Networking in the Ruhr Valley - JCF meets Evonik
Katharina is deputy spokesperson of the YoungChemistForum (JCF) – the youth organization of the German Chemical Society (GDCh) – and a Chemistry PhD student. In our networks@Evonik blog, she tells us about her tasks and work at the JCF and why the collaboration with Evonik is also interesting for her as a PhD student.
my name is Katharina and I am happy to tell you a little bit about the network JCF - the YoungChemist Forum. I am the deputy spokesperson of the JCF Bochum and, as part of the speaker team, I am responsible for the coordination of our projects. I became interested in the network through the participation of a former PhD student from my faculty and I found the idea of organizing lectures, excursions, company visits or conferences by students for students very exciting. During my master thesis, however I had no time to get involved in the work of JCF. When I then started my PhD, I thought to myself "now or never" and, in December 2016, I attended my first monthly meeting of the JCF. In the beginning, it took me a while to get an overview of the different projects but, once I was involved in the planning, I enjoyed working at the JCF very much.
The work at the JCF often involves organizing (popular) scientific guest lectures, but also excursions and even small symposia. We are also committed towards encouraging children and young people to take an interest in science, , e.g., by visiting a kindergarten in Bochum every year or by attending the "Study Information Day" organized by the Leos, the youth organization of the Lions Club, at a secondary school in Herne. As you can see, the work is very diverse and provides a good balance for me with the daily work in the lab as a PhD student.
During the preparations for the 9th Young Chemistry Symposium Ruhr (JCS Ruhr) in October 2018 at the Ruhr University Bochum, first encountered Evonik. As part of the sponsoring team, it was my job to win companies as (sponsoring) partners for the JCS, and thus make the realization of the symposium possible. Evonik has already sponsored the JCS for many years and, in 2018, Evonik continued to support us as a reliable partner. As part of my work at JCF Bochum, I have been in direct contact with Evonik for over a year now. Thanks to this close contact, the JCF Bochum and interested master's or PhD students from the Ruhr University Bochum had the opportunity to visit the Evonik site in Marl – the Chemical Park Marl – as part of an excursion. During this visit, we got to know Evonik Industries, the Chemical Park and Creavis - Evonik's strategic innovation unit. The visit to Creavis was a particular highlight for me because we had the opportunity to get to know exclusive knowledge about innovative Creavis projects through direct discussions with the project managers of the Creavis.
Evonik is, of course, also attractive to me as a future employer and I, particularly, appreciate company visits like these because they give you an exclusive insight into the company. I was especially interested in the wide-ranging and future-oriented research areas of Evonik, which ranges from "Resource Efficiency" to "Nutrition & Care" to "Performance Materials”. I think the global connection of sites, which enables cooperation in international teams and research groups, as well as the opportunities for personal development and career progress within Evonik, are very exciting. Another big plus that speaks for Evonik as an employer, apart from all the facts and figures, is the working atmosphere and interpersonal relationships that inspire me again and again. And this fact is perhaps the most important element in keeping me motivated and successful in the long term.
Im networks@Evonik-Blog berichten Mitglieder aus Netzwerken mit denen Evonik zusammenarbeitet, über ihre Erfahrungen mit dem Netzwerk und die Arbeit mit Evonik.