PhD Thesis Step 6: 48 hours

Microblog of the 48 h hours around my to my PhD defense.

15.12.2016

09:00 – Working on the PhD presentation
13:00 – Short walk to Bella Casa to order 18 Pizzas for tomorrow
14:00 – Chat with other PhD students about previous oral exams.
14:30 – Last chat with my advisor before the defense, as usual we talk about everything an nothing.
15:30 – Final edits to my presentation.
17:30 – Presentation dry run with useful feedback from Herbert
18:30 – Christmas social at the office
19:15 – Shopping for beer, champagne and snacks
19:45 – Delivering beer and snacks to the uni campus
20:30 – Last minute studying of “Microwave Engineering” by David M. Pozar
23:00 – Brushing my teeth and going to sleep
24:00 – Realizing that there won’t be much sleep tonight.

16.12.2016

07:30 – Good morning!
08:00 – Ironing a white shirt
08:20 – Final dry run before the actual thing
08:50 – Realizing that I have my black shoes at my parents place. – The dark blue will have to do
09:00 – Short walk to the university
09:20 – Connecting to the projector. Having my friend Reinhard print some last minute paperwork.
09:45 – First guests arrive
10:00 – The show starts
11:15 – Yay! You may now call me Dr. Schmid
11:45 – The party starts: Champagne, beer and pizza for everyone!
13:00 – So many people have shown up to party with me! Me, happy!
16:00 – We move to a pub
17:00 – We move to a restaurant
21:00 – I arrive back home – still, happy!
22:00 – I fall asleep.

17.12.2016

05:30 – Getting up, I have a train to catch
07:15 – Boarding the train to Flughafen Wien.
10:20 – Boarding the plane to Athens
13:45 – Landing in Athens
14:30 – Boarding the Metro
15:30 – Arrival at the hotel for the Region 8 OpCom meeting
16:00 – Joining my last IEEE Region 8 OpCom Meeting
xx:xx – Still feeling happy!

PhD Thesis Step 5: All Set for the Final Date

If there’s one thing that I have learned about my PhD advisor over the past years, it’s that he’s a last minute kind-of-person. Now that all reports are in (on the last possible day), the university has officially announced my defense!

2016_12_16

Two thoughts that keep me going:

  • In 6 days from now I’ll have officially eared my PhD.
  • In 7 days from now I’ll enjoy a cocktails with a view on the Acropolis of Athens.

Andachtsjodler – Merry Christmas from Austria

Download brass quartet sheet music: Andachtsjodler.

This is what it sounds like when played on a piano:

The Story Behind

Around 2000 I was one of the most active trombone players within my 30 km radius (my radius as a trombone player is more link 500 meters these days). On the 23rd of December of 2000 I was hired to play with a brass quartet in the “Welser Altstadt” (see Google maps, we played within 10 m of that location). I was a teenager back then and at a point in my life where 100 EURs plus open bar felt like I had conquered the world. I even got to kiss a girl later that night. But that is not the point.

The point is that I heard (because I played it) an Austrian Christmas tune called “Andachtsjodler” for the very first time in my life that night. I had never heard or played it before, but when we played it the innkeeper who had hired us (he was pretty drunk by the time) started to cry. It was not only him, the song also touched me.

More than 10 years later I improvised a piano version of the “Andachtsjodler”:

Recently I distilled it into a brass quartet version. I hope it helps you beam yourself to Austria and experience some of the magic that still surrounds Christmas.

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Inbox Zero

This is an apology to all the people who have sent me an e-mail over the course of the past 5 months and have not received the response they expected in time. I was swamped at work, with my PhD project, IEEE activities and other challenges in my private life. But now I am on top of things again. I’ve reached “Inbox Zero”.

inbox
With it comes the “Mind like Water” state and I am now ready again for your e-mails. Let’s see how long it lasts ;)

IEEE Region 8 Secretary

It’s with a smile on my face and a tear in my eye that I conclude my 2-years term as the IEEE Region 8 Secretary.

dsc02308The Region 8 Committee Meeting last weekend in Porto, Portugal was the last big R8 meeting that I was responsible for. It marks the end of a journey that started over 4 years ago. What’s left is a deep feeling of thankfulness, many new friendships and an experience is mine to keep for the years to come!

PhD Thesis Step 2: Collecting ECTS

Finally I figured out which curriculum applies – they have changed it 5 times since I’ve started my PhD. Lucky as I am, the classes and ECTS that I have collected so far can still be used today. Some bureaucratic hurdles later, the university online system now says that I have completed all my ECTS duties. Yay!

image001We may now actually buy the champagne. I’ll keep you posted.