NAME: Tim I. Yilmaz
CURRENT TITLE: Research and teaching assistant and Ph.D. student at Tectonics and Material Fabrics Section (TUM) in the final year.
AREA OF EXPERTISE: Structural geologist specialized in large-scale hydrothermal fluid flow, mineralization, brecciation, liquefication of cataclasites, silicification, mineralogy, microscopy, cathodoluminescence, and fractal analysis.
YEARS EXPERIENCE: 5 years of education
EDUCATION: Diploma in Geology at Technical University of Munich, TUM; now in the fourth year of Ph.D.
What’s your job like?
It’s a mixture of organizing and giving lectures and courses in the field, grading (e.g. mapping reports), and supervising B.Sc. theses, but the main focus is the research on my Ph.D. studies.
What’s a typical day like?
There is no typical day. In terms of emotions, there are frustrating days, motivated days, bored-to-death-days and exciting days.
I am preparing my second first-author-publication, so there is not a lot of lab work or field work at the moment. For this second paper, I was creating and arranging figures and writing the results chapter at the office within the last couple of days. Now, I am focussing on literature research to fill some gaps again. I am doing literature research and writing from back home where maximum concentration is guaranteed. So, I am switching a lot between the office and home office depending on the tasks.
I was in charge of organizing and supervising three mapping courses and three field trips and grading the reports within the last three years which is definitely huge fun. In general, being in the field is great, and therefore, it doesn’t matter whether it’s for teaching or research. But there are, of course, amazing days at the laboratory as well, especially when the results of my research start to make sense. Furthermore, I deeply enjoy literature research.
The most challenging part is to structure the schedule due to my Ph.D. thesis. There is nobody telling me what to do, when to do or where to do whatever there is to do. Of course, this is a great challenge for all Ph.D. students out there. Therefore, I am very happy to have a great supervisor who is always (almost always) replying to my emails, answering my phone calls and meeting me at least once a week.
What’s your advice to students?
I always thought Ph.D. students are freaky, uncool geeks until the day I became one of them. So, I think giving advice is a waste of time, but let’s try: In my view, self-responsibility is the most important keyword in successful studying.