Scientists at the MPIE

The Alexander von Humboldt Society supports excellent researchers from outside Germany with an up to two years scholarship to continue their work in a German research institution of their choice. Currently, 11 Humboldt research fellows take this opportunity and are working at the MPIE. The researchers, mainly postdoctoral students and senior scientists, work in the different departments of the institute, each one following their own research project.

Asking them why they decided to come to the MPIE and continue their research here, the answer is often similar: “The MPIE is well known when it comes to materials science and the dense infrastructure provided here is difficult to find somewhere else”, so Dr. Surendra Makineni, who is a postdoctoral researcher originally from India, but joining the MPIE after a research stay at the University of Michigan, USA. He is currently trained on the MPIE’s atom probes, as this technique of analysing a material down to the atomic scale is just evolving in India.

“The close link between basic research on the one hand and industrial application on the otherhand, is what really attracted me to choose this institute”, says Dr. Olga Kasian, who is currently working in the field of electrocatalysis and originally comes from Ukraine.

The MPIE Humboldt community (from left to right): Raheleh Hadian, Xiankang Zhong, Hong Luo, Olga Kasian, Seok Su Sohn, Xu Zhang, Sai Tang, Jianjun Li and Surendra Makineni (missing: Fengkai Yan and Xufei Fang).

“What surprised me when I started at the MPIE is the fact that people from different departments are working so closely together and discussing scientific topics even when they are not directly linked to their own research. This opens up totally new point of views and can be very beneficial. I would like to apply this way of management when I get back to China”, explains Dr. Fengkai Yan.

Besides science, the Humboldt researchers also gathered many impressions of Germany and Düsseldorf: “Honestly, back in China, online payment is much more convenient and online shopping as well”, admits Fengkai, “in China we just show a QR code on our mobile phones to any cashier, and this is how you pay. No credit card, no pin codes.” At the same time both Fengkai and Surendra enjoy the good public transport system here in Germany and like the green sides of Düsseldorf which remind them of villages in their home countries.

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