Meet an employee at IFA
Monthly contribution from Christina Kjær, postdoc
Briefly explain your path to IFA/AU.
"I started on the physics programme at IFA in the year 2010 and received my PhD in 2019. During my PhD programme, I spent time at the School of Chemistry at The University of Melbourne. Since then, I have been employed as a postdoc in Lars H. Andersen's group and now at in the group of Steen Brøndsted, where I do research within gas phase spectroscopy, particularly fluorescence spectroscopy."
Mention three things that you appreciate about your work.
"I appreciate that I work in a team where we collaborate well and together solve major and minor challenges. To interact with the students and have them in the laboratory. In addition, I think it's great that we're always developing something new – typically an instrument upgrade, so we can make new types of measurements or improve the current ones."
What is your most proud work achievement?
"I have helped build an instrument that can measure fluorescence from cold molecular ions isolated in vacuum (LUNA2). I was part of the whole process, from the start of design thinking, setting up detectors, optics, software, etc., to measure the first signal. It was both exciting and challenging! With the instrument, we can measure both absorption and emission from molecular ions, and use the spectra to understand how the electronically estimated potential energy surface looks and what affects a molecule's light emission."
Where is your favorite spot at IFA?
"It must be the balcony on the seventh floor at the "Sky Lounge" meeting room, where the physical Friday bar previously was located. The view over the water and the city is just awesome."
What do you do in your spare time?
"I have two small children one under 1 year and the other just under 2.5 years, so (almost) all my time is spent on building LEGO, digging in sandboxes or reading stories about Peppa Pig. In addition, I'm always in a good mood when I spend time in my greenhouse. Tomato and cucumber plants have a relaxing effect on me, so I'm really looking forward to spring."