Which research topics are you focused on in your working group?
Our focus is on the chemistry of construction materials. It includes the reactions and material properties of cementitious materials as well as other inorganic binder materials (e.g., gypsum or so-called alkali-activated materials). To optimize the properties of the materials at hand, we work on functional molecules and polymers, which either control crystallization pathways or modify interfacial properties within the material (e.g., dispersants). Therefore, we combine synthetic chemistry (mainly solution polymers, functional molecules, and nanophases) with the physicochemical characterization of the temporal development of viscoelastic material properties (rheology, calorimetry, material testing, XRD, etc.).
How is the schedule and content of a research internship designed at your working group?
After the topic has been determined, the exact working schedule can be flexibly adjusted depending on the current situation. Preferably, the lab works should be completed within one block of 4-6 weeks.
Which synthetical methods are used for the respective topics?
It depends on the topic. In general, we are interested in radical polymerization, aqueous nanophase synthesis, crystallization of hydrate phases, and the high-temperature solid-state synthesis of inorganic binder phases.
Is a progress/final talk about the research internship planned?
We have not implemented a fixed routine yet. Nonetheless, it is definitely encouraged.
With which working groups are overlapping topics possible?
Since we are a very young group here at TUM, there are no longstanding collaborations yet. But there are certainly many exciting opportunities with the TUM chemistry community, which will unfold in the future.
How and in what way can one apply for a research internship at your working group?
You are welcome to contact any of my coworkers or me directly in any form you prefer – phone, email, or a visit to our group.
What kind of previous knowledge is required for a research internship at your working group?
Obviously, basic skills in inorganic, physical, and organic chemistry are necessary. Apart from that, there are no strict requirements. However, it would be beneficial to have a background in the field of cementitious materials, polymers, and/or colloids.
Can a research intership be expanded to a master’s thesis?
How much cake does your chair expect?
A cake is always appreciated but never ‘a must’.
Is it an advantage of small working groups, that there is more cake for everyone?
Absolutely. But please take into account that we can be very hungry.