Tell us a bit about youself!
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small & scenic village close to Heidelberg, located in one of Germany’s most sunny areas, the “southern mountain road” (Südliche Bergstraße)
What is your interest growing up?
When I was a little boy, I was interested in loads of stuff: architecture, knights, space travel,… and basically a lot of Lego. Later came books, music and tech, graphic design, videography and programming.
Share that quirky side of yours, what is it?
Occasionally doing remixes of (in)famous songs in a DJ collective called “DJ Harald Soundsystem”.
What is your experience prior to joining EPA?
As an undergraduate, I completed two B.Sc. in environmental and in industrial engineering, only after doing a short excursion to European art history and German philology. After interning in the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, a consultancy and an oil company in the UAE, I decided that combining technology and policy should be the focus of my Master studies.
What led you to joining EPA? Your expectations of EPA?
When researching for my (best case international) Masters, I stumbled upon this unique programme combining policy and technology unlike any other programme I’ve seen before. I was excited from the beginning, thinking the curriculum is exactly what I have been looking for: Solving grand challenges with a combination of state-of-the-art technology and the social aspects inherent to every problem.
How does it align with your interest(s), are the expectations met?
In short, I think it fairly simple: The more perspectives present, the better policy-making can be. In that way, EPA is an umbrella to my interests and provides different methods and tools to deal with the ever-increasing complexity of this world. Having such tools to deal with uncertainty and messy problems, we are learning to navigate a world that seems to be in the midst of many unprecedented revolutions: climate change, a global pandemic, and digitalization, to name a few.
What is the most exciting opportunity that you have been working on since EPA?
There have been many exciting things I worked on right from the beginning. Be it actor models of nuclear waste disposal, epidemiological modelling of the intersection of HIV and tuberculosis, an agent-based model for regional energy transition in the Metropolitan region Rotterdam Den Haag or a mobile game for sustainable behavior change, I got insights in so many things and methods. Right now, for my Master thesis, I am working to aggregate citizen’s voices in urban with the help of natural language processing. That’s hopefully something that proves to be helpful for urban/spatial planners to reach out for more public participation in the long run.
How would you describe the impact you’d like to make after EPA?
Going into public service, aiming to use the skills taught for sustainable change. Where and how exactly is quite uncertain (Level 3, probably).
And any messages, advice to current/ prospective EPA students out there?
If you’re interested in something, you’re given every opportunity to take initiative and to go for it! In the meantime, don’t forget that Uni isn’t everything either and things appear bigger the closer you are.