The Perfect Conditions for Work and Family

Turkish electrochemist, Dr. Sule Erten-Ela, has travelled extensively within Europe and feels at home in Germany.

From the start of her career, one of the aims of the young scientist, who describes herself as hard-working and ambitious, was to obtain a Humboldt Fellowship. “I would have liked to already apply at the beginning of my studies,” she said. “But I had to first gain sufficient qualification.” The success and academic reputation that she saw in a Humboldt Fellowship were major incentives for the Turkish natural scientist. She also had high expectations for Germany, which she describes as the centre of the European research landscape. She was not disappointed: “I learned a great deal particularly through my exchange with other colleagues.” She wishes to maintain this network in Turkey as a member of the Humboldt alumni association.

Sule Erten-Ela
Humboldt Research Fellow Sule Erten-Ela
Photo: private
 

Before becoming a Humboldt Research Fellow at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), Sule Erten-Ela previously enjoyed fruitful research stays in Switzerland, Austria and Spain. In Germany, the specialist in synthetic chemistry from Ege Üniversitesi in Izmir conducted research in the field of organic photovoltaics within the team led by Professor Dr. Andreas Hirsch. Her aim was to create new carbon-rich molecules and to further develop organic solar cells. “I was very lucky to be able to research within Professor Hirsch’s group, as he is an experienced scientist who knows a great deal about my field of research,” emphasises Erten-Ela. “He was extremely helpful when it came to identifying and resolving problems.”
It was important to her to always have the support of her husband, who encouraged her to apply and accompanied her to Germany with their son. They learned German and overcame the challenges of a stay abroad together. Sule Erten-Ela reads their five-year-old son, who attended a German kindergarten, a bedtime story in German every evening. Learning the language has allowed Erten-Ela to understand German culture and mentality far better. When her son grows up, she would like him to study in Germany. Indeed, perhaps he will even follow in his successful mother’s footsteps.

 

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