Many colleagues are currently working in their home offices, exchanging information by telephone or video conferencing. Nevertheless, we still lack the opportunity to meet other colleagues simply in the hallway or in the kitchen. That’s why we are shifting “hallway conversations” to the digital. Today we introduce Daniel Abou-Ras, who works in the Department of Structure and Dynamics of Energy Materials and coordinates the international research school HI-SCORE.

Where are you working right now and how do you start your day?

I am working at my desk at the moment, where I also run my home office from time to time during “normal” times. When I get up, I make coffee and breakfast, and then I sit down at my desk.

What is the biggest challenge for you at the moment? Especially with regard to the HI-SCORE International Research School that you coordinate?

Indeed, it is very unfortunate that neither international travel is possible nor are larger events allowed. This means that we cannot conduct our regular meetings between colleagues on the Israeli and German sides as we are used to. As compensation, not only individual video conferences between the partners are currently taking place. We are also organising a series of webinars on various topics related to HI-SCORE, which will be orginazed by the scientists in the project. In this way, we are creating a certain amount of exchange between the project partners even in these difficult times and are maintaining the network.

You are a very international family, how do you keep in touch?

We keep in touch with our family mainly via video telephony using FaceTime or WhatsApp. It’s nice when you can not only talk but also see each other.

How do you handle the children at home? Do you alternate between childcare and home schooling?

Like many parents, we have to find a way to balance childcare with our professional activities. Somehow this is an additional burden, but on the other hand you get to know more about the daily school routine and can respond better to the children.

What are you looking forward to most when this time is over?

What I miss most of all are face-to-face meetings with colleagues and my students.

Questions by Jennifer Bierbaum