After a thorough selection of candidates for 10 PhD positions of doctoral college CO2Refinery in March, all PhD students and supervisors could finally greet each other at the first kick-off meeting on May 29th 2021. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the meeting was held as an online event in Gather Town. Unique features of this software tool made the kick-off meeting feel more like a real event compared to a conventional online conference. Every person chooses an avatar before entering the virtual space. Individual rooms can be created in Gather Town and areas exist, where only the people within these locations can see and speak to each other.
The meeting started with a welcoming speech by Ioanna Giouroudi-Jovanovic, the head of TU Wien doctoral schools, and Prof. Michael Harasek, the head of CO2Refinery. Supervisors and PhD students of each project gathered after the introduction in separated areas and had about 15 minutes of discussion time to get to know each other better. Then every PhD student introduced her or his supervisor and vice versa. When all members of CO2Refinery where introduced, a general discussion within the entire group took place. The meeting was subsequently dissolved with the option to hang around in Gather Town and chat in smaller groups about future collaborations.
The kick-off meeting in Gather Town was an enjoyable start of the doctoral college CO2Refinery and everyone was looking forward to meet in person.