Interview series "Introducing People@BAM"
Dr.-Ing. Martin Babutzka, Corrosion and Corrosion Protection Division
Martin, tell us a little bit about yourself. What did you do in "your life before BAM"?
I studied mechanical engineering with a strong focus on materials engineering at the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg and graduated with a master's degree. During my studies, I was able to get a glimpse at BAM as a student assistant. After my studies, I was a research assistant at the Institute for Materials and Joining Technology at the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg for about a year. …And that’s it with my life before BAM. I work at BAM since 2014 and completed my doctorate here.
What inspired you to pursue a career in science?
The trigger was a lecture on the corrosion behaviour of stainless steels during a project group work in the bachelor's degree programme. It opened a new scientific world for me. After that, I used every opportunity in my studies to understand corrosion topics both theoretically and practically in the laboratory. What I like about being a scientist is the high degree of initiative and personal responsibility, the possibility to solve scientific and application-oriented problems and to work with people from different scientific fields. Corrosion is an interdisciplinary field of science and provides all of the benefits mentioned.
What does your research focus on, and what excites you most about this topic?
My research focusses on corrosion, corrosion protection and corrosion testing. My special fields are atmospheric corrosion, zinc materials, corrosion under offshore conditions and corrosion testing using gel electrolytes. Gel electrolytes are especially exciting because they are a novel kind of test method fit for field investigations. In addition, they are the only suitable way to evaluate the corrosion resistance of zinc under atmospheric conditions. My division is one of the leading scientific groups concerning gel electrolytes for corrosion testing.
Why research at BAM? What do you like most about your work here?
BAM has outstanding scientific equipment and a good reputation. I especially like the interdisciplinarity at BAM: Many different experts for nearly all fields in material science and chemistry are all working together under one roof to ensure safety in every possible way.
…But what I like the most about my work here are the great colleagues at my division and department.
What would you like to do when you're not doing research?
I was a semi-professional bass player in a band for many years since my youth. I gave it up two years ago for family and my scientific career. Nevertheless, music stayed an important part of my life. I try to play every possible instrument that I can get a hand on.
I have a little son that plays the most important role in my life now. I often play music for him to awaken his interest in it.
If you should describe your job at BAM in one word – what would that be?