Introducing one of our doctoral researchers: Edgar Alberto Alcalá Orozco

The scientific focus of Edgar Alberto Alcalá Orozco revolves around the development of enzymatic processes for the synthesis of activated sugars and human milk oligosaccharides

September 11, 2023

Embarking on a doctoral research program is an exciting yet challenging endeavour. For those who have chosen to join the IMPRS ProEng, their experiences have been shaped by the program's excellent work and life conditions, diverse research opportunities, and the unique charm of Magdeburg, Germany. In this article, we delve into the perspectives of one of our PhD researcher who joined the program in May 2021, exploring his motivations, scientific focus, impressions of Magdeburg, and overall satisfaction with the program.

Edgar Alberto Alcalá Orozco applied to the IMPRS program due to its exceptional work and life conditions, which stood out when compared to other programs worldwide. The absence of tuition fees and a competitive salary that supports a comfortable lifestyle were key factors that drew him to the program. His scientific focus revolves around the development of enzymatic processes for the synthesis of activated sugars and human milk oligosaccharides. Notably, his research is contributing to the successful commercialization of these products through the Spin-off company of the Max Planck Institute Magdeburg, eversyn.

Magdeburg, the location of the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems and thus also of the IMPRS ProEng, offers several advantages that Edgar Alberto Alcalá Orozco appreciates. Firstly, finding a flat was a hassle-free experience, making the relocation process smoother. Moreover, the city's size allows for convenient transportation by bicycle, offering a sense of freedom and accessibility. Additionally, Magdeburg boasts pleasant green areas, ideal for outdoor activities such as running.

While he embraces his life in Magdeburg, he does express a minor dissatisfaction with the fact that the city is located in Germany, considering the distinct social and cultural aspects of Germany. From a social and cultural point of view, Germany is very particular and not everyone's cup of tea. However, it is important to note that this sentiment is subjective and might not be reflective of the experiences of all researchers in the program. It's crucial to recognize that starting a new life in a different country, particularly during a pandemic, presents unique challenges. Nevertheless, Edgar Alberto Alcalá Orozco acknowledges that the program provides ample resources for his research, and the salary is commendable, especially for a smaller city like Magdeburg.

Given that his office is located in a separate building, his interactions with fellow IMPRS Students are limited. However, he express a desire to connect with colleagues outside the workplace, fostering a closer-knit community. Initiatives that encourage regular meetings and social activities enhance the connections among researchers.

When asked whether he would recommend the IMPRS program to other PhD researchers, Edgar Alberto Alcalá Orozco responds with an affirmative “Yes.” His positive experience with the program, combined with the conducive research environment and ample support, solidifies his endorsement. In closing, he invites others to explore Magdeburg, emphasizing its unique charm and welcoming atmosphere.

The IMPRS program in Magdeburg offers aspiring PhD researchers a promising platform to pursue cutting-edge research while enjoying comfortable living conditions. Through the experiences shared by a new PhD researcher, we have gained valuable insights into the program's strengths, such as its financial support, research resources, and beneficial soft skill courses. While every individual's experience may vary, the IMPRS program continues to attract researchers seeking an enriching academic journey in a vibrant and accessible city.

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