Interview 9

Marian Bruns


Marian Bruns is a postdoctoral researcher at Max-Planck-Institute for Sustainable Materials GmbH (former „Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH“) and works in the PMD focus-area „IT-Architecture and Infrastructure“. He obtained the degree M. Sc. in physics at TU Dortmund and continued with his PhD-studies at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Advanced Materials Simulation (ICAMS), Ruhr-Universität Bochum. There, he worked on computer simulations of thermo-mechanical treatments of bulk metallic glasses and obtained a broad knowledge in both the domains of materials science and information technology.

Why do you work in science?

I’m fascinated by diving into new topics and exploring new phenomena, and I enjoy the freedom of gathering new insights and to shed light on them. I hope for a future in which social and political decisions are based as much as possible on scientific evidence. Also, I think that this needs to be driven by the scientific community itself, and I hope that my work plays its small part in driving this process forward.

Why do you work at the interface of Materials Science and Digitalization?

During my PhD, I realized the importance of detailed documentation of scientific work. Guaranteeing the reproducibility of workflows – be it the preparation of computer simulations or the analysis of raw data – should be a central part of our work, as well as granting well-defined access to research data. Especially in times of growing skepticism towards science, it is our responsibility to increase the trustworthiness and soundness of scientific findings. In my perspective, digitalization offers great opportunities to do exactly that, by providing scientists with tools and means to conduct research more transparently and efficiently.

Why did you choose to work for MaterialDigital?

The MaterialDigital initiative offers a unique chance to get in touch with all aspects of digitalization in the MSE domain: from the development of ontologies and the implementation of scientific workflows to the integration of all involved tools and processes involved by means of a specific IT infrastructure. From my point of view, what is special about the MaterialDigital platform is that it proposes and develops tangible solutions, rather than just broadly discussing these topics, while still granting participant projects to choose what is best from their own point of view.

How do you keep a good balance between work and private life?

I am a very curious person by nature and find pleasure in various activities: baking sourdough bread, making a DIY HPC-cluster based on Raspberry Pies, or building furniture for my camper – all of that brings me a lot of joy. I’m a huge fan of science fiction and fantasy stories and like to immerse myself in these worlds, whether it’s in the form of literature or film. When I want to be more active, I like to spend time in the nature rock climbing or pick up the stroller and go for a long run in the forest with my one-year-old son.