Around the world on a scholarship: associate professor of SzE conducts research in the US and Europe

Dr. László Lendvai, a lecturer at Széchenyi István University, has been conducting research in the USA through Fulbright scholarship which is one of the world's most prestigious scholarships, and in Slovakia and Italy thanks to two other top scholarships. His reasearch is on specific sustainability topics such as degradable plastics, natural rubber and the 3D printability of electrically insulating but thermally conductive materials. Meanwhile, at home in Hungary he has been elected a member of the Academy of Young Scientists.

"A year and a half ago I started looking for international mobility opportunities to gain work experience. First, I spent six months at the Polymer Research Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, thanks to a Slovak government grant for foreign researchers. Here I was working on biopolymer composites, i.e. naturally derived multicomponent materials that are biodegradable after their useful life.", began Dr. László Lendvai, Associate Professor of the Audi Hungaria Faculty of Automotive Engineering at Széchenyi István University. Environmentally friendly plastics are currently expensive and there is not enough production capacity to replace conventional plastics, but they are being used in an increasing number of areas to promote sustainability.


Dr. László Lendvai, Associate Professor at Széchenyi István University, has conducted research in the field of materials science at three foreign universities and research institutes in succession (Photo: Csaba József Májer)

The researcher then successfully applied for a Fulbright Scholarship, for which he applied on the advice of his colleague, Dr Adrienn Buruzs. The Fulbright Scholarship Programme operates in more than 160 countries around the world, including Hungary, and its basic aim is to promote mutual understanding between the United States and countries around the world, as well as to provide opportunities for academic research and the exchange of professional ideas. It has already helped many students and teachers from Széchenyi István University to attend courses at American universities, and several US teachers have also come to Győr.

Associate professor of Széchenyi István University in front of the prestigious American university.

Dr. László Lendvai chose the University of Wisconsin-Madison, one of the top-ranked universities in the world, not because of the institution, but because of one of its professors. "Anyone working in the field of plastics processing needs no introduction to the work of Professor Tim Osswald. Not only have I had the opportunity to work alongside him, but I have also attended his lectures  to learn as much as I can from him.", said the lecturer, who was in the US to explore the feasibility of natural rubber in 3D printing.

After the United States, it was back to Europe, namely Italy with the help of the Eötvös Hungarian State  Scholarship awarded by the Tempus Public Foundation, to work with Professor Alessandro Pegoretti from the University of Trento. There, the researcher of SZE worked on the 3D printability of polymer composites that are both good electrical insulators and excellent thermal conductors.

"Their practical use can be seen in electronic devices in which ever-smaller components generate more and more heat during operation, which must be dissipated without the component also conducting electricity." - he explained.

Professor Tim Osswald and Dr. László Lendvai

For him, the most important experience of his trips abroad is that a broad perspective, a multi-perspective approach to a problem, the latest trends can be truly acquired through research and study trips abroad. In addition to broadening our knowledge, successful applicants can join the international circuit and build a network of contacts that multiplies their potential.

Dr. László Lendvai interrupted his stay in Italy for a few days at the beginning of May to return home to attend the General Assembly of the Academy of Young Researchers (FKA) under the patronage of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, of which he was recently elected a member. One of the co-chairs of the FKA is Dr. Gábor Kecskés, Associate Professor at the Deák Ferenc Faculty of Law and Political Sciences of Széchenyi István University. FKA represents the interests of Hungarian researchers under 45 years of age, the promotion of scientific excellence and the strengthening of communication between science and society.

The Győr researcher in front of the Polymer Research Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences.

"Through my membership, I would like to help my young research colleagues to plan their scientific careers consciously, and to be aware of the areas to focus on in order to achieve their goals," he said. He added that he also wants to address the challenges of open science in the organisation. "I would like to thank the management of the institution, especially Dr. Bálint Filep, the President of the University, and Dr. Eszter Lukács, the Vice President for Global Strategy, for their supportive attitude, which made my research abroad possible. I would like to thank my immediate colleagues in the Department of Materials Science and Technology for their flexibility, which helped me find my place at Széchenyi István University", underlined Dr László Lendvai. He added that the Széchenyi University has undergone tremendous development in recent years, which, together with internationalisation efforts, offers excellent opportunities for its researchers. He concluded by urging everyone to take advantage of the scholarships and to gain international experience and contacts, as they are invaluable.

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