I guess 2020 has been quite an odd year for everybody, but in my case, moving back to my home country in the middle of an epidemic to start a fresh new project It’s been an experience. On the one hand, many good things have happened to me. I could finish my master thesis successfully, I reunited with my family and friends and I found a great professional opportunity right a few minutes from home. But there have been also hard moments. Being in my room there in the Netherlands, confined and having to write my master thesis for three months was not fun. Lucky me, the positive things seem to be wining (let’s keep it this way, 2020). At this point I can imagine you are a bit lost so let’s start from the beginning.
As you may know from my biography, I did my bachelor in biomedical engineering at the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV). There, I had the change to specialize in information technologies (ITs) applied to medicine. My bachelor thesis studied the application of machine learning models to electrohysterographic signals (electric potential registers coming from the contraction of the uterus) to predict preterm birth. This was a great project that offered me the opportunity to realize that I had indeed learnt a lot of things during the previous 4 years.
After finishing my bachelor, I was really looking forward to go abroad and put myself out of my comfort zone. This is why I decided to do my master in the Netherlands, a nice place far from Spain (but no too far) and most importantly, with master
programs taught fully in english. Although the picture you can see above was taken in Amsterdam, my university (the University of Twente) was right in the opposite side of the country, in Enschede. It was a nice place to study, not too many places to go out, but most of the people living there were students from all over the world wanting to socialize.
During my master I specialized in biorobotics. The final thesis was focused on surgical robotics, specifically on the use of magnetically actuated catheters for interventions like cardiac ablation. It was a nice project that gave me the first flavor of what research is about. However, I did not finished as I would have expected, as the last four months were significantly conditioned by Covid-19. Yes, to me, Covid-19 basically meant no more experiments and having to lock down in a room to write my final thesis report. However, not everything was bad. It was during these period that I found out about PersonalizeAF project. When I read about it, I immediately knew that I wanted to be participate, so no matter how many things I had to do, I started preparing all the documents to apply for it.
Luckily enough, I got the position I wanted in the project: ESR11. This, is hosted by the UPV (my home-town university) and is focused on developing and validating new post-processing algorithms to detect potential atrial fibrillation drivers in ECGI data. I hope I can tell you more things about it in the near future. So far, I have been working from home, reading a lot about the topic and doing my research career plan. But, in spite of being still working conditioned by Covid-19, I am really excited about starting this new professional phase.
Now the only remaining question is: how am I going to do it? Well, Great master Yoda said once: “Do. Or do not. There is no try”. However, I don’t think master Yoda was thinking on doing a PhD thesis when he said that. This is why, like Luke Skywalker, I will disobey him basing my strategy on basically the opposite: trying, trying and then, continue trying, even if the results are not what I expect. Sorry master Yoda, we all must find our own way in the universe.
Finally, I would like to encourage you to follow the progress of all the ESR students involved the project by checking all the official sites. See you soon.
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