December 10th 2010 by Kathrin
On November 13, 2010 Dr. Urs Mäder congratulated Mr. Igor Pochorovski to the best master thesis in 2010. His thesis’ title was “Synthesis of BODIPY Dyelabeled Resorcinarene Cavitands for FRET Studies”. 25 year-old Igor Pochorovski has studied in Munich, Germany, Berkeley, USA and finalized his master thesis now at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich.
The Sika Award goes to the student who wrote the best master thesis in Polymerchemistry and Organic Synthesis. The Sika Master Award is endowed with CHF 2’000 and is the highest endowed price for a master thesis in this department. Such prices are enormously important to young scientists as they support young people in their career start. Congratulations to Igor!
We are very glad to congratulate Geoff du Toit from South Africa to his remarkable essay in which he gave valuable recommendations to Sika on how to have a higher impact on sustainable actions and thinking. All 17 participants of the Sika Experience trips have been asked to submit an essay about their impressions of the trips and recommendations for further sustainable initiatives of Sika. A committee of the six Sika Experience Project leaders three Sika employees and an external consultant have selected the best essay. At the moment we are also evaluating the possible implementation of the stated ideas of Geoff du Toit and his colleagues from Sika Experience 2010.
Are you interested in the essay? Click on below link to download the essay:
Geoff du Toit wins a $ 250 book voucher and $ 10’000 which he can donate to an sustainable project in his country. As Geoff participated in the Sika Experience “Water” program, he is asked to find a water project in South Africa. We will keep you up to date, the project will be described and followed up on this page. In the meanwhile, we kindly invite you to participate in our survey to define the Sika Experience Program 2011!
October 13th 2010 by Kathrin
In actively participating on our Website, you triggered a donation from Sika of a substantial amount and we will increase it up to $ 300’000.-
Sika will spend that money for two projects:
The Water project in Indonesia (more: visit online www.watsanaction.org)
and the YES-Initiative (more: visit online www.actis-education.ch)
Sika is aware of its responsibility and willing to suit actions to their words! We will continue to support the mentioned organizations in the upcoming years!
You have been, as of today, very active on our Website. Almost 70’000 visitors are a very good result.
We will continue with our activities and kindly invite you to join us.
Very shortly we will announce the next steps to come.
After a memorable two weeks at the Sika Solar Experience, I am now back in Santiago for my studies. I am really glad I could get an insight at the leading PV technologies that are being used in the world, plus how Sika is contributing to build sustainable solutions in a wide variety of interesting topics. I had a blast with Prashant, Rafia, Simon and the guys at Sika that cared for every detail to be as good as possible, and I must say they truly succeeded. Thanks to everyone that followed the blog entries actively! Adios,
Thinking back to our first day at the Sika Zurich office, I remember how excited we were to be embarking on this “journey” and to be the last of the Sika Experiences to take place. From our first production facility tour in Zurich to our last solar roof visit in Lugano, I have learned a great deal about where solar energy is headed and what it has accomplished so far. In my career I have only dealt with solar residential applications, so I’m happy to have learned about how solar on a flat roof can be a sound investment for the commercial sector. Companies are focusing on making panels lighter to install, cheaper to produce, all with higher efficiencies; while Sika is using their white waterproofing membranes to help reflect more light onto the panels, and their adhesive products to make the panels long-lasting.
Our final dinner with Heinz and Louis took place overlooking the city, where we exchanged thoughts on what each one of us had taken away from the trip. Though the answers varied, the common theme was the gratitude for the hands on engagement in the field. We weren’t observers, but rather researchers. Heinz and Louis shared their professional histories in Sika, and we soon realized that we too had now become a part of their stories. We concluded the evening by visiting Simon for a final goodbye. We were lucky to have a “local” in our group to show us the ropes in regards to Swiss culture so that we were prepared for our second week! Nonetheless, I think we were a lively group of personalities that made the time go by very fast!
Reflecting on each of the ten days, I have realized how much we were exposed to. Heinz had created a solar experience that covered mass and customized production, university research, and industry testing of solar cells (to say the least). It certainly was not limited in scope, and exposed us to the applications of these diff e field site visits because we can understand the industry as a whole rather than segmented processes. Prashant, Jose, Simon, and I all benefited from the diversity of the different sectors in the field site visits. As I took the train to the flughafen Friday morning, I really couldn’t believe how much of Switzerland I had seen in a short amount of time (Zurich, Sarnen, Lucerne, Lyss, Zermatt, Bern, and Lugano). The country has so much of offer any visitor, but we were lucky to be in the company of great supervisors, Heinz, Louis, Andre, Leo, and Jane, thank you for all you have done. Shout out to Heinz: You’re constant support, insight, patience and friendship is the cornerstone of this trip’s success; as Thomas Edison has written, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”.
Returning to the colored autumn landscape of New England, I greatly miss the greenery of the lakes and mountains, but am happy to know that I will always have my memories to look back on. Getting ready to go back to class, I am eager to incorporate what I have learned into my studies by starting solar financing projects with the State of New York. Thank you Sika for an Experience of a lifetime.
On our official last day (Thursday) we visit facilities that covered the only subject that had not yet been covered deeply throughout our fascinating trip.
In the morning we visited the University of Applied Sciences of Southern Switzerland at Lugano, where they have the Institute for applied sustainability to the built environment (ISAAC). This institute, among many other things, is active in research regarding solar power subjects, from electronic devices that help in the measurement of relevant parameters, to design and architectural approaches for the inclusion of solar panels in buildings, facades and houses. They even have 28 year old solar installations, so they have a very long experience when it comes to solar testing. With this and other similar installations they have been able to check the durability and performance of the PV modules in a real life situation, with natural climate cycles and sunlight exposition.
We visited several testing areas, where we could appreciate different types of techonologies for solar panels, with some of them even being at a prototype stage. Afterwards, we were guided to a fixed membrane 15.4 kW installation in one of the roofs. This installation was made by the support of Sika Sarnafil, among other institutions.
Later on, we went to another ISAAC facility that is dedicated to testing solely. With the use of very advanced equipment they are able to put the solar panels onto similar aging, sunlight exposure, mechanical stress and other interesting factors as they would normally confront in a real life situation. Based on standarized measures, they can certify the panels under the IEC norms. Besides, they can perform customized tests if needed.
Finally, we stopped at a nice swiss-italian restaurant near the station where we had some very nice pizzas and calzones, and now we are heading to Zurich, where we will meet most of the people that helped this project come true for a goodbye dinner. Thanks for the reading!
It is my sixth day at SIKA solar experience. Right now I am in a flight to Milano. The flight got delayed by approximately 20 minutes and we had to wait at the airport for the same. We hope to touch the land of Italy in around an hour. I am really looking forward to visit SIKA silicone production facility tomorrow. Till now I have had days full of fun with my team. We had two new guys joining the crew. Andre and Leo are great guys and both of them have a great sense of humor. They work with the SIKA and are here to accompany us for the rest of the trip.
A peep through the window reminds me of the day I had, here today in Wismar. It was thrilling. Wismar, a small and old city is an hour and half away from Hamburg by car. We had an appointment with Centrosolar people early in the morning. We got a warm welcome from them. After a short presentation about the company we got a chance to visit their testing laboratory and the production facility. We were told about various certifications and tests that they undergo like IE61215, VDE, TUV, UL etc. They also have some kind of collaboration with University of Wismar. When they started their production in 1998, the capacity was 30 MW which today stands at around 250 MW. They plan to achieve the target of 500 MW by the end of 2013. He gave us a brief overview of the production technique followed here.
While talking about the challenges in the field, he told us about the speculations in the prices of the solar cells in market. For their panels, Centrosolar procures solar cells from Germany, Italy and China. He also said that the pressure is not from the technology side but from the raw materials side and this really affects their productivity. He also expressed his concern over the cheap but low quality competitor products.
While I am writing this blog I can see the sky through the window of the plane and it feels like someone has spilled the red wine over a yellow and blue carpet. This is the first time I am taking a flight during the sunset hours and it is as beautiful as described in the poems and songs. There is a river flowing through a city and the trees. Also visible are the Alps covered with snow and it suddenly reminded me of my first day in here.
Any ways, after a brief presentation we got to visit their facility. The process is semi automated and these guys are, I must say, very particular about the quality and they try to set their products as the benchmark for the competitors. I will have to confess that I was really thrilled by this visit. What made me feel even great was how open these guys were while discussing about their facility and business.
Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take any pictures of their manufacturing facility and laboratory.
The good news from the captain is that we will land on the scheduled time. But now I will have to turn off my laptop and I guess I will have to wait till I get to my hotel room, to finish this blog entry.
The room of Hotel Montini is amazing and I am so in love with the interiors they have in here.
After our visit to Centrosolar, we had to catch a flight to Milano from Hamburg. Since we had some time we decided to go on a walk in Wismar. It is a beautiful city and still has some essence of the pre-modern times Germany. Some of the buildings have amazing architecture and look amazing even today.
Suddenly I saw a restaurant named Goa(a place in India). I was so glad to see it as it was my first chance in last few days to have Indian food. As I entered the restaurant guys working over there were really happy to see me. These are guys from India and Pakistan. The owner named Amjad was from Pakistan. I was offered an authentic Indian drink and amazing Samosas.
Thanks Amjad Bhai…
After this short meeting with Indian/Pakistani friends we left for Hamburg and had an amazing ride in a small boat in the sea. This was the place where I had always wanted to be. We saw dockyards, a big ship named Europa and a marine ship apart from many other boats and ships. The boat at many places passed under from under some bridges connecting two side of the city and at one place I could actually touch the bridge. After this wonderful experience we left for the airport only to know that our flight was delayed by half an hour. After some time I was there in flight enjoying the view of Alps on one side and a river on the other…….
September 22nd 2010 by Jane