EPEC Profiles – Noah Jäggi
In this series from the EPEC Communication Working Group, we meet members of the Europlanet Early Career (EPEC) community and find out more about their experiences and aspirations.
Noah Jäggi is currently a PhD student in Space Research & Planetary Sciences, at the Physics Institute of the University of Bern.
I started off as a rock lover and slowly drifted into space. My journey had its liftoff when I did my bachelor thesis. The task was simple. There was a lot of data of CAIs collected by a PhD student and now it was up to me to figure out if it was possible to classify the CAIs based on those datasets. Do you find the lack of explanation confusing? Maybe mysterious or even overwhelming? Then you know how I felt – and it was exactly that which gave me the drive to pursue a career in science, or at least to dip my toe into the ocean of possibilities that is research.
After the expedition into the world of CAIs, or Calcium-Aluminium-rich Inclusions, the first condensates forming out of a protoplanetary disk, I had an original idea for an MSc thesis in the same area of research. Sadly, we didn’t get the samples, but as a condolence prize, I was offered to contribute work to a PhD project. The similarity to the bachelor thesis was stunning: There was no data yet of tiny melt droplets that formed in space around 4.5 billion years ago, called chondrules that are used by the PhD student. Now it was up to me to figure out if it was possible to better classify the chondrules. The method? Tomography! I was as fascinated as I was overwhelmed – and agreed to the offer on the spot.
History repeated itself about a year later when I sent in my application for a PhD in Physics. The job description clearly pointed out that an MSc in Physics or equivalent was required, but the topic of space weathering on the Moon and Mercury sounded geological enough for me to take another leap of faith. Now I am here, almost three years into this PhD, and I found great joy in applying all I learned from planetary geochemistry to the world of planetary physics. On the way, I found great friends, side projects that became main projects and, of course, EPEC!
I joined the annual week back in 2019 in Portugal and met all the great people from EPEC there. Initially, I was most interested in early career support, but after having met Solmaz Adheli and Maike Neuland, the former chairs of the EPEC@EPSC working group, I joined them in a flash… and hosted the Science Flash at EPSC 2019 in Geneva. After the virtual Flash (and EPSC) in 2020, both Solmaz and Maike stepped down due to being in a late stage of their early career. Since the beginning of 2021, I’m now chair of the awesome working group which is EPEC@EPSC and can’t wait for the next in-person EPSC!
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