I grew up in a rural area in the north west of Germany. West Germany, actually, as it was called back then. International people might have heard of Hermann the German – that’s the tribesman that vanquished the Romans in the battle of the Teutoburg Forest. To commemorate Hermann’s stopping the spread of a more developed civilization, the Germans errected a gigantic statue around where I lived. It is rather pretty.
Educationally, I first made a large tour through Germany before going abroad. I briefly studied in Marburg to become a high school teacher in physics and history, but abandoned that endeavour to get a B.Eng in Microtechnology in Zwickau. Having been exposed to cutting edge solar cell research at the Fraunhofer IPMS in Dresden, I then went to study Nanotechnology as M.Sc in Erlangen – with a memorable Erasmus term in Linköping (Sweden). Ever since I have loved being around international people.
Coming from a working class family, I did not even know what a university really was when I finished school – let alone what doctors do if they don’t practice medicine. It has thus never really been my plan to get anywhere specific with my studies and I certainly never considered getting a doctorate.
I almost managed to go abroad for my doctorate. In the end, I did a super-exciting binational doctorate in Groningen (Netherlands) and Erlangen. That allowed me to have a foot in two research groups and it exposed me to a lof of different topics at the same time. It also awoke my calling to become a spectroscopist.
Travelling back and forth a lot was exciting and nice for my parents (because my home town lies in between those two cities), but it was also exhausting. I thus stayed on in Groningen for a first postdoc before moving over to Cambridge – just in time for Brexit to take effect and for a very long Covid lockdown. Great fun!
At the end of May 2023 was appointed assistant professor for Experimental Semiconductor Physics Chemnitz University of Technology, and I am currently transitioning my centre of mass from Cambridge back to Germany.
Honours and Achievements
2023 Asst. Prof. Exp. Semiconductor Physics TU Chemnitz
2022 Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship
2021 College Research Associate, Sidney Sussex
2021 DAAD Short Term Fellowship
2019 DFG Research Fellowship
2018 Doctorate Materials Science/Physics, University of Groningen & FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg
2013 M. Sc. Nanotechnology, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg
2011 B. Eng. Microtechnology, WHZ Zwickau
2007 University Entrance Diploma, Marianne-Weber Gymnasium, Lemgo