I developed my passion for teaching through my love to write with chalk on the blackboard in grade 1. At that time, I liked the idea of writing that can be easily wiped away. I asked my parents, who were both professors, to get me a board at home and on my 7th birthday, I got the gift I asked for. The board had another white side, where magnetic letters could be put on. I started to spend hours with that board and soon I discovered how wonderful it is to teach my younger brother the wonders of materials on one and the same board.
Today, and 40 years later, I look back and realize what my parents have done. They encouraged that little teacher in me and saw my potential. They have helped me side by side throughout my journey from choosing to become a chemist who pursued studies abroad. During my Master’s and PhD at the Technical University in Munich, Germany, I developed my enthusiasm towards organometallic materials. I moved on to learn about more materials at the same university, like construction materials, and later related to the oil and gas field at the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi, today Khalifa University, in the United Arab Emirates. My knowledge in catalytic materials and related applications has reached another level through the Fulbright fellowship at the University of Maryland, College Park, my collaborations with the University of Oxford, University of Twente, the INRS in Canada, and many partners at the Technical University in Munich.
Today I am the Chair Professor of the chemistry division working with many different materials related to engineering applications. My two daughters, Dina (24) and Lara (9) are the sunshine in my life. I try to involve them in my activities through participation in seminars and workshops that are in many aspects gender- and/ or science-related. I hope that I can pave the way for them towards a better world that empowers them and discovers their potential, just as much as my parents did to that little girl.