Noverra M. Nizardo gained her Bachelor degree at the Universitas Indonesia and pursued her Master degree in Polymer Science in Germany. She did her Doctoral degree at the Universität Potsdam from 2014 to 2018, focusing on the field of polymer chemistry. Today, she works at the Department of Chemistry, Universitas Indonesia as a lecturer and as the Head of Organic Chemistry division. Thereby she is predestined for our new "Research Alumni" networking group. Here, scientists who were at the University of Potsdam and are now doing research worldwide will be able to build a common network. In the following interview, Ms. M. Nizardo tells us about her memories of her time at the University of Potsdam and about her successful career after her doctorate.
Ms. M. Nizardo, you are now working at the Universitas Indonesia as a lecturer and scientist - do you sometimes think back to your time at the University of Potsdam, your studies and doctorate there?
Certainly! Most of my lectures are related to polymers and organic chemistry which the knowledge I obtained mainly from my studies at the University of Potsdam. In addition, my research topic is also a development from the topic of my Ph.D. studies. Hence, what I mean with the knowledge, is not limited only to a theory but also a skill to work in the lab. In this respect, I am happy that I can transfer my knowledge and skills to the students at Universitas Indonesia.
How do you assess the situation for foreign students at the University of Potsdam? Did you feel well supported?
Well, I believe that every beginning is difficult. But fortunately, many people at the University of Potsdam helped me a lot. The members of my professor’s research group created such a welcoming atmosphere and were also very supportive. Not to forget that I was lucky to experience previously my master degree also in Germany which brought a huge benefit for me to adjust to the situation very quickly.
How would you rate the professional education at the University of Potsdam? Do you think that your doctorate at the University of Potsdam contributed to the success of your further career?
One of the many things about the education system in Germany that I recognize is its specialty in a certain field. In my case, I knew if I wanted to have a professional education in regard to polymer chemistry, the University of Potsdam has it. Additionally, by taking advantage of all the experiences I earned during my studies, my doctorate at the University of Potsdam contributed to the success of my academic career, in particular, to become a good lecturer and a researcher.
Since the beginning of your studies, you focused on polymer chemistry. What accounts for your interest and enthusiasm for this field and where do you see its current relevance and potentials?
My interest in polymer chemistry has begun since my bachelor degree. We are surrounded by many materials consisting of polymers for various applications. That is why I am always curious about polymer chemistry. I think, the challenge for polymer chemists nowadays is to respond to the need for new material(s) which satisfy sustainable development goals. For instance, materials that can substitute the consumption of petroleum. I am confident that the potential of this field (polymer chemistry) is still high.
You have studied and earned your doctorate abroad - is there anything you might want to pass on to other students who are also planning such a path?
Yes, I would like to say, do not give up on pursuing your dream to study abroad. If you have a chance to do it, just go for it! This will become the most valuable experiences for you to improve your academic skills as well as your character.
Do you still feel connected to your Alma Mater?
Definitely! I still feel connected to my Alma Mater, in particular when my students ask me about possible universities in Germany to learn polymers. Furthermore, I am planning to collaborate in lectures or research in the future with my Alma Mater.