My Fulbright fellowship at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio has reached its end and I am now back at ZHAW in Winterthur. It is time to look back to this fantastic adventure and to think about what this experience brought me both on a professional and personal side.
Professionally, it was a big success: two disclosures including one who was turned into a patent as well as a publication in preparation to be submitted to a high impact journal.
I learnt a lot in contact with Prof. Jason Heikenfeld. He is a great scientist and in addition Vice President for Innovation and Commercialization at UC Cincinnati. He definitely knows how to turn out research results in successful businesses and also how to collaborate with the industry. I am looking forward to putting in practice all what I learnt. I work hard to become an inspiring leader. I am convinced that we can perform great research at ZHAW but we need to better “sell” our results and focus on the impact.
I am also happy to have initiate discussion between ZHAW and UC concerning a potential cooperation between our institutions. Some ZHAW students are currently performing an internship in the lab of Prof. Jason Heikenfeld and it would be fantastic if we could trigger a long-term relationship with regular incomings/outgoings.
Finally, thanks to the Fulbright program, I could travel across the US to deliver several lectures and participate to conferences. At the end (including some holidays) I had the opportunity to visit: San Diego, Houston, Cleveland, Chicago, New-York City and Boston!
I meet so many great people and great researchers (not only talking about NDL members who were extremely welcoming).
Personally, this adventure was a life changing experience. Moving to the US with my wife and our son was not an easy task and the preparation phase as well as the first weeks in Cincinnati were very stressful. We were extremely busy: my wife was studying fulltime to get an LLM degree and I was working full time. As the day care did not work (more than 18 months waiting list), we had a nanny who was great fortunately. Being one year abroad put things in perspective. On the one hand we better appreciate now many things in Switzerland we were not aware of before leaving (like public transportation for example). On the other hand, we notice that few things could be improved, and we miss this entrepreneurial spirit of Americans. In addition, the Midwest is particularly family friendly.
We will definitely miss the US but I am happy to be back at ZHAW and I am looking forward to new challenges! And who knows what will come next…