Group Philosophy

In our group we study catalysis and interfaces with novel theoretical approaches. We develop and apply electronic-structure theory and various simulation techniques to arrive at theoretical models that provide a realistic picture of the systems studied. We are fascinated by these topics and are committed to invest our time, effort and knowledge stemming from diverse backgrounds to tackle these challenges. Since few of our goals can be reached with our expertise alone, we strive for fruitful collaborations and partners can expect that we show strong commitment to joint projects. As an academic research group at a public institution, we value both research and teaching and wish to be held accountable to the highest standards in both areas. With an infrastructure that allows us to perform cutting-edge calculations, we strive to develop and apply computational methods at the frontier of todays possibilities. We are aware of the privilege to have the possibility to follow our passion and the responsibility that grows from it.

This awareness leads to a set of scientific and moral standards we hold on to. We provide the data and tools to reproduce results we report and acknowledge that negative results are also crucial for progress. We do science with highest integrity and honesty and wish to be held accountable to these standards. We give credits to prior work that allows us to contribute our solutions. In addition, we aim to solve problems of high relevance, both for science and society. Our interaction with each other and others in general is characterized by mutual respect, tolerance, and appreciation. In a globalized world where wealth, risk, participation, and opportunities are still unequally distributed, we strongly believe in the necessity to make research accessible through open access publications, open-source licensing models and affirmative action.

We further acknowledge that we are not only scientists with similar goals, but also a group of individuals with diverse backgrounds, motivations, problems, beliefs and needs. With this in mind, we strive to be supportive, respectful, and empathetic. In our professional and private interactions we are genuine and honest and we seek to adapt our support, appreciation and criticism to the needs and expectations of our conversation partners. We foster an inclusive, productive and collaborative work culture where different backgrounds are seen as an asset rather than a limitation. To turn any criticism into an opportunity to learn, we communicate criticism in a constructive and positive manner. We extend the curiosity we have regarding scientific questions to the points of view others may have while respecting each other’s personal space and boundaries. We strongly reject toxic competition and aim to acknowledge everyone and everything that supports us on our scientific path.

As a diverse team of scientists, we are committed to fostering an inclusive environment that respects individuals regardless of their nationality, beliefs, gender, or romantic preferences. We all work together naturally to strive for a better understanding of the physical reality we live in and provide solutions for urgent problems. It is our hope that by providing an example where this diversity is not just tolerated but appreciated and supported, we can be a role model for society as a whole. We hence strive to make our science accessible, counter misinformation, and promote critical thinking.