    brunofra@eq.ufrj.br
    Rio De Janeiro - Brazil
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