We are pleased to welcome Laura Christina Folkers in the STOE Team. She joins us from the University of Dresden, Germany, where she performed research on new topological isolators. Before that, she received her PhD from Lund University, Sweden, and her master’s degree at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. Laura is responsible for Customer Relations – Science and Technology and will in such role be present at many conferences to meet you in person. Today, we have taken the opportunity to ask Laura a few questions already:

Which activities are you especially excited about in your new role at STOE?
I think I am most excited about travelling to conferences where I can meet our users in person. Moreover, I am thrilled to learn about the plethora of research questions our users have and get to know many more fields of research.

Before working at STOE, what was the most unusual or interesting task you’ve ever had?
I appeared in the Swedish TV show “Fråga Lund”. In this show we conducted a small “experiment” which allowed you to hold a flame in the palm of your hand. This resulted in my colleagues claiming that I set one of Sweden’s most famous TV hosts on fire.

What has been your favorite project in your academic career?
Actually, I had two projects that I referred to as “my baby”. Since I can’t pick my favourite child, I’ll tell you about both. The first one was my bachelor thesis project where I tried to crystallise various hydrides of silver halides. This was the project during which I learned all my basics in crystallography and conducted my first X-ray measurements. Additionally, I had the chance to try whatever I saw fit to synthesize the crystals, had an excellent library at hand and some additional nice equipment like a special dewar to pick crystals in a cold nitrogen flow.
The second project was one of my PhD projects. In this project I was working on the synthesis and structure elucidation of AuIn. I learned a completely new synthesis technique, solid state syntheses, wrote my first beam time application and my first scientific publication and learned to service our X-ray machines. I was also the leader and driving force behind a project, which allowed me to develop a lot as a scientist and a person.

What is your favorite chemical substance?
Although being an inorganic chemist, my favorite substance is diethyl ether, because it looks like a little bat.

If you’d have to recommend three books, which would they be?
Paula – Isabel Allende
The Crow Girl – Erik Axl Sund
The Illustrated Man – Ray Bradbury