4.5 years ago in the summer of 2014, when I started my Ph.D. it seemed like a long way to go. Now looking back on these years, I feel more like ‘is it already over?’ Countless friends and great collaborators all over the world, which I met along the way, made the work really enjoyable. If I could go back and think my desition over again with the knowledge I have now, I would definitely choose the same path again.
While I was never a big writer, I had to write a lot over the last years, probably more then I wrote in all the years before that combined. However, writing while for some easy and for some harder, is part of the job as a Ph.D. student. Building prototypes is a lot of fun, especially building physical prototypes is one of my favorite parts. Conducting studies and getting into the needy greedy details of any data analysis is fun. But obviously, in the end, the major challenge is to write a paper and convince the reviewers that the presented work is, valid, novel, and useful. Any good research needs a compelling story which needs to be told in the paper.
In the end, I mastered conducting research and writing papers well. Is most of the time 10 pages to get the message across, which is a length I learned to deal with. However, in pursuing a Ph.D. degree, one also has to write a book. The book is the last big challenge in the life of every Ph.D. candidate. In contrast to papers, as a Ph.D. candidate, you only do it once. So learning how to become better at it is impossible. Thus, be prepared no Ph.D. thesis will be perfect.
Of course at the end there is still a talk and an exam which one needs to pass. But honestly, is more show and it manufactures the occasion that one can celebrate with colleges, friends, and family.
Thanks to everybody who supported my alone my way. Special thanks to my adviser Niels Henze, and my family.
If you want to want to read my Ph.D. thesis in full: [PDF]