The livMatS Master Lab Program

The Master Lab is a research-oriented extra-curricular program. It is intended to foster and broaden the research interests of motivated students in livMatS-related study programs.

How does it work?
livMatS principal investigators pose research challenges that students can apply to work on. Successful applicants receive a young researcher grant to work on the research autonomously under scientific guidance from the group. The young researcher grant funds a part-time student contract (HiWi) and research consumables.

In addition to working on current research topics, Master Lab students attend a few sessions on science communications skills (presenting, writing, poster design) and present their research progress/results at the Master Lab colloquium.

How to apply?
The program is open to all University of Freiburg Master's students currently enrolled in livMatS-related study programs from the natural sciencessciences, technical sciences, psychology, sustainability studies or philosophy ethics (Anthropocene).

Find more info on the Master Lab page.

11 Participants in Master Lab 7.0 winter term 2023/24

Below some participant testimonials

Shekinah Agbozo, Embedded Systems Engineering

“Taking part in the livMatS Master Lab has equipped me with the skills and tools I need to succeed in my research journey. Conducting research under the guidance of knowledgeable supervisors has been a worthwhile and eye-opening learning experience.”

Research topic: Resonance Frequency Measurement of Passive LC Sensors

In this research challenge on a passive inductive-capacitive (LC) sensor, we aimed to develop an electronic circuit to wirelessly detect the sensor by measuring its resonance frequency, a property which is determined by the value of the sensor's inductance and capacitance.

17 Participants in Master Lab 6.0 summer term 2023

Below some participant testimonials

Eleonora Galli, Applied Physics

“Taking part in the livMatS Master Lab was an incredible journey of personal and professional growth as an aspiring scientist.”

Research topic: Predicting carbene’s stability from first principles

In this study we calculated the activation energy of carbenes, key in CH-insertion crosslinking reactions, using computational methods. We explored the influence of various substituents in the aromatic ring, offering a predictive guideline to expedite research.

Ramiro Venegas, Sustainable Materials - Polymer Sciences

“Taking part in the livMatS Master Lab proved to be a unique opportunity both on a professional and personal level. It allowed me to acquire on-demand skills and out-of-the-box thinking skills that will most definitely come in handing in my professional career. “

Research topic: Freeze Extrusion: A novel approach to manufacture materials with functional gradients

I worked in a team developing a Freeze Extrusion machine, which will be able to manufacture functionally graded materials in a continuous and stable way.

Sebastian Ruppert, M.Sc. Biology

“Taking part in the livMatS Master Lab gave me the opportunity to work on my own project in a new research area. During the program I learned new methods and was able to improve my abilities in scientific writing and presenting in the soft skills sessions.

Research topic. Design and 3D Printing of a Pneumatic Strain Sensor for Soft Robotics

I explored lower fabrication limitations for flexible FDM 3D printing and used the results to implement a strain sensor channel into a pneumatic bending actuator.

13 Participants in Master Lab 5.0 winter term 2022/23

Below some participant testimonials

Jana Stumpp, Sustainable Materials - Polymer Sciences

“Taking part in the livMatS Master Lab let me transform from a student to a scientist by giving me the chance to work individually on my own research topic. Meanwhile, the support from researchers as well as the soft skills sessions gave me the confidence to believe in myself and my research”

Research topic: Implementation of Self-Reporting Microcapsules in Epoxy Resin Adhesive

Explored a novel route towards the design of adhesive composite that can debond “on demand” upon a mechanically-induced release of degrading agents.

Amlan Mishra, Microsystems Engineering

“Taking part in the livMatS Master Lab helped me to understand myself better, overall. I am now closer to know what I want to work on in the future and also how to move forward with it.

Research topic: Effect of surface roughness on the perimeter of non-adhesive contacts

I performed Boundary Element simulations of a rough spherical contact on an elastic half-space in the absence of adhesion, and then compared the results with the results obtained of the same in the presence of adhesion.

Kiran Paul Nalli, Sustainable Materials - Polymer Sciences

“Taking part in the livMatS Master Lab gave me the opportunity to acquire research-oriented soft skills and cultivate professionalism. The program facilitated me with valuable networking opportunities with researchers from diverse fields."

Research topic: Development of ThermoBatS actuators

Developed multifunctional ThermoBatS device with Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) and phase change materials (PCMs) that can harvest thermal energy as well as perform actuation simultaneously enabling it for MEMS applications.

9 Participants in Master Lab 4.0 summer term 2022

Below some participant testimonials

Johanna Trefs, Biochemistry and Biophysics

“Taking part in the livMatS Master Lab gave me the chance to tackle my own research challenge. This not only led to learning and growing in a new research area, but also to acquiring many interdisciplinary soft skills, making me a better researcher AND research communicator!”

Research topic: Structural aspects and chemically fueled adaptivity of phosphate-driven peptide systems chemistry imaged by atomic force microscopy (AFM)

Used AFM imaging as method for structural characterization of selected self-assembly aminoacyl phosphates and microscopic analysis of a designed out-of-equilibrium peptide system.

Bekir Denli, Sustainable Materials-Polymer Sciences

“Taking part in the livMatS Master Lab was a great opportunity for me to develop both my soft skills and disciplinary knowledge in depth. It was my first valuable step into the scientist‘s world.”

Research topic: Effect of Infill Pattern on Stress Relaxation of FDM-printed PLA

Investigated the correlation between the inputs of the 3D printing and the mechanical properties results of the sample. Was able to determine the effect of the infill pattern on the mechanical properties of the stress relaxation of FDM-based 3D printed parts.

Sonal Shireen Ranjan, Sustainale Materials-Polymer Sciences

“Taking part in the livMats Master Lab has helped me to build confidence on personal level and professionally taught me how to explain your work in an easy yet scientific language to the multidisciplinary audience”

Research topic: Lubrication of surface attached hydrogels by using synovial joint as model

Investigated frictional properties and mechanical behaviour of hydrogels covalently attached to a solid glass substrate by CHic(C,H insertion crosslinking) reaction upon UV radiation. Approach aimed to reduce the friction between two moving parts using synovial joint as model and maintaining sustainability.

12 Participants in Master Lab 3.0 winter term 2021/22

Below some participant testimonials

Kajal Jain, Embedded Systems Engineering

“Taking part in the livMatS Master Lab taught me many new skills that will be immensely useful in all the next stages of my academic (master thesis, PhD) as well as industrial career.”

Research topic: Towards Experimental Studies of Magnet-Assisted Self-Assembly

Built a semi-autonomous experimental setup using Fusion, Prussa Slicer, Raspberry Pi 3b, PCA9685 Module, Servo Motors, Python Programming Language and Computer Vision Libraries.

Keynaz Kamranikia, Polymer Sciences

"Taking part in the livMatS Master Lab I gained a deeper understanding of my field of study and developed more practical skills as a researcher."

Research topic: Preparation of high-resolution microfluidic chips by micro stereolithography

The goal of this work was to create microfluidic chips with high resolution and big lateral dimension by 3D printing. To achieve this a photoresist was developed to be used for printing bridge structure without blocking the printed channels.

Baris Erol, Sustainable Systems Engineering

“Taking part in the livMatS Master Lab program allowed me to work on a cutting-edge topic with great resources and experienced people. I had a chance to see what the research environment looks like if I want to pursue this field in the future.”

Research topic: Assembling Metamaterials like Jigsaw Puzzles

Demonstrated how the propagation of elastic waves through metamaterial depends on the selected configuration.

5 Participants Master Lab 2.0 winter term 2020/21

Antonia Blunck, Psychology

"Taking part in the Master Lab was a valuable experience that broaden my 'scientific horizon' as I had the opportunity to gain insight into other scientific fields on a very specific level."

Research topic: Cognitive-Affective Mapping (CAM) as a novel research tool

Conducted a psychological-philosophical case study on the Concept of Life in livMatS and the Anthropocene.

Florian Deussen, Chemistry

"Taking part in the Master Lab helped me in growing as a scientist and was a very good experience. I learned a lot and had a very good time."

Research topic: Diazo-crosslinkers for photochemical activation

Investigated and further developed photosensitive crosslinkers. These crosslinkers can be used to form a polymer network and permanently implement desired properties.

James Fisher, Philosophy

"Taking part in the livMatS Master Lab challenged me to find new applications for my philosophical curiosities and allowed me to open up a line of questioning."

Research topic: In artefacts as in life: On the intertwining of technological and ecological complexity in the Anthropocene

Using Niklas Luhmann’s Systems Theory, I attempted to understand how technology could react to the risk associated with the increased complexity of the Anthropocene.

Yu Wang, M.Sc. Sustainable and Functional Materials

"Taking part in the livMatS Master Lab has broadened my perspective on interdisciplinary reaserch .... . The research topic helped me in tackling various real-world challenges and the work in our project group were a great preparation for my career development."

Research topic: Investigation of Capacity Fading of NMC850510 as Cathode Active Materials for Photo-Rechargeable Lithium-Ion-Batteries

Investigated the principle behind the technology “Photorechargeable Lithium-ion-battery for solar energy harvesting and storage”, prepared and conducted measurement methods, and analyzed the compatibility between LIB and photo-batteries.

Amogh Kumar Baranwal, Microsystems Engineering

"Taking part in the livMatS Master Lab has broadened my view on interdisciplinary research and got me excited for a future in academia as a researcher."

Research topic: Studying Triboelectric Properties of Titania Nanotubes Functionalized with APTES

Fabricated titanium nanotubes by anodization in organic electrolytes with fluoride salts. I then characterized these nanotubes with SEM and XRD to determine their composition and structure.

4 Participants Compact Master Lab summer term 2020

Ibrahim Ghanem, M.Sc. Microsystems Engineering

"Taking part in the Master Lab gave me first experience of a scientist‘s life: attending scientific talks, thinking critically, raising questions, discussing ideas, writing about my research and presenting it, appreciating the diversity of scientific disciplines..."

Research topic: Rheology of Actin Networks

Simulated transmission of mechanical signals in actin networks of the cytoskeleton to better understand how those networks work.

Michelle Modert, M.Sc. Biology

"Taking part in the Master Lab obliged me to see my own research from a different perspective."

Research topic: Passion flower tendrils and gelatinous (G) fibre distribution

Investigated the formation and occurrence of G-fibres and their possible contribution to the free coiling mechanism in tendrils of two Passiflora species.

Elena Katharina Hegge, M.Sc. Biology

"Taking part in the Master Lab helped me to learn more in depth about further topics of the research areas and to get new creative ideas for my own research."

Research topic: Functional morphology and biomechanics of touch and wind stimulated leaves of Pilea peperomioides

Analyses of differences between petiole and transition zone of peltate leaves and their thigmomorphogenetic acclimations

Philipp Gaiser, M.Sc. Chemistry

"Taking part in the Master Lab was an interesting experience and getting insight into research projects from different fields of science was very informative."

Research topic: Redox-active Organic Compounds for Triboelectric Nano Generators

Synthesized both thiol functionalized model compounds for the investigation of triboelectric properties on a microscopic level and redox active polymers for application in TENG devices.