PE-CDT student visits CSEM Brasil on international placement


Joel in the CSEM labs

Our first student on international placement in 2019 has just returned from Brazil!

PE-CDT student Joel Luke has spent 10 weeks with his industrial part-funder CSEM Brasil in the city of Belo Horizonte. At the beginning of his stay he was joined by his supervisor Prof Ji-Seon Kim, who enjoyed a tour of the impressive roll-to-roll production facilities of CSEM’s daughter company Sunew, and some famous Brazilian barbeque.

In Brazil Joel was supervised by Dr Diego Bagnis and investigated organic photovoltaics (OPV) for low-light applications. These mainly indoor applications are an exciting new avenue for OPV research with organic solar cells performing better than most technologies under these conditions!

When asked about his time working in an industrial setting Joel had the following to say, ‘I really enjoyed working within a professional environment, the labs are set-up to complete a clear task so making many devices was much easier than here at Imperial.’

‘It was also very beneficial for my research. Not only did I learn new techniques, I was also able to be a little bit selfish and concentrate on one research project which enabled me to make quick progress and investigate lots of different avenues.’

Of course these international placements also offer the chance to experience a new culture and make new friends, ‘I made some really good friends at CSEM, and was able to visit some cool places with them on the weekends. I visited Rio, an old colonial town called Ouro Preto, national parks, Inhotem Art Gallery and swam in waterfalls!’.

‘I would like to thank the CPE and CSEM Brasil for making my visit possible! I would recommend everyone in the CDT to try for an international placement, it’s been a fantastic experience for my research and professional development but also for me personally, even if my Portuguese didn’t improve much!’

  • Colleagues
  • Solar tree
  • Carnival costumes
  • In the lab


Lisa Bushby

Lisa Bushby
Department of Physics