MARIUS BUERKLE (36)
Hometown: Sasbach, Germany
In Tsukuba, German researcher Marius Buerkle has found a supportive professional community as well as a place to enjoy nature in all its splendour.
The behaviour of nanomaterials, such as solar cells, are Marius Buerkle’s speciality. The researcher joined the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in 2012, after learning of the Tsukubabased institute’s work during his postdoctoral studies in Germany.
As the recipient of a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science fellowship, Buerkle arrived on a researcher visa and commenced work at AIST on a two-year project focused on thermoelectric materials for power generation. Eager to continue his research in Japan, he later applied for a highly skilled professional visa with the institute’s support and found the process to be smooth and hassle-free. Buerkle now undertakes research on projects across various sectors and believes that the academic sector supports a better work-life balance, allowing him to enjoy his love of movies and outdoor pursuits. “I love going camping, hiking and rock climbing,” he says. “Not far from Tsukuba, Gunma has great trails and climbing spots.”
Tsukuba and Matsudo – Buerkle’s home for the past six years – have given him convenience and access to nature, away from the crowds of Tokyo. Learning the language has proven challenging but Buerkle has adjusted well with the support of Tsukuba’s community of foreign researchers, who also organise various events and share local information online.