Heriot-Watt University/EPS/IMPEE PhD Student Caroline Graham was awarded a DAAD German Academic Exchange short term research grant to conduct material characterisation tests at the Technical University of Berlin (TU-B). The physical tests made use of TU-B equipment not available at Heriot-Watt University and were designed to compliment Caroline's PhD: A numerical study using finite element analysis to model the behaviour of unleaded solder joints under thermo-mechanical, creep-fatigue loading.

It quickly became apparent that the grant was for the researcher and did not include expenses incurred by dependents. EPS and IMPEE management were able to move quickly and provide required support. This support contributed towards renting an apartment large enough for three generations (Caroline, her Mother and her two children), close to both schools and a short bus/underground journey to TU-B. The Daphne Jackson trust also provided financial support towards the children's travel expenses. Without this supplementary support the research trip would not have been possible.

Caroline said "To live and work in Berlin was an amazing experience, for myself and my family. Having been aware for some time of their published work on similar material, it was a privilege to work with academics and staff at TU-B. Everyone was very welcoming and provided complete support ensuring that my brief four weeks yielded successful results. My Children attended the Nelson Mandela Schule. A German-English bi-lingual school where they were also made very welcome. My Mother is not able to get about as much as she would like to, but at weekends we took several bus trips to explore the city. One highlight of our trip was the Hertha Berlin 0-3 Hannover 96 football match at the Olympiastadion."