Hi there! It has been 2 years since I graduated from the IPADS of The University of Tokyo. After leaving Araki’s Lab I returned to Bogor Agricultural University and helped my former supervisor, Prof. Armansyah, and friends do their researches. Well, it was more like I studied again than I really gave them. Some have now graduated from the bachelor and master programs, and some are still in the final year of Ph.D. I believe they are all doing well, especially since I know how capable Prof. Armansyah is. We had some hectic schedule at the end of the year, as we had to finish much paperwork required for research reports. I got a precious experience of how troublesome and tricky conducting research at a university in Indonesia could be.
After spending about 6 months there, I got an offer from Department of Chemical Engineering, Bandung Institute of Technology, for a position of the so called “academic assistant”, which is a role of junior faculty member that is not yet given a status of full-time faculty member and It is much more like a structured trial and internship for a lecturer in the university, as I am being trained through various academic and research-related tasks. That time we had two big projects. The first one was reaccreditation of the department, which we got from Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET), an international accreditation board based in the USA. We have undergone some assessment processes and are now waiting for the decision on the reaccreditation. The second task was the implementation of two new departments that were born from our department. They are Department of Food Engineering and Department of Bioenergy and Chemurgy Engineering. If I pass the selection process for the full-time lecturer, I will be placed in the former, because of my academic and research background that is related to food engineering.
Since I finished my master and decided to work in academic and research, I have been thinking a lot of continuing my study to PhD. I read many literature to help myself realise what I really want for my research topic and specialisation. In January 2016 I applied for a scholarship called Indonesia Educational Scholarship is provided by an institution called Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP, in Indonesian), which is directly under the Ministry of Finance of Republic of Indonesia. It is more well-known as the LPDP Scholarship, and has been gaining more and more popularity thanks to its great system and generosity. After passing the document selection and interview, I was accepted as an awardee of the LPDP Scholarship. At that time I had not applied for any university and was still struggling for finding professors willing to accept me in their labs. The awardees of LPDP Scholarship that still have not found their study destination at the time they are accepted as awardees are given one year to find a university and get the acceptance.
To find a professor as your supervisor was hard, though I have predicted how it might go. I consulted a lot with my previous supervisors, Prof. Armansyah, Prof. Tetsuya Araki, and Prof. Yasuyuki Sagara, about my research interests and the possible research topics that suit them, and the choice of supervisor for my PhD research. Everytime I got in touch with a professor, I informed them to get advices. After some discussion and long searching process, I finally made up my mind to go to Otto Von Guericke University (OVGU) of Magdeburg, Germany, to work under supervision of Prof. Evangelos Tsotsas, who is an expert in field of drying. I have finished the application process and the paperwork required by the LPDP. The last one was actually quite laborious, because I had to obtain so many reference and recommendation letter to persuade the LPDP to allow me to go to the university. It was because the OVGU is currently not listed as recommended destination university by the LPDP, thus I had to prove that the university and the professor is the best possible choice for my study. As all the procedure has been done, the next step will be the visa application. And after that, I am ready to go.