Moritz Casper Schlegel, a senior scientist at Federal Institute under the Government of Germany visited Nepal recently. Here is the talk of the scientist with the Editor-in-chief of the magazine Nischal Shrestha and Managing editor Subash Sharma.
-Is this your first visit to Nepal?
Yes, this is my first visit. I wanted to be here but it took long time. I am happy, I am here now.
-So, you are working as a senior scientist at BAM in Germany. Can you tell us more about BAM?
BAM is a federal institute. The daughter Company of Ministry of Economics of German Government. It is a federal institute for materials research and testing. Actually the institute is focused in research and testing both. Half the people are involved in research and the other half in testing. So, if we want to develop or bring some new material in the market, it should be proved safe.
-How did you pass your childhood?
I was born in Hannover, Germany. It is a half million citizen city. I have a big brother. He is a teacher. I studied until Class 10 in Hannover.
-And, your higher education?
I studied earth science in my Bachelor’s degree after completing my higher secondary school and I did my master’s in material science. Then after my master’s degree I moved to Berlin, the place I am living right one to start my PhD in chemistry. After my PhD, I went to Helmholtz center in Berlin and completed my postdoc there and worked for physics. So, from the education, it is widespread. I have been involved in different kinds of research fields but each field for some couple of years.
-Did you know you wanted to be scientist?
Actually I wanted to study graphical design. After applying in different universities for a year, I took a look for a free course and I ended up with science. This is how I got into science. So, it was accidental but now I am very happy that I choose science.
-For the students of the developing countries like us, what are the opportunities in Germany?
At BAM most of the positions are for the postdocs. There are many institutes and many different programs targeted for the undergraduates and graduates students. I have heard that universities too have many programs for these students. There is some kind of internship program in Helmholtz center where you have to fill the application in the program you are interested. They select the applicants and provide financial support too. Other type of opportunities can be summer schools. There are different topics in which summer schools are held lasting 2 to 3 weeks generally. In this program, financial support is provided. Besides these, a Government project DAAD is famous for student exchange program. For this teachers or professors have to apply and students of different universities work in collaboration.
-What are your future plans?
I would like to go back to science. I would like to continue my research, probably in 2 or 3 years. I am feeling well what I am doing. Do my job until I retire. So, there is nothing so special.