I’m Christian, I’m from Germany, and I’m performing research in the field of wood durability, wood modification, and wood protection. I started my academic life at the University of Hamburg, where I studied wood science and followed up with a doctoral thesis on service life prediction of wood products exposed outdoors. During that time I worked for both, Hamburg University and the Federal Research Centre for Forestry and Forest Products (BFH, nowadays the Thünen Institute of Wood Research).
In the year 2007 I moved slightly towards the South and started as post doc at Leibniz University in Hannover. Besides lecturing for students in Technical Education with subjects wood, building and coating technology I worked on establishing new facilities for durability testing of wood and other bio-based building materials under laboratory and field conditions. It was quite some fun to do this in direct neighborhood to the Royal Gardens in Hannover-Herrenhausen. In close collaboration with the local rabbit population we worked on new graveyards and more comfortable sun decks.
Hannover is the capital city of Lower Saxony, the state where I was born, grown up and where I am still living with my family in a small village on the countryside. This has ever been and will probably always be the place to relax and to clear my mind. I love to be outside in the forest together with my dog, observing wildlife, hunting deer, or fishing trout and pike. This passion is seemingly linked to my preference for field testing. Unfortunately, this is frequently connected to wet clothes from pouring rain, dirty fingers from slimy animals, or frozen feet from monitoring structures in deepest winter. Consequently, not all of our student research assistants are sharing this passion with me.
In the rare case of weather conditions that do not allow leaving the wood stove in the lodge it is still possible to indulge another passion - Painting wildlife motives and landscapes with acrylic artist colors assuring sufficient service life even under outdoor conditions.
I am following IRG since 2004 when I attended my first Annual Meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Later on, I had the chance to act as convener of sessions related to WP 2.1 ‘Prediction of Service Life’ that actually fully covered my research interests. Currently, I am vice chair of section 2 ‘Test Methodology and Assessment’, member of the Communication Committee, and as a part-time job nanny for the IRG-WP Durability Database
Why I never stopped attending IRG meetings? – That’s quite difficult to tell: Maybe it is because of the exciting pirate stories told in the evenings. Maybe the funny bus trips, the knobby sea food, the ice cube fights, the jungle tours, the pub-less deserts or simply the world’s most famous million dollar cruise…
More likely it is the great spirit of IRG and the many fantastic people linked to excellent science during annual meetings!
This bio was written for the April 2016 IRG newsletter.