The Leibniz IPHT researcher heads the Bunsen Society’s junior researcher organization since May 2021

Two young female researchers have been heading the Bunsen Society’s young scientists‘ organization since May: Maria Wächtler from Leibniz IPHT and Katharina Meyer from Georg August University Göttingen. „The young Physical Chemists“ (yPC) are an ideal platform for researchers at the beginning of their careers who want to build up a network – both within the scientific community and in industry,“ says their newly elected spokesperson Maria Wächtler.

In her research group „Quantum Confined Nanostructures“, Maria Wächtler investigates the fundamentals of light-driven processes using time-resolved spectroscopic methods. Promoting the exchange of scientists among each other is a matter of concern to her. For the 2019 Bunsentagung in Jena and online this year, she organized the young scientists program together with the yPC; last year, she brought together researchers from physics, chemistry, biology, materials and life sciences at the 714th Heraeus Seminar to discuss different spectroscopic approaches.

„I myself have found the Bunsen Society incredibly helpful in building my network,“ Maria Wächtler recounts, „especially among younger researchers. For that, as a speaker, I would now like to give something back.“ She hopes that the Corona situation will soon allow her to resume the „yPC meets Industry“ series launched by the previous team, which aims to make it easier for young scientists* to establish contacts with companies.

The next conference is also already being planned. Under the motto „Communicating the Future“, the young Physical Chemists (yPC) will be present for the first time at the spring symposium of the Young Chemists Forum (JCF) of the German Chemical Society (GDCh) – together with the young German Physical Society (jDPG) and the Junior Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (jGBM). It will be held in Hannover from March 22 to 26, 2022. 

Topics such as diversity and the compatibility of family and career are also on Maria Wächtler’s agenda. But above all, of course, her shared passion for chemistry: „It is the basis for everything that surrounds us, for all the processes of life.“ For Maria Wächtler, this is the fascination of her subject. What drives her? „The desire to generate knowledge that makes our lives better. In terms of my specific research, that means creating the foundations for climate-friendly energy generation with sunlight.“