The Power List 2017
Professor Emeritus, Analytical Chemistry, University of Vienna, Austria.
Advice to my younger self
Stay curious in all directions. Get a solid fundamental background in your field. Do not make easy compromises. Find a unique scientific niche. Make post-doc and sabbatical stays abroad, but not in exactly the same field, thus broadening your knowledge and views in many very valuable ways. Try to be an entrepreneur and believe in yourself; it makes you more independent and less open to attacks. An analytical chemist is often the interphase between different disciplines – try to analyze the problem, the task, before actually measuring (analyzing) certain components.
My first post-doc stay with my wife and two little schoolboys was in the USA (1978/79). Simultaneously, we all learnt to integrate into a new world, scientifically and personally.
What makes a good mentor?
Always being interested in the person, on good and bad days, and always being available for discussions of any kind. Strengthening the skills of coworkers by pushing them almost to their limit, but also helping them to get out of such situations in a gentle way. Strengthening of the individual personality is a key. Staying in long-term contact with students and coworkers is very rewarding.