Adelina-Elisa Olbrich hosts an event for scientific exchange in Adlershof
There should be more networking. A place where “one can talk about research in an unconventional way.” Beyond the boundaries of one’s own professional world. This is particularly important in Adlershof, which unites such a multitude of talent, skills, and disciplines in a limited space. This idea, says Adelina Elisa Olbrich, “had been smouldering for a while” when a solution started to take shape last December.
At the time, she had been here for three years and had taken root. Her work at the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM), her dissertation project, and her Sunday running route in a small woodsy part of Köllnische Heide – none of it had lost any of its appeal. But there was still room for another new project in her life. And so she launched the event series “Science Café Adlershof” at the MoPS café (short for “Motorenprüfstand”, the historic engine testing stand), a student meeting centre on Newtonstrasse.
The idea: Bringing together young researchers on every second Tuesday of every month. Every session, two participants give an “accessible” presentation of their research or another discipline-specific topic that they are passionate about, “then discussion ensues.” She is the initiator of the café, manages it completely by herself, and made a conscious decision to host it in an informal meeting place and not a lecture hall. The atmosphere was supposed to be casual and the café a “safe haven for young people” who want to try out new things.
Olbrich calls herself “a big fan of the natural sciences”. Her inspiration to pursue the subject stemmed from a “fantastic” chemistry teacher at her school in Hamm in Westphalia. She followed it up with a bachelor’s and master’s degree, specialising in analytical chemistry, and, in early 2020, the move to Adlershof. Her goal is to complete her dissertation, which is based on research at the BAM laboratory, come summer.
What interests her is the issue of how individual cells interact with different materials in their direct vicinity. For example, what happens during corrosion that is induced by microbes, or when bacteria use steel for their metabolism? What elements do they interact with, and which ones do they absorb? Olbrich wants to “shed more light on this”.
For the doctoral researcher, Adlershof is not just a place of work, but also the place where she lives. She enjoys the close-by grove and the short distance to the lab. She volunteers as a food saver here and was the food saving ambassador for the Treptow-Köpenick district for two years. The organisation “foodsharing” makes sure food close to its expiration date does not land in the bin. She plays volleyball, is an active triathlete, practises Yoga, and fully absorbs Berlin’s cultural offerings: “You will often see me at classical concerts, theatres, and the opera.”
And now the science café, too. “It’s going pretty well.” On average, about 15 interested guests from various disciplines meet up at MoPS. There is also no lack of people offering to give presentations: “The people were glad something like this existed.” Olbrich is not yet sure where she will go after finishing her degree. One thing is for sure: As long as she lives in Berlin, she will continue to tend to her Science Café event.
Dr. Winfried Dolderer for Adlershof Journal