In the Zernike Institute Advent Calendar, we are presenting 24 short spotlights in December. In these specials, we highlight PhD students, postdocs, support staff and technicians of our research groups and team - providing a glimpse in their typical day at work. In Episode 11 meet Dr. Dominic Gerlach, research technician in Petra Rudolf's Surfaces and Thin Films group.
Since starting here in 2019 as a research technician in Petra Rudolf's Surfaces and Thin Films department I have been operating and keeping our lab equipment running.
I like helping PhD students and collaborators with their projects and guide them how to design the experiment to get optimal results, teaching them on the equipment and how to interpret and analyze the resulting data.
Additionally I try to help with and discuss everyday challenges during their journey towards graduation. Having a PhD myself I can understand and relate to most of the problems and try giving good advice.
Before, I was working 5 years as a postdoc at a Japanese research institute (National Institute of Material Science) and there experienced different cultures and ways of approaching problems. I met postdocs and PhD students from all parts of the world and learned about cultural differences and how to approach people with different mind-set.
This helps a lot here in this international environment.
I realized that working with technical staff who understand the requirements for the research project and later publication helps significantly with efficient planning of the experiments, which often resulted in better output and use of time.
I aspire to be this person for the new generation of students and collaborators.
Currently my experimental focus is on x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy but I also like to design and set up new systems, maintain and upgrade aging equipment and automate processes with the help of microcontrollers and programming.
Contact: Dr. Dominic Gerlach
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