DAAD Research Ambassadors 2014
I am Sashikumaar Ganesan, Assistant Professor at SERC, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. I am an Applied and Computational Mathematician, and have a Dr.rer.nat (Mathematics) from Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany. Before joining at IISc, I was an Alexander-von-Humboldt fellow at WIAS, Berlin, and a research associate at Department of Aeronautics at Imperial College of London. My research areas include numerical analysis, finite element methods, multiscale methods, stabilization methods, multigrid methods, parallel algorithms with applications to free surface and multi-phase flows, flows with surfactants, impinging droplet, bio-medical flows, population balance systems in time-dependent domains and ship hydrodynamics.
I went to Germany to pursue my PhD degree in experimental fluid dynamics under Sandwich scheme of DAAD in 1989. Being an aerodynamicist, my research interest was to find out if the aerodynamic drag of a ball reduces if a hole is made right through it. There are many exciting applications of this idea in sports. When I proposed this topic, my advisor was rather apprehensive that the idea may not be new. After I surveyed the contemporary literature and convinced him about the novelty, he not only accepted the proposal, but ensured that all the required experimental facilities were available for research. I used to complete my experiments and meet him once in a way, only to discuss the results. I would normally work for 8 hours a day, often stretching to 24 hours. The Eureka of my work happened one early morning at 0200 hrs when I rang him up and told him that I had achieved 70% reduction in the drag by making measurements in a low speed wind tunnel. He even drove me and my wife to a conference where he presented our work. Later we published papers in technical journals.
The final result of my research was not only my degree, but 5 papers in journals, more than 15 national and international conference papers and nearly 100 citations. I could also author a book published in Germany on my chosen research topic.
I had the opportunity to spend nearly 3.5 years at University of Regensburg, Germany to complete my PhD thesis in Organic/Medicinal Chemistry. I most admire the Germans for their high quality living style, systematic nature, striving for innovation and maintaining the perfection in anything they do. The infrastructure was great, same with the healthcare. I really enjoyed the countryside and rich heritage that one can see while visiting new places. My experiences about the people in general in Germany are very helpful. My stay in Germany is a memorable one, nothing less than a dream come true. Now, as a DAAD Research Ambassador, I would like to help other people to find such life changing opportunity to go to Germany.
It has been a rewarding and enriching experience, both professionally and personally, to be associated with German Universities, Professors and Students.
I have learned a lot from my German collaborator and mentor, Professor Dr. Hans Ziegler, University of Passau. He has been a great source of support and encouragement for me. His attention to details, in respect of perfection in research, has been phenomenal. He first supported me as a DAAD Fellow in 1995, and subsequently, as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, first in 1996-1997, followed by my follow-up stay from 1998 to 2010.
The German university system also nurtures research collaboration with fellow researchers and professors. I have the privilege of working with Dr. Oliver Holthaus (my dear friend) and Prof. Dr. Rainer Leisten (a great collaborator), University of Duisburg-Essen. Germans are warm and friendly, valuing relationship. Both DAAD and AvH-Stiftung encourage research collaboration, and faculty and student exchange. IIT Madras and Universities of Passau and Duisburg-Essen have strong exchange programs. IIT Madras and University of Passau have a joint PhD program, a unique one – all these are actively supported by DAAD.
I am Faiz Ahmed Khan, Professor of Chemistry at Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad. My first visit to Germany was during 1994 to 1996 to TU Dresden as AvH fellow. My initial stay in Germany was highly rewarding, both professionally as well as personally. Subsequently I joined IIT Kanpur (June 1996) as a faculty member in Department of Chemistry. The academic relationship with German academia continued and led to various fruitful activities over the course of time.
Kalidas Sen (PhD, IIT-Kanpur) F.A.Sc., F.N.A. joined University of Hyderabad in 1977 where he continues serves as a reappointed full professor of chemistry for a period of another three years subsequent to superannuation on 30 June 2013. His research efforts in electronic structure theory have led to the publication of 9 monographs and 196 research papers in prestigious international journals. A recipient of Humboldt, Commonwealth, Fulbright, and NSERC Canada Research Fellowship, he has been selected as the DAAD Research Ambassador, Indo-US Professor of Physics of the American Physical Society, Visiting Fellow of the Office of Naval Research Laboratory, Washington. He has extensively collaborated with fellow scientists from Belgium, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Turkey, USA. He is a J.C. Bose National Fellow till June 2016. Details of his administrative experience and research publications are given in the following pages. He has several collaborative publications with leading German research groups in electronic structure theory from Technical University Darmstadt, University of Erlangen, and University of Frankfurt.
Dr. Sunil Kumar Verma did his doctorate in Molecular Medicine from the University of Oxford, UK. He is currently working as Principal Scientist in the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), located in Hyderabad, India.
In the year 2001, Dr. Verma had invented, along with Dr Lalji Singh, a “Novel Universal Molecular Technology for Wildlife Identification”. This technology later led to the establishment of India’s first ‘National Wildlife Forensic Cell’ in the Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES) to provide the Wildlife Forensics Services to the Nation. This innovation was later honoured with the CSIR Technology Award for Life Science for the year 2008, BioAsia Innovation Award-2009, and most recently, the Meritorious Invention Award of the Year-2009 from NRDC, DSIR, Government of India. This technology is currently being used to establish the identity of confiscated meat, and other animal parts and products to establish the crime with the criminal in the cases pertaining to Wildlife Crime and food purity testing.
Dr. Verma has been honoured with many national, international awards and honours for his contribution to science, to mention a few – The Emerging Forensic Scientist Continental Award from the International Association of Forensics Sciences (IAFS), USA; and the Commonwealth Scholarships of the Commonwealth Commission, UK. Dr. Verma had been the Lindau Fellow during 2003, and most recently he has been admitted as the Fellow of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin and the Research Ambassador of DAAD (German Academic Exchange), to promote the bidirectional research endeavors between India and Germany.
Dr.-Ing. Jyotirmay Mathur is the Professor in Mechanical Engineering and Head of Centre for Energy and Environment at Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur. He is Visiting Senior Research Fellow at University of Bonn. He has done post-graduation in energy studies from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi and doctorate in energy systems from University of Essen. Dr. Mathur has published 55 research papers in referred international journals and has presented over 100 papers/talks international seminars/conference, besides authoring/editing five books in the field of energy. Dr. Mathur works in the field of energy planning and modeling, building energy simulation, energy conservation in buildings and life cycle assessment of renewable energy systems. He has completed several research projects including three international collaborative projects. Current activities of Dr. Mathur include studies on adaptive thermal comfort, energy simulation of buildings, modeling of passive cooling systems, and long term energy system modeling penetration of renewable energy systems and building integrated renewable energy systems. Prof.Dr-Ing. Jyotirmay Mathur gives a lot of credit for his achievements to Germany, where he learnt not only the subject but also modesty and work ethics. He specially acknowledges contribution and support from Prof.Dr. Herman-Josef Wagner, Ruhr University, Bochum, his doctoral supervisor and mentor who additionally taught him how to be a lively, big hearted, caring, forward looking and productive person.
My first interaction with Germany started in 1996 when I joined Max-Planck-Institute for Experimental Medicine, in Göttingen, working on a DFG project as an employee. Having stayed in USA for almost a decade, it was a paradigm shift for me to observe and enjoy German way of doing fundamental and applied science. Association with German collaborators has grown stronger over time and blossomed into deep personal and professional relationships, both in academics and in social life. With a contribution of about a dozen Humboldt Fellows from my own laboratory, joint projects supported by various agencies, and an ongoing Indo-German conference series in chemical sciences, we appreciate and celebrate cooperation with our German colleagues. I look forward to serving as a Research Ambassador to further the cause of India-Germany relations in science disciplines.
Received BE (Electrical Engg.) with Hons. from Jadavpur University, Kolkata in 1990, M.Tech. (IIT Kanpur) in 1992 and PhD(Engg.) as a registered scholar of CSE Dept. of Jadavpur University in 2002. Recipient of the DAAD short term Research Fellowship(1999), served as a Gastwissenschaftler of the KONWIHR program at TU-Muenchen (2002-2003) and twice as DAAD Visiting Professor(Gastdozentur) at Uni-Rostock(2006) and TU-Muenchen(2009-2010). Recipient of prestigious Department of Atomic Energy(DAE) Fellowship during Masters at IIT Kanpur, served as a Scientific Officer in the C&I Division of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd.(NPCIL), at Mumbai, at the Center for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), a Reader and finally a Professor of Power Engineering (present affiliation),as Director of School of Nuclear Studies and Applications of Jadavpur University and presently has an adjunct position at IIT Kanpur. Research Ambassador of DAAD since 2010. Author of several highly cited research publications and reviewer of many international journals.
Dr. Adiga joined Kasturba Medical College as a Lecturer in 1996 and took on a professional responsibility to establish IVF program along with other members in Manipal. He played a key role in achieving first IVF conception in coastal Karnataka which was relatively a new endeavor, and he has brought much reputation and resources to the Institute. Dr Adiga has been coordinating the Clinical Embryology Masters and Doctoral programs where Manipal University claims the credit for the only such specialty in this country. He is an active researcher and has received several prestigious national and international research awards, grants and fellowships including Alexander von Humboldt (AvH) Fellowship in 2007. He has established research collaboration with world class universities and institutions in Germany such as University of Münster, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin and Universitätsfrauenklinik Bonn. The cooperation includes academic and research collaboration in the areas of Clinical Embryology, Oncofertility and Assisted Reproductive Technology, exchange of students & faculty and sponsorship of cooperative seminars, workshops and other academic meetings. Presently, he is a full Professor and Dr TMA Pai Endowment Chair in Human Fertility and Clinical Embryology at Manipal University.
It was summer of 2010, when I started my journey to the whole new world of nice experiences under the umbrella of DAAD sandwich model PhD scholarship. It was fantastic experience on the very first day in Germany to see the remains of Berlin wall. My first three and half month stay in Berlin for German language course helped me to closely learn, interact and adapted to the professional, structured environment and exceptionally beautiful people of Germany. I met wonderful people from different cultural background and made several friends. After my language course, I moved to another spectacular German city, Munich situated in the laps of German Alps. Here, I worked with Prof. Dr Steffen Marburg research group for one year at University of German Armed Forces. My research was focused on “Blast response of structures and its mitigation using advanced lightweight materials”. During this stay and travel in and around the Germany, I learned a lot. These experiences of research and travel in one of the most beautiful part of the world have broadened my horizons beyond limits. I really enjoyed my meals in “Mensa” with my colleagues and discussed several topics during this time. I really miss long travel by bicycle which was common during my stay in Germany. This stay in Germany had certainly proved as a best part of my life and now, as a DAAD Research Ambassador, I wish to help others and want to develop strong research collaboration with German counterparts.
I work in the field of Quantum optics and Quantum gases. I did my PhD from University of Delhi in 1995. Currently I am a UGC-Associate Professor at the School of Physical Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University. I am former Associate of the The Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy and Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, India. I have been the recipient of the ICTP-TRIL (Italy) fellowship and the Endeavour Research Fellowship, Australia. I have worked in Germany at University of Essen, University of Duisburg- Essen, Freie University, Max Planck Institute for Physics of Complex Systems, and Technical University of Berlin through DAAD, DFG and MPG funding. Working in Germany has been always a wonderful experience. The research environment provides an excellent opportunity to interact with many international scientists and to establish collaborations. Each of my visits have enhanced my professional potential. I strongly recommend Germany as an academic destination for young researchers.
I have had my higher education (B.Sc, M.Sc. and Ph.D.) at the Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India. Like all young enthusiastic Ph.D. holders, I too was keen to do postdoctoral work with an eminent person. I applied and subsequently went as an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral fellow with a Director at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart. In Germany, soon I realized I had reached a country whose people were strict followers of rules, defined the word “punctuality” and could be taken on face value. Initially reserved but as they opened-up, one could identify with them in their human qualities. Another quality which I admire in all Germans whom I know personally is the ease with which they accept you along with your way of life. Having worked in Stuttgart, Berlin and Kiel with three distinguished people, excelling in their respective fields in their state-of-art equipped institutes, exposed me to fields which I would have not learnt or even entered otherwise. My research interests are in ion conducting composites, fractal growth, chaos in electrochemical systems and ion track based electronic devices. Currently, I teach Physics at the Delhi University’s Department of Physics and Astrophysics.
Dr. Nilotpal Ghosh
Department of Science and Technology, Science and Engineering Research Board (GOI)
Single Crystal Growth, Magnetism, Superconductivity, Low Temperature Physics, Andreev Reflection , Magnetic Nano particles, Magnetic Memory, Magnetocaloric effect
I did my Ph.D from Physics Department, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in 2004 in the field of Manganites. During my Ph.D, I visited Leibniz-Institute of Solid State and Materials Research, Dresden, Germany in 2002. It was a very useful experience in learning different experimental techniques and theoretical analysis. I did my 1st Postdoc in 2005-06 in Paul Drude Institute of Solid State Electronics, Berlin, Germany in the field of Single Crystal Growth by Float Zone technique. I was involved in the development work of an indigenously designed Image Furnace and Single Crystal Growth of Vanadium Oxide based compounds. I was an Alexander von Humboldt fellow in Nano Spintronics Group, Semiconductor Physics Group, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany in 2006-2008. I worked in the field of Andreev Reflection at Superconductor / Semiconductor and Superconductor / Metal nano junctions. In general, the academic and research environment in Germany was quite friendly, free and motivating. After returning to India I worked as a visiting scientist in the field of FeAs based Superconductors in Low Temperature Studies Section, Material Science Group, IGCAR, Kalpakkam in 2008-2010. I joined VIT University as a faculty in 2010. My present research activity is to work on single crystals of FeAs based Superconductors as a project sponsored by Department of Science and Technology, India. I am associated to S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Kolkata through Extended Visitors Linkage Program where the main work is concentrated on Superconducting Nano wires and Superconductor / Metal nano junctions.
Dr. P. K. Joshi is Professor with School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Earlier has held the positions of Professor and Head of Department of Natural Resources at TERI University, New Delhi. Prior to this, Dr. Joshi spent a decade with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) posted at Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), Dehradun. During this period, he was also adjunct faculty to Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asian and the pacific (CSSTEAP), an UN affiliated institution. His research focuses on applications of RS&GIS for vegetation analysis including landscape and biodiversity characterization and climate change studies. His recent work also extends to application of RS in the renewable energy sector and urban infrastructure. His research contributions have been recognized by the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) and National Academy of Sciences India (NASI) through the award of their highly prestigious Young Scientist Medal (2006) and Young Scientist Platinum Jubilee Award (2009) respectively and many others of similar kind. He has experience of successful supervision and evaluation of graduate research students at PhD and masters levels worldwide. He was visiting faculty to Department of Geography, University of Helsinki, Finland (Spring 2009), Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (YSF&ES), New Haven (Spring 2011) and University of Freiburg, Germany (Spring 2011 – 14). The visit to Chiar for Vegetation Science and Site Classification at the Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources of the University Freiburg has successfully support for joint research and studies through the DAAD, the German Academic Exchange Service supported project “Land-use Related Biodiversity in India”.
Dr. Vasant Matsagar is currently serving as Associate Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi. His major research area include structural engineering. He has been collaborating extensively with several Professors from German Universities since past about six years. The research collaboration through student and researcher exchange has been thankfully supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Moreover, funded research projects are sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF – Bundesministerium for Bildung und Forschung), Government of Germany. Overall, the research collaborations with the German Colleagues has been exceptionally successful, which is quite evident from the extensive scholarly publications resulted from the technologies developed with mutual cooperation.
I am associated with DAAD since 1976 starting as Post Doc tenures in TU Berlin and Bielefeld University to the recent assignment as Guest Professor in 2014. It provided me really good opportunities to interact with German scientists from all the cutting age research areas ,which was very useful in shaping up my career. For the last 15 years I am involved in various DAAD programs in general and WISE /RISE and other scholarship programs in particular, first as DAAD Honorary Advisor and then as DAAD Research Ambassador. I would like to motivate the young undergraduates to participate in the WISE program exposing them to the recent research facilities and opportunities in Germany, which will be useful later on, when they plan to study in Germany. I will continue to encourage young researchers to participate in the collaborative research programs with German scientists under various programs of the German funding agencies. Last but not the least I would like to start/coordinate some programs for the underprivileged students in India for carrying out experiments based on German University models/methods e.g. Teutolab or Lab X) for the betterment in their school career.
– Honorary Advisor of DAAD 2006 -2009
– Initiated a Students‘ group ‚Theatergruppe 001‘: Kafkaesk, Ende des Zeitalters, Übersetzte Welten
– Initiated and organized a number of academic, co-curricular and cultural activities to celebrate the centenary of Teaching of German in Pune and in India 2014
– Organised various activities to support the social-work project ‘Anandwan’ of (late) Hon. Baba Amte
Experience of Collaborating with the German Academia:
– Guest Lectures in various German Universities
– Students’ Exchange Programme with LMU, Munich
– Initiated and conducted collaborative research Programmes like GIP (Göttingen)
– Initiated and conducted Students’ Exchange with the help of DAAD Scholarships:
Göttingen (GIP), Tübingen (ISAP)
– Organized International conferences and workshops
– Invited Guest Professors from Germany
– Collaborative Publications with German Professors
– Guiding Indian Students about Higher Studies in Germany
– Delivered Lectures for German Students, who came to India through ‘New passage to India’
Bangladesh – Dhaka
I completed my B.Sc. (Honors) and M.Sc. degrees in Geology from the Department of Geology, University of Dhaka. With the support of DAAD fellowship, I achieved M.Sc. in Hydrogeology degree from the Eberhard- Karls University of Tuebingen, Germany, and Ph.D. from University of Dhaka in collaboration with Tuebingen University and the United States Geological Survey. I have been working as a Deputy Director, Ground Water Hydrology under Bangladesh Water Development Board. Till now, 40 of my research articles, in the field of hydrogeology, groundwater model and environmental sciences, have been published in reputed journals and as book chapters. I have also edited two books on climate change related issues. For last five years I am the General Secretary of the Alumni Association of German Universities in Bangladesh. My collaborations with German universities in the recent years are as follows:
2013 onwards: Technical University of Darmstadt, Institute of Applied Geosciences (Prof. Christoph Schueth) – Characterization of Multi-layered Aquifers and Model Freshwater-Saline Water Distribution to Support Sustainable Water Supply in the Coastal Areas of Bangladesh and Development of Tailored Water Management Concepts.
2011-2013: University of Bonn (Prof. Clemens Simmer) – Scientific Priority Program Megacities-Mega-challenges: Informal Dynamics of Global Change. University of Tuebingen, Geomicrobiology Group (Prof. Andreas Kappler) and University of Freiberg, Department of Hydrogeology (Prof. Broader Merkel).
Bhutan – Thimphu
I was blessed to receive a DAAD scholarship to pursue my doctoral study in the Centre for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn. ZEF is a heaven for aspiring scholars and intelligentsia to build and sharpen the necessary knowledge, skill and temperament to take on the challenges of the world. Beyond the academics what also impressed me most were the nature of Germans to attend to the details of all tasks and their adherence to quality of products and workmanship. Last, but not least, I found Germany a peaceful and beautiful country to live in.
Nepal – Kathmandu
Prof. Dr. Dhamala is presently working in Central Department of Mathematics, Nepal. He received his Master’s degree in pure mathematics with Gold Medal from Tribhuvan University and M.Sc. nat. in Industrial Mathematics from University of Kaiserslautern. He completed his PhD in Optimization from University of Magdeburg under the supervision of Prof.Dr. Heidemarie Braesel in 2002. He is a Georg Forster Research Fellow for Experienced Researcher under AvH sponsorship in Kaiserslautern with Prof. Dr. Horst W. Hamacher. He received TWAS Award in 2003. He is a Post-Doc from MUN, Canada and has visited research institutes including USA, Japan and South Korea and India. He has published a number of papers in the journals of repute, organized conferences, and been the editor of scientific journals. Prof.Dr. Dhamala sees Germany as one of the most important places for higher education and research. Modelling and solving the real-life problems using optimization, simulation and heuristic algorithms are his main concern. His areas of focus include shop scheduling algorithms, just-in-time sequencing, network flows and contraflow optimization problems. His current research project concerns solving emergency evacuation planning problems. The models are also applicable in everyday busy traffic.
I was born on 21 December 1959 in Biratnagar, Nepal. I completed intermediate in Electrical Engineering from Institute of Engineering, Tribhuvan University, Nepal in 1979 and worked in a private firm as electrical technician. After completing MSc in Civil Engineering with specialization in Hydropower in 1987 from USSR, I taught as lecturer at Institute of Engineering in Nepal and founded an engineering consulting firm. Then I joined Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) as hydropower/environmental engineer for Arun-III hydropower and Lower Arun Hydropower projects during 1988-1994. During that period, I was one of the core group members in drafting National Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines 1992. I received another MSc in Resources Engineering in 1994-96 through DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) scholarship at University of Karlsruhe, Germany where I worked as research assistant for six months before coming back to Nepal and resume my work at NEA in 1997. I was invited by Institute of Water Resources Management, Hydraulic and Rural Engineering (IWK) at University of Karlsruhe to work as Research Engineer in Water and Power Development Authority, Lahore, Pakistan in 1998. I joined the IWK to work on my doctoral dissertation and to conduct experiments in hydraulic laboratory through Rector’s scholarship in 1999. I was employed as Associate Scientist for teaching post-graduate students and continue research for my dissertation at the same Institute in 2000 for a period of 5 years. During that period, I conducted summer schools in Viet Nam and Nepal on behalf of the institute. After the completion of Doctoral Degree in Civil Engineering Science from the same University in 2004, I left the University and worked as founding executive director of a private firm in Germany till February 2006. Due to my strong desire to work for my motherland, I accepted full professorship of Civil Engineering at Kathmandu University (KU) in Nepal in March 2006. Since 2006, I am coordinating the Centre for Excellence in Production and Transportation of Electrical Energy (CEPTE) at KU. I started BE in Geomatics Engineering and BE in Civil Engineering (with specialization in Hydropower) programs in 2007 and 2009 respectively. I was instrumental in founding the Department of Civil and Geomatics Engineering, which I led as Head of Department (2009-2013). Since 2013, I became Associate Dean for Academic and Administrative Affairs of School of Engineering. I am a life member of Nepal-German Academics Association since 1999. It has been a wonderful experience working with German Academia in Germany and in Nepal, which has been instrumental in strengthening my professional career development.
Sri Lanka – Colombo
I am an architect, urban designer, conservator and urban planner, and am currently working as a senior lecturer and program director of Masters Degree in Urban Design in the Department of Architecture, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. I completed my Bachelor of Science in Built Environment and Master of Science in Architecture from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. I was awarded a DAAD scholarship and completed my PhD in the University of Aachen in Urban Renewal in Historic Cities, specializing in urban design and urban conservation. This was a comparative study of cases selected from Germany and Sri Lanka.
My choice – Germany – as the destination for my further studies was a wise decision and I believe Germany is one of the best places to conduct research in my study area. Most importantly, the environment and the setting of the country developed with a great culture that always acknowledges modernism provides excellent conditions to young researchers and academics. The opportunity that I had to learn German language exposing to a unique culture was extremely enjoyable and memorable.
I am currently involved in various collaborative programs of my university and some academic institutions of Germany.
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