In academia, all over the world, the successful culmination of a PhD is celebrated socially in different ways. I’m lucky to have worked and received my diploma in Sweden, where the academic tradition of doktorspromotionen is followed.
Doktorspromotionen ceremony is a beautiful event where the promovendi (graduated PhDs) in technical fields (like me) participate in a Kransbindningsfest (The Feast of the Binding of the Laurel Crowns) and receive a beautiful diploma with a ribbon.
After the ceremony, a banquet is held in the evening, with long dresses, and tail coats. The banquet also has live music and interesting shows. I will be happy to be there with my PhD supervisor, close friends and fellow promovendi.
Due to the pandemic, this celebration we postponed twice. But it will finally happen in may 18 at the Uppsala Castle, how fancy!
The event is so important that also canons are fired several times during the day to celebrate the importance of PhDs!
My beloved Johan Öfverstedt is defending his thesis on February 25th, 2022. At 13:00 in Uppsala University, Sweden (see other world times here). Here’s some handy info for those interested in the event, I also wanted to summarize it in this post.
New Ångström. Heinz-Otto Kreiss lecture hall, first floor
The day is May 12th 2021. Location: The magnificent Universitetshuset or main university building at Uppsala University, a place where Nobel price winners and nominees gather to have dinner and discuss.
Due to the world situation with COVID, only 8 people are allowed in the auditorium, but it’s enough to make me feel happy and supported.
The speaker stand is adorned by a beautiful golden emblem of the university and this time it was my time to speak. I feel important!
Here is a video of my presentation. If you want to read the thesis you can find it here.
The whole event lasted some 5 hours, but I can only share publicly my part of the presentation.
I received very good and detailed questions and debate about my work which is always encouraging so I am very thankful to the opponent and the committee.
After a closed door deliberation, committee member, Prof. Anna Kreshuk announced that they were pleased with my answers and that they agreed I should be granted my title of Teknologie doktor (Doctor of Philosophy in English).
My supervisor Carolina Wählby had many surprises for me! Along with my boyfriend and friends and colleagues I received much love, many gifts and flowers and we enjoyed a fun moment playing a quiz about me! It was really funny and had many tricky questions!
Summer started the very same day and in the end a few of us had a corona-safe picnic right in front of Universitetshuset. It was a perfect day! Quite the fairy tale finish!
One of the gifts included a driving lesson gift card, so I guess that now I really have to learn. So many adventures to come! I look forward to whatever comes my way!
Link to opponent and committee discussion. Password protected. For Opponent and committee members only!
Want to say hello or wish me good luck? Leave a comment and it will be a guest book 🙂
You can find the document here. I presented all my papers and thesis in a previous post here.
What to expect?
This kind of event can last many hours. Plan for it, grab coffee and dinner.
We start at 13:00 in Uppsala time, for other times in the world see here.
I will give a 20 minute popular science presentation, followed by a talk by the opponent which is much longer and then questions and debate with the committee.
Please mute your microphones and cameras. They will not be allowed anyways. After the presentation and defense, while the committee deliberates we can all stick around and chat.
In the end there might be the possibility for the audience to ask questions. Please use the “raise hand” option in zoom if you want to ask a question and please be respectful.
If you have any questions regarding this zoom event write a private message on the zoom chat to the event manager: Johan Öfverstedt.
After deliberation we will all gather in the same original zoom link
I am thankful for all the words of love and encouragement from friends. But please refrain from using the chat to “say hello”. We will all be able to talk and communicate while the committee deliberates. Or you can leave a comment in this post.
Who is the committee?
We are glad and thankful to count with the presence of:
I believe in equality, I believe everyone brings something to the table and that working together we can do much more. More and more people agree, but for my voice, and women’s voice to be listened to, so that we are all treated equal, many have fought difficult battles.
Many women fought so that I could have a better future as a woman.
As I grew up, I have surrounded myself with more and more women who have studied and work hard, really hard and are an inspiration for me. My best mentors have been my supervisors, my professors, in different parts of the world, and I want to talk to you about them today.
arolina Wählby is my PhD supervisor in Uppsala University and she has been the most amazing guide and tutor I have met. She has devoted her precious time to guide me and many more in the past and currently to become integral and honest researchers and she’s in the forefront of life sciences, she is helping the world understand the mechanisms of disease right in the RNA the smallest unit of us. She has the most impressive curriculum! She’s a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences in Sweden, and is a professor of many courses, has been awarded numerous grants and has seen many a PhD student start and then spread their wings and fly. She’s a member of so many comittees and groups that take important decisions. I can’t possibly name them all, that is why she has her own website and media. Not only Carolina works super hard in academia, she a wife and a mother of 3 and a scout mom. I honestly do not know how she manages. She’s my hero.
arcela Hernadez is my master supervisor. She gave me the chance to go to France and study in Lyon, where she herself did her master and went through very tough times. She’s a professor in image analysis in Andes University in Colombia and she’s a leader not only in computer science but also a champion of equal opportunities. Thanks to her I was able to fulfill my dreams and she keeps working and has worked very hard so that other women and other students also have better opportunities. She’s a marvelous example of work/life balance and I think I could never do what she does, and in Colombia on top of all, where there is a really long way to go to improve women’s inclusion in all fields and decisions.
laudia Jimenez is a professor in Big Data and is the coordinator of the Master of Information Engineering (MINE in spanish) in Andes University in Colombia. She was also a huge inspiration for me and I learned so much in her course that it made me really excited (I love to learn). In her course I really learned more deeply, formal methods for data analysis and for creating systems that can handle Big Data. During one lecture she said: “Those courses of Stanford and all U.S universities have nothing on us” and chuckled. But you know what? She was right. We’re always looked down upon, we’re the little guy, we’re women working in engineering in a country that loves to push women down to the middle ages. And yet she built herself a full master program in a prestigious university to give me and other women the opportunity to learn the bleeding edge technology that allows the internet to understand data. She included me in several interesting projects during my master and for that I am very grateful.
Sometimes I think I didn’t have enough mentors when I was young and I become sad. But later in life I managed to surround myself with great women, professors and classmates and all of them are all over the world participating in great things! and I want to mention them here.
I love you all, professors, sisters, mothers, friends. Even if some might not remember me, I remember them and what they taught me.
There are so many important women in my life, my friends, my family and people I admire. From many universities, many countries, of all sizes and races and ages and all such a beautiful diverse group. I feel so happy to have met you all and I feel all your support, and I want you to know that you have my support.
And perhaps above all others, the woman who changed my life completely and who I love unconditionally and who loves me, my aunt Esperanza, who has taught me the beauties and wonders of the world before I went on my own to explore them.