Who I am and what I do
I received my Ph.D. in Natural Sciences from the Johannes Gutenberg University,
Mainz, Germany, in 2004 and have been a collaborating scientist with the
NASA Mars Exploration Rover Project since 2002. Currently I am Research Director
of the Tasmanian Information and Communication Technologies, Australian
Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization (CSIRO). My
current research focuses on the near real-time data & information systems
and on Martian geochemistry.
I'm also actively involved in adapting and
applying sensors developed for Martian exploration on different outdoor
applications, including archaeology and atmospheric and marine environmental
What helped me prepare for this job
As an undergrad I studied physics, electrical and mechanical engineering. I think
this was a good combination for me since it was a good foundation for all the
broad research approaches needed for my current research challenges. Being involved
in research since my early years of my undergrad was important to learn the basics
of the scientific method and starting publishing the results of my research soon
in my career.
When I was in school I studied electrical engineering. Then I moved to physics
and later I did my M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering. In 200 I started my Ph.D.
with Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Guetlich in Mainz. There I had the privilege to work
with Dr. Klingelhofer, head of the MIMOS team that developed miniaturised Mossbauer
spectrometers. These instruments were sent to Mars on ESA's Mars Express (Beagle
II) and on MER. The project of producing miniaturised spectrometers started many
years before with Prof. Dr. Kankaleit from Uni-Darmstadt where Dr. Klingelhoefer
did his grad studies and continued his ambitions project.
I started working for a mining company called Vale in Brazil
in 2002 waiting for the spectrometers to be sent to Mars and have some
data from Mars in my Thesis. Meanwhile I started exploring some industrial
applications of MIMOS II. I am now working at CSIRO
in Hobart Tasmania applied some miniaturised sensors in Marine environmental
studies. My feets are on Earth (or See), and my mind on Mars...
What I like most about my job
I like to explore the unknown. Working with other scientists and delivering on
great projects in Hobart is fantastic. I like the intellectual work around scientific
publications and to present the results of years of study.