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Interview with Noé Vidal Medina



Noé Vidal Medina from CENAM in Mexico currently works as a guest scientist in PTB’s working group for spectroradiometry. His stay is coming to an end now, and we wanted to take the opportunity to talk with him about his experiences at PTB and in Germany. Dr Nevas (Head of Working Group 4.11) and Dr Sperfeld (also 4.11) with whom Noé Vidal works at PTB were kind enough to participate in the interview.

PTB: Thanks again for finding the time to do the interview with us. If I’m not mistaken, your stay here at PTB is coming to an end and you’re going back to Mexico soon.

Noé: Yes, indeed. I’ll be leaving next week.

I’ve been here now for 4 months.

PTB: I see, and has this been your first time at PTB?

Noé: No…I have been here before.

 That was within the framework of a joint regional project of PTB’s Technical Cooperation, not only with CENAM but also with INTI in Argentina and INMETRO in Brazil. And I stayed here for about 4 weeks.

PTB: Ah, ok, and back then you were here at the same working group?

Noé: Yes, the subject was also UV radiation and measurement.

PTB: Well, that probably makes it easier to come here if you already know the people you are working with now?

Noé: Yes, sure, that’s quite an advantage.

PTB: And what is work like here at PTB? Are there any differences, for example, compared to your work at CENAM?

Noé: As I said, I am here because I want to expand my knowledge regarding UV irradiation and its primary measurements. And in this field, PTB is much more advanced than we are in Mexico. It's a big jump for me and my laboratory in Mexico to have the opportunity to come here and to expand my knowledge and then be able to implement at CENAM what I have learned.

PTB: Right, you already mentioned this when you showed us the measurement set-up, explaining to us what it is you are working at. And that this area is to be developed further at CENAM…and that through the measurements and calibrations here you will be able to establish traceability to PTB.

Noé: Exactly. I think my stay here will help us to expand our expertise and eventually improve our services.

PTB: And what does work look like on a personal level?

Noé: Everything's going fine - great working environment with great colleagues who are very helpful and supportive. They have a lot of experience and I have been able to learn a lot.

PTB: Well, we are of course pleased to hear that you feel comfortable at PTB. What about your accommodation? Is everything ok?

Noé: Yes, everything is fine. I have found a private accommodation near PTB, about 5 minutes away.

PTB: And how did you find it?

Noé: My hosts here at PTB helped me with that.

Saulius: Yes, we have used this list to help us.

PTB: Ah yes, the list with the private accommodations*.

PTB: And what about everyday life in Germany? Have you settled in well? I guess life here is quite different from Mexico.

Noé: Yes, indeed, Germany is very different from Mexico, but you can integrate very easily. Especially since I was here a few years ago and that makes it a little easier, of course.

PTB: And what about communication with others? Any problems there, for example, due to the language?

Noé: Not really, most people speak English, so I had no problems.

PTB: And did you have the opportunity to get to know other parts of Germany too?

Noé: Oh yes, I did. I have been to Berlin, Hamburg, and Leipzig, for example. And to some other small cities near Braunschweig, such as Goslar and Bad Harzburg. And I liked it very much.

Saulius: Noé has bought the Deutschland-Ticket** which I think offers a good opportunity for travelling around.

Noé: Yes, that’s right. It’s a good thing and I would recommend it to other visitors as well.

Peter: And you’ve been to Hamburg twice. When Noé came back the first time, we asked him what he had seen or visited and he told us it had been a nice trip, that he had seen the Rathaus (city hall) and the city centre and we asked him if he had been to the harbour – but no, he hadn’t.

Noé: Yeah, exactly…

Saulius: Maybe our mistake, we should have told you beforehand.

Noé: Yeah, but then I went there during my second trip to Hamburg. And it was fine, so no problem.

PTB: So, all in all, the way I see it, you had a good time at PTB and in Germany? Anything else you would like to share with us? Maybe some recommendation for other guest researchers planning to come here, something they might have to consider regarding visa application, etc?

Noé: Well, I can only speak for myself. You should perhaps foresee enough time for the visa application. In Mexico I had to wait a month for an appointment, but after that everything went fairly well. I think the letter of invitation from the PTB was also helpful. And I have already arranged for private health insurance in Mexico to cover my stay here in Germany.

PTB: And your registration here with the city of Braunschweig?

Noé: No problem, my hosts helped me with that. To register, you have to go there personally. But deregistration can also be done in writing or online.

PTB: Well then, we thank you very much for the interview and wish you some more pleasant days here in Braunschweig and of course a safe journey home. You are probably happy to return home after such a long time.

Noé: Yes, I am looking forward to seeing my family again. Being away from your family is sometimes a little bit hard. Nevertheless, it was really nice having the opportunity to come here and learn so many things.