Studies, Jobs and the likes

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GigaBecquerel
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Studies, Jobs and the likes

Post by GigaBecquerel » 04 Oct 2020, 20:40

Hi Guys!

Sorry if this text is a bit shorter than the original, but we had some technical issues and the original is gone.
I'd like to get to know you all a bit better! It looks like we have folks from every field here and it would be interesting to see what you've done so far.
My career is fairly short as I'm still young, and at the moment I'm studying engineering physics, after I tried "regular" physics and failed.
Last edited by GigaBecquerel on 19 Oct 2020, 01:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Sesselmann
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Re: Studies, Jobs and the likes

Post by Sesselmann » 04 Oct 2020, 22:13

Lukas,

Thanks for an interesting post.

I think most people have the problem of not knowing which direction to take, and just as in your case a bad boss or a bad teacher can make you change the course of life. Life is fairly short so my advise would be not to hesitate and keep moving, if you want to start your own business, don't do it in the future, do it now. If an opportunity presents itself don't knock it back, it's your right to take it.

After an encounter with a bad maths teacher in year 10, who basically told me I was wasting the space in his classroom, I decided to take control of my own life and dropped out of school, I was only 18 at the time. Soon an opportunity to get an apprenticeship as a dental technician presented itself, I took it, my master was very skilled and I was a fast learner, so after a little over two years I had mastered the art and didn't have the patience to wait another 2.5 years to get a certificate, so I bought myself a one way ticket to Australia (from Oslo Norway).

I arrived in Sydney (January 1981) with my younger brother Peter (16), no job, no prearranged accommodation and only around $3000 between us. Without going into detail, we just took whatever opportunity came our way and made the most of it, as it turned out neither me or my brother have ever been sat in the applicants seat of a job interview and no one ever asked for our credentials, and at this stage of our life it's unlikely that anyone will. Peter and I founded a business which quickly grew and ended up employing over 65 people, which in turn allowed us to follow our dreams, which in Peters case was art and music and in my case science.

Peter is now a successful artist and has a workshop/studio in the Hunter Valley wine region north of Sydney. http://peterman.com.au/ and https://www.peter-art.com/

So my advise is, don't worry about well trodden career paths, follow your dreams wherever they take you.

Steven

luuk
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Re: Studies, Jobs and the likes

Post by luuk » 05 Oct 2020, 00:59

Hi Lukas,

I was always interested in electronics special radio fascinated from the beginning it started when I was around 6 years old, so it was obvious I became an electronic engineer and of course a radio amateur(ham).
My first short jobs were nothing special I did some repair work radio/tv and other consumer electronics not very fancy but it was difficult to find a job in that time here in the Netherlands(1977-1979).

Then I got in contact with another ham that lived close by, he was working in a company as an external (administrative) the company was looking for a technician so he thought that I might be interested the company called Harshaw Chemical located about 15 km from my house.
I went there for an interview and got the job after just one interview in the (Germanium) Ge-department, were they were building Ge(Li) and HpGe detectors that was in 1980.
I never heard of these detectors and had no idea how they worked and what they could detect.
While I worked there I learned a lot about these very interesting detectors but then after about 3 years the company sold this Ge department to Ortec in Germany.

So I got another job inside Harshaw in scintillation detectors department they grown crystals like NaI(Tl) CsI(Tl) and BGO and build complete detectors also interesting stuff and again nice to learn more about them.

After about 1,5 years they needed someone for the thermo luminescence dosimetry (TLD) that was made By Harshaw in the USA the readout units and also the TLD crystals came from the USA.
So after some training I became a service engineer for TLD also responsible for giving training to new users, the job required a lot of traveling world wide special the repair was always last minute work and stressful.
It was again very nice to do, and I did it for about 9-10 years traveled worldwide seen almost every hospital/nuclear powerplant and research facility in the world that worked with our equipment, seen and learned a lot installed units and trained personal every were from Baikonur (Russia) to Cern (Switzerland) from south Africa to South America seen a lot of the world those were really very interesting years!
But then the company again sold the scintillation detector part to Saint-Gobain and the TLD part went to Germany .

I started a “new” career with selling insulin pumps made by a small company from a friend of me here in the Netherlands. That friend b.t.w. also used to work in the Germanium department in Harshaw, it is a small world!
Did that for about 5 years something completely different but much more relaxed and more normal working hours.
And then again this company was sold to a big pharmaceutical Company in Switzerland and I needed a new job.

Some old colleagues from Harshaw started a company after Harshaw was sold to Saint-Gobain and this company was called Scionix.
They did asked me already in the past five years to come to work for them there but I was not willing to leave my other job.
So in 1999 I started in Scionix as test engineer, responsible for testing adjusting and adapting detectors to customer needs, and up till now I did not regret that last or any of the previous decisions.
So I expect this is my last job I just need to work for an other 4 more years and then I am going to retire.
So over the years I learned a lot about different detection possibilities and it was interesting and I had and still have a lot of fun in this work.
That is my life story in detectors (for now 😊)

Luuk

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GigaBecquerel
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Re: Studies, Jobs and the likes

Post by GigaBecquerel » 07 Oct 2020, 00:53

Hi you two,

Very interesting answers!
I think it's curious that both of you seem to have done "a bit of everything". In my young naivety I always had the impression that the goal is to do one thing and one thing only in order to get good at it, but I guess esp. in Sciences it is very important to have an overwiew over "everything" in oder to bring fresh ideas and concepts into what you're doing.

I'm looking forward to more replies!

Lukas

James Luck
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Re: Studies, Jobs and the likes

Post by James Luck » 08 Oct 2020, 03:50

I'm a high school graduate, never did well in math to the disappoint of many. Although I aced all my science related courses up to advanced placement. I can do hard numbers never imaginary number or letters.
I read greatly into the radiation feild, which shocks many of my past teachers which never expected anything out of the norm, being I grew up with a reading and speech impairment.

After many teachers, peers and those I looked up too egged me on to follow what I like i picked up a Ludlum model two, and has been hooked on rad detection since.
From spectroscopy and identification, to civil defense uses. I dont work for a company in the feild, but I am working towards forming a business for refurbishing, and small runs of detectors.
I also go back to my past high school to help my science and physics teachers teach or explain subjects. It's fun to go into a advanced class and stump some of the teenagers in the school who at grade 12 aready have a college lined up.

Most of my knowledge is as a machinist, even though I do labour for a property maintenance company. Money has to come from somewhere, rather it's your feild or not, work your best and keep advancing.

There are many more in here that are more knowledgeable than me. Although one day I hope to be up there with them. I'll sit where I am, and keep climbing

- James Luck
James luck
Chicago Ill, USA.
Hobbyist, primary meter: refurbished GR-135 & Ludlum 9.
Mostly detection than identification.

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Svilen
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Re: Studies, Jobs and the likes

Post by Svilen » 20 Oct 2020, 00:26

Since early childhood my interests were always somehow divided between two scientific spheres - biology (my mother's field) and technics (my father's one). Anyway, I ended up studying veterinary medicine and later got a PhD in neuroscience in Germany. Now I work in an experimental neurosurgery in an university hospital, on most often quite technicaly oriented projects (like neurosurgical implants for electrostimulation or neural activity recordings). So I managed to combine the technical and medical field at the end. My job have almost nothing to do with radiation detection, but my interest started there as just another electronic project - a GM detector, and grew to some extend - hobby Gamma spectroscopy, not whithout the help of many kind guys here, but especially Luuk and Steven among them. Thank you!
Svilen

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Sesselmann
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Re: Studies, Jobs and the likes

Post by Sesselmann » 20 Oct 2020, 13:30

Svilen,

That sounds really interesting, would love to hear your thoughts on Elon's Neurolink project :)

Steven

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Svilen
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Re: Studies, Jobs and the likes

Post by Svilen » 21 Oct 2020, 00:06

Well, since this is closed commercial science I don't know enough to really be able to comment their work, but from what I've just seen in the media, I think that none of the advances they speculate with are comming anytime soon. Brain-computer interface is something that lots of scientists work on, Neuralink are just one of many, and there are great challenges ahead to be solved, such as safety of the implantation and chronic application of the devices, miniaturization of the technology used, biocomnpatibility, resistance of the implant to the environment and many more, before achievements that Elon Musk mentions, may be possible at all. But even then, we still don't even understand the neural communication enough! We have some clues from analyzing all these recorded data, from comparisons between healthy and pathologic state, but there are many years to go till we understand the nuronal communication, if ever, to the level Musk's ambitions need. But it is great that there are people like these, who think big, who invent big, who invest in science, and if not reading and writing of memories, they still could make great discoveries in the AI and BCI fields bringing humanity one step closer to other scientific achievements.
Svilen

dynode
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Re: Studies, Jobs and the likes

Post by dynode » 22 May 2021, 06:33

Haven't been active a lot here but some people might know me.

I am Johan and I live in the center of NL, quite close to Scionix. I don't have a lot of formal education in radiation/physics but the so caĺled bèta sciences have always been an interest of mine.

The first major exposure to nuclear physics was a tour of the High Flux Reactor in Petten in the North Holland province in 2000. Together with a friend and a small group of other interested civilians we were allowed to visit the facility. Because of time constraints and security reasons only part of the facility could be visited but it was very interesting nonetheless. We were given an introduction by one of the physicists working there and afterwards we would visit the control room and of course get a direct view of the reactor core submerged at a safe depth in the reactor bassin. This was the first and only time I witnessed a working reactor and the mystical blue light emanating from the core. One could also see a blue glow coming from some spent fuel elements that are temporarily stored in a dedicated area in the same pool as the reactor.

Afterwards we were shown the (then present) Boron Neutron Capture Therapy room where cancer patients were radiated with neutron beams, activating the locally in tumors applied boron, hopefully destroying the cancer from within. This research was later discontinued but it was certainly an interesting approach.

I consider this event a major influence on my future interests. A couple of years later I bought my first GM counter, a CDV-700 and later got into gamma spectrometry. First I messed around with some BGO crystals but thanks to Scionix I got some hardware that enabled me to produce my first spectrum, of Cs-137. Tubes with that isotope were plentiful on eBay then. Thanks to Luuk I got a very nice 2" NaI detector to make even better spectrums. In the years after that my hobbys have shifted a bit towards other technology such as Software Defined Radio, 3d printing, IoT etc. but I maintain my collection of counters and detectors.

Currently I am looking into x-ray and XRF tech but I also do a bit of refurbishing and reselling equipment. Recently sold a GM counter to a father who has a son interested in radioactivity. I made a probe to fit the counter specifically to sell a complete solution. I sell equipment usually to raise some money for other gear but I also try to accommodate people who are showing a developing interest. There are too much professional traders on eBay price-gouging already so I think it is important to think about people new to the hobby.

Currently I am not employed but I certainly wouldn't mind working in the industry. Unfortunately I have some limitations (disabilities is a less nicer word) that makes it harder to get any type of job, but I keep looking :)
Johan / Utrecht / Netherlands / www.dynode.nl

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