Meet our Fellows: Michael Schreiber

Home University: Universität für Bodenkultur Wien (University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna)
Host University: University of Minnesota
Topic: Influence of debris-flow material composition on the morphology of depositional fans"Processing and microstructural characterization of cold sintered ceramics

Thanks to the Marshall Plan Foundation I’m very happy to send some news from Minneapolis, where I am currently working on a debris flow research project which will serve for my master’s thesis. Specifically, I’m taking part in an ongoing National Science Foundation (NSF) funded research project at the Saint Antony Falls Laboratory (SAFL) at the University of Minnesota. The general goal of my proposed master thesis is to investigate the influence of debris flow composition on the morphology of depositional fans. Thus, I want to understand how particle size distribution and water content influence flow and deposition characteristics of debris flows and how these are reflected in the topographic signature of the alluvial fan. To answer these questions, scaled laboratory experiments will be carried out at the facilities of the SAFL and field work at Owen’s Valley (California) will contribute further data.

My stay here in Minneapolis has been exciting so far. When I first came to the University of Minnesota I was impressed by the huge campus with all its buildings and facilities. Arriving at the lab, I was warmly welcomed by all the colleagues, a perfect environment for getting started. After being introduced to my research group and to more details of the ongoing project I started with my work in the lab right away. That included, among other things, preparation work and support in setting up the main experiment, conducting preliminary experiments, literature research, and daily/weekly meetings with my supervisors. It’s been a great and very educational experience so far! Having some very cold, demanding but really interesting weeks behind me, I’m looking forward to the next steps of my research here, but also to the warmer season to better explore what the city and Minnesota have to offer.

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