Co-funded by:
Mentored by:

It’s rewarding to see my work having a real-world impact

Arkadiusz Bernaczyk, visiting researcher at InnoRenew CoE; Main area of research: Wood adhesives

  • Where were you living in childhood and where do you live now?

As a child, I lived in Poznan, Poland. After graduating from high school, I moved to Dresden, Germany, for my studies. Since then, I’ve been living there, working on my Ph.D. at the Technical University of Dresden.

  • What have you studied and what were the motives for your decision?

I studied Wood and Engineered Wood Technology, which beautifully combines my favourite subjects: chemistry, mathematics, and physics. I was driven by a fascination for these subjects and the desire to understand the intricacies of materials we often take for granted.

  • How would you describe your work to someone outside your field?

I research wood adhesives to better understand them and produce better products for the industry. Simply put, my work involves finding ways to make glue for wood stronger and more reliable.

  • What does your typical working day look like?

There is quite a lot of variety in my workday. I spend a considerable amount of time in the laboratory, in the workshop, as well as in the office. It’s a mix of hands-on experimental work and analysis.

  • What makes you excited about your work?

I find it very exciting when the topics I’m researching are then applied and improve finished products. It’s rewarding to see my work having a real-world impact.

  • And what is the biggest challenge at your work?

Planning complex investigations is one of the biggest challenges I face. It’s crucial to have a solid experimental plan to avoid errors and problems in the future. This requires careful brainstorming and leveraging experience.

  • Which scientist or scientific achievement are you fascinated by and why?

I’m very fascinated by artificial intelligence. It’s a revolutionary field that’s growing rapidly. It has the potential to be a useful tool for scientists, for example, to perform better literature research and analyse large datasets, finding correlations that might not be immediately apparent.

  • Tell us about the work of art (books, music, movies, theatre, dance, visual arts) that has a special place in your life.

I have a deep appreciation for music, especially the soundtracks composed by Hans Zimmer. His music, filled with emotion and complexity, often serves as the perfect background score during my research or relaxation time.

  • What have you read, listened to, or watched lately?

Recently, I have been reading “The Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben. It provides an intriguing perspective on the complex life of trees, underscoring their resilience and interconnectedness. This book has deepened my admiration for wood and the life it once was a part of.

  • Describe your very first impression of Slovenia.

Slovenia struck me as a beautiful, relaxing, and calming place, especially the coast and the natural landscapes. I definitely plan on visiting again in the future.

  • What do you like about Slovenia and what do you miss most from your homeland?

I appreciate the friendly and open people in Slovenia. What I miss most from my homeland, Poland, is primarily the food.

  • Which place on the Slovene coast do you like the most?

I find Strunjan very relaxing. It’s a great spot to unwind, with beautiful bathing areas and the chance to rest under pine trees. I’ve spent a few peaceful weekends there.

  • What makes you enthusiastic?

I am most enthusiastic when I make a breakthrough in my research or when an experiment yields promising results. These moments of discovery and progress provide a sense of accomplishment that fuels my passion for my work.

  • Characterize your life’s guidance or an important realization (or epiphany) you have experienced.

One important realization I’ve had is the importance of patience and perseverance in research. Not all experiments yield immediate or expected results, and it’s crucial to remain patient and persistent. This understanding has guided my approach towards both my professional and personal life.

  • What does the charm of wood mean to you?

Wood is a living and unique material. The variation in wood species and their growing locations ensures that working with wood is never monotonous. It’s like each piece of wood tells a different story, and I get to be a part of it.