In my view, research, teaching and music are strongly connected. All of these shape what I do and how I do it. To be effective they require creativity, perseverance, patience and empathy. My vision around research content and process, about music and work-life encompasses is fuelled by this. Please reach out if you want to discuss any of this!
It is about diversity and team work
For me, diversity in life is key: I find inspiration in the diverse set of activities I do. I cherish how people are different in terms of culture, personality, preferred roles, skills, and strengths. I am fortunate to work in a multi-disciplinary environment where open-mindedness is the rule, not the exception. I love working in teams; I get the best ideas while listening and talking to others or when I perform with others. We practice, for example, team science in the TPM Energy Transition Lab.
As a systems thinker, I see the big picture. I uncover how to improve energy policies by simulating the complex interactions they shape.
In research and teaching, I focus on understanding the big picture: on unravelling the possible long-term dynamics of energy systems; I look for smart, robust choices every day. I use the power of computation as a bicycle for the mind: modelling is a systematic approach, it is explicit and clear, and it can be transparent. Social simulations enable us to capture the behaviour of individuals, groups, companies, and governments in the energy systems that fuel our society. I think very hard about how to do better modelling, about what model results imply for the real world and about all the possible future pathways of our energy systems. I grasp opportunities to bridge research fields and innovate how we develop and use simulations to explore how we can accelerate the energy transition. I develop such models and simulate the energy transition's complexity e.g. through the Energy Modelling Laboratory.
I share what I know, what I think, what I worry about
I'm an advocate of open science. Everything I do, I make accessible to anyone who's interested. I share the ideas I have so that others may benefit from them and that opportunities for synergy may emerge. I show how I work, what I work on and why, and how I organize myself. I am transparent about what I do not know. For instance, I share my ideas on how we may be able to deal with seemingly unpredictable, emergent behavioral patterns in the energy transition. I use a wide range of outlets to share my research, teaching, and music, such as videos, blogs, scientific articles, radio interviews. I share the music I compose including the sheet music; this includes the children's songs I published.
My main impact is through others
Most of my impact is through others: the students I am able to teach, colleagues I may be able to inspire, musicians I play with, and all opportunities I am able to create for others. As a conductor, this means I try to provide the context for others to flourish. I show by example what it means to aim for creativity, razor-sharpness and crystal clarity. I give direct, tangible, constructive feedback shaped to fit the work style and personality of those who receive it, e.g. as an invited expert in ESSA@Work meetings.
I connect the stories we tell to the emotions that come with those stories
In both research, teaching and music, I aim to enable all of us to really be together, to do what truly matters, and to connect what we do (the music we play, the research we do) to the stories we have to tell and the emotions that come with it. I aim to bring empathy and humour in addition to ambition and motivation. I don't expect anyone to be or think like me. I take the time and energy to understand and remember what drives someone and acknowledge strengths and differences. I provide the space and trust to discuss these aspects so we can all grow and learn and enjoy the time we spend together.
I invest enough in organization
I take enough time to sharpen the saw, to invest in what is needed to work effectively, alone and together, in the short and long run. The investment to go from cubic meters of sheet music on paper to a tablet, for example. I work within a strict empty-inbox-without-deletion regime (ask me if you want to know). I live by and share good practices in science, modelling, and music.
I am selective in order to obtain balance within and between all areas of life: private, family life, research, and music
True joy in life is in being mindful and this requires a balance between all aspects of life. I know as well as anyone that many incentives in academia as well as outside are to do more. Our work is never finished. I am vocal about how selective I am; I do not structurally overwork and I do not expect that from anyone else. I deliberately go 'all in' for some projects and politely decline others. Many decisions come with feelings of guilt: for things I do not do at all, things I could miss out on, and for all imperfections when something should be good enough. I simply accept I have to navigate the paradox: more projects create more opportunities for good science; good science takes time and attention.
I wholeheartedly support and adhere to Stefan Pfenninger's working policy on the meaning of work-life, quality over quantity, evening and weekend work, the work environment, clarity, responsibilities and expectations, and career progression. Stefan also lists more, very useful resources.