This semester, aside from a few laboratory classes and a graduate seminar course, I also enrolled my first three units of my graduate thesis (MSE 300). I’ve been meaning to start doing my research the past few weeks, but I’ve been too occupied with other stuff. The other day, my adviser spoke to me and urged me to get started because it’s not something that I can rush at end of the semester. So yesterday, I went to UPD to do some lab work.
Some quick self-cam picts to document the special occasion, LOL:
Wearing a lab gown I “borrowed” from our lab. I really should get my own lab gown since I’m probably be going to be doing more lab work in the future.
Got my mask and gloves on – I’m all set!
(For those who are curious, I’m a Material Science Engineering student, but my adviser’s from the National Institute of Geological Sciences, so that’s where I’ll be doing most of my research)
My task for the day was to separate the raw clay material according to particle size.
I used the 2mm sieve to separate the smaller particles from the bigger ones. This part was easy, it only took about 30 minutes.
After that I put the larger particles in small bags and labeled them.
The next step, wet sieving, took a long time – about 3 hours. I didn’t get a picture because it was a messy process and I didn’t want to get my camera wet. Anyway, I spent a good chunk of the afternoon trying to separate the clay-sized particles from the larger ones using a fine mesh. I used up about 5L of distilled water in the process. My arms were pretty sore by the time I was done, but at least I managed to finish everything. Now all I have to do is wait a few days for the particles to settle, then I can extract the clay I need for my research.
It’s a small first step, but I’m glad I’m getting somewhere with my thesis.
In the meantime, I should probably get started on my manuscript. 😀