Ranggi did his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Indonesia. His five-year course included a master's project that involved him using neutron radiography at the research reactor in Indonesia. “I just used it as a tool: I was not expecting to use neutrons again!" he explains.
His interest in aerospace led him to do a one-year master's project at Sheffield and, while in the UK, he saw an advertisement for a PhD project based at Coventry University and ISIS, working on IMAT testing materials for aerospace applications.
During his studentship, Ranggi spent most of his time at Coventry, but with about one week every month down at ISIS. “This worked well," he says; “as I was doing an engineering PhD, all of my colleagues at Coventry were engineers, and my time at ISIS gave me the opportunity to learn more about the science." Ranggi found this a good way to break up the routine of PhD life in Coventry; “it made sure I never got bored!"
While at ISIS, Ranggi stayed at Ridgeway House, finding that a fellow Sheffield alumnus was also doing an ISIS studentship, and joining them to take part in the occasional match for the Harwell Campus football league. “I enjoyed my time at ISIS; I had a good relationship with my supervisor, and using other instruments meant that I got to know some of the other instrument scientists, and users from a wide range of backgrounds."
His project on IMAT was to develop the technique of strain imaging using neutron transmission. “The technique was not well established when I started but, by the end of my project, I was able to help users to answer their research questions. In particular, I spoke at a conference in Singapore and one of the attendees was very interested in the technique. We worked together to write a proposal, and then did the measurement together. It was really good to see that the technique could be so useful for them."
This conference was one of many Ranggi attended during his PhD, the studentship giving him many opportunities to travel, including some beamtime in Japan that was very useful. As well as international conferences, Ranggi attended the ISIS student meetings, engineering group user meetings and NMSUM. He found that this networking really added value to the studentship. Whilst writing up his PhD, he saw a post-doctoral position available at ILL and, having met the group at NMSUM, and being familiar with the techniques needed, decided to apply.
He got the position and is now working at ILL as part of a European project standardising strain scanners across different neutron facilities. This has involved taking measurements at Engin-X, as well as at the ILL and in Munich. “Luckily I managed to get a lot of these measurements in before lockdown, and so I have plenty of analysis to keep me busy. Although likely travel restrictions mean that it's likely I will be sending samples to South Africa rather than going there myself."
On the Facility Development Studentship scheme, Ranggi says; “It was really enjoyable, and the people were great and supportive. I am very grateful for the chance to have the experience of both university, and time at a large-scale internationally renowned research facility."