Master projects / Internships

Every year we host several national and international master students and a smaller selection of bachelor students and interns for projects that relate to our activities in fundamental and applied research. We support your stay in St. Gallen with an allowance and housing. The ideal length of a project work is around 6 months. Our open and international research environment as well as our good contacts to industry and ETH Zürich are assets, highly esteemed by students. We have many years of experience in hosting Master projects from many different countries and a very intercultural open spirit.

You can always send an unsolicited application with a CV and letter of interest to (manfred.heuberger-at-empa.ch), or, more specifically contact the responsible person as listed for the currently open project topics following below.

Manfred Heuberger

 

Currently open project topics:

Are you a motivated master student and looking for opportunities to challenge and strengthen skills in Polymer, organic and Material chemistry? Are you eager to do a master-project, while gaining valuable experience in a research project for industrial needs? The following projects are offered on immediate basis:

 

  • Melt-spun biopolyester fibers for biomedical and sustainable applications     

This master project or internship will focus on biocompatible liquid-filled biopolyester fibers for drug-delivery applications. Liquid filled fibers with different processing parameters and thus different diameters and core/sheath ratios will be produced using a continuous melt-spinning technique. Liquids of varying viscosities and eventually also a variety of drug or drug-simulating molecules are to be tested. Drug-release trials will be performed on the produced fibers. Furthermore, liquid filled fibers, that do not contain drug molecules, will be immersed in reservoirs containing, e.g. fluorescein, in order to study the diffusion behavior of such molecules into the liquid core. The latter will be tested in order to study if impregnation with drug molecules would also work. Finally, methods have to be developed to render the fibers responsive to different external triggers (e.g. mechanical, thermal, pH). A second part of the internship may focus on studying the structure of sustainable biopolyester monofilaments for other types of applications. The filaments will be studied using x-ray diffraction, Raman and infrared spectroscopy to identify how processing parameters affect the fiber structures. Special attention will be paid to mesophases and their correlation to mechanical properties of the fibers. Polarized Raman mapping is to be used in order to study the microstructure (mesophases, crystallinity, molecular alignment) of these filaments.

This work will be conducted at the EMPA institute (St. Gallen) in Switzerland under the supervision of E. Perret in the group of R. Hufenus.

Duration: Minimum 4 months.

Starting date: To be discussed.

Contact: Dr. Edith Perret 

 

  • The Role of Ions in Plasma Polymer Deposition

Plasma deposition involves ionic and neutral radicals as film-forming species. This Master project or Internship (4-6 months) investigates their role in order to obtain functional plasma polymer films for adhesion promotion and biomaterials. You will work in one of the worldwide leading teams in this field using plasma reactors, plasma diagnostics and surface characterization methods. As your background materials science, engineering, chemistry, physics or similar is beneficial.

For details, please contact: