And last but not least, a doctorate, or PhD as it’s known in Switzerland. At the Paul Scherrer Institute, a multidisciplinary research facility for natural sciences and engineering, she conducted basic research on solid-state oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). “I did my PhD at the intersection of solid-state physics, solid-state chemistry and materials science,” she says. It gained her recognition as one of the top graduates.
In answer to a request to describe in simple words the content and findings of her several years of research, she says: “Just imagine Lego bricks.” Simply put: Working with other researchers, she was able to disprove the theory that crystal lattice dislocation decisively increases electrolyte conductivity and fuel cell efficiency.
Following her PhD, her thirst for adventure and an inquiring mind lured her to Japan. As a postdoctoral researcher at one of the country’s most prestigious state universities in the city of Fukuoka, she again conducted basic research for a year, this time addressing how crystal lattice dislocation in the cathode of the SOFC affects oxygen fission and uptake. Abitur (high-school diploma) under her belt, she’d previously spent a year overseas – as an au pair in England. Back then, one of the reasons was: “As a scientist, you must be able to speak really good English.”