About Mierk



I am interested in improving climate models with modern tools like machine learning and quantum computers and co-lead the DLR QCI project Klim-QML on using quantum computers at the DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics. I study gravity waves and other dynamical effects in the atmosphere and improve their parametrization in climate models as member of the USMILE ERC project. Before this, I investigated dynamical effects in fluid complex plasmas (model systems made up of microparticles immersed in a plasma) via simulations and experiments on phenomena like turbulence, waves, and vortices.

Research and Education

2021 - 2023 Research Scientist, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany. Using machine learning to improve parametrizations in climate models; Prof. Veronika Eyring
2019 - 2021 Junior Research Group Leader on "Emergence of Collective Effects", Institute of Materials Physics in Space, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.
2015 - 2019 Research Scientist, Institute of Materials Physics in Space, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany. Experiments on collective effects in complex plasmas; Leader of international collaborations on analysis of PK-3 Plus Laboratory data; Dr. Hubertus Thomas
2014 - 2015 EU Fellow, Max-Planck-Institute for extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, Germany. Experiments on collective effects/turbulence in complex plasmas; PD Dr. Alexei Ivlev
2012 - 2014 EU Fellow, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, CA, USA. Simulating collective effects in complex plasmas; Prof. David Graves
2009 - 2011 Postdoc, Max-Planck-Institute for extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, Germany.
Science management of the PK-3 Plus Laboratory on board the International Space Station, Investigation of fluid effects in complex plasmas in the ground laboratory; Prof. Gregor Morfill
2006 - 2009

PhD student, Max-Planck-Institute for extraterrestrial Physics, Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, Garching/München, Germany.
Thesis: Dynamical effects in fluid complex plasmas, summa cum laude
Experiments in the laboratory on fluid complex plasmas, Data Analysis; Initiated, managed and participated in a parabolic flight campaign; Participated in planning and accompanying experiments on board the International Space Station; Prof. Gregor Morfill
2005 - 2006 Diploma Thesis (Physics), Max-Planck-Institute for extraterrestrial Physics, Technische Universität München, Garching, Germany. Microparticles as Probes in a Highly Magnetized Plasma; Dr. Uwe Konopka, Prof. Günter Hasinger
2000 - 2006 Studying Physics (Diploma) at Technical University Munich; 2003/2004 Erasmus Exchange at Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris

Grants and Awards

2022KLIM-QML Project, DLR Quantum Computing Initiative, together with Prof. Veronika Eyring.
For the project "Improving climate models with quantum computing"
2018 DLR Junior Research Group, in the DLR research area ”Space”.
For the project "Emergence of Collective Effects on the Level of Individual Particles"
2017ELGRA Image Contest Prize, ISPS 7 & ELGRA 25 Conference, France.
Prize for best microgravity research picture
2012EU Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship.
Three-year research fellowship for studies abroad, acceptance rate 20%
2011Young Scientist Award, ICPDP 6, Germany.
Awarded to one outstanding young scientist in the field of dusty plasmas every three years
2011PhD Research Award, Plasma Physics Division, European Physical Society.
Awarded to three outstanding PhD theses in the field of plasma physics every year

Teaching and Outreach

2010–today(Co-)Adviser of several master and PhD students, DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics, DLR Institute of Materials Physics in Space, Max-Planck-Institute for extraterrestrial Physics.
2020 - 2022 Lecture on Fluid dynamics and CFD each winter semester (online)
Justus Liebig-Universität Gießen, Germany
2020 - 2021 Lecture on Complex Plasmas (once live, once online)
Justus Liebig-Universität Gießen, Germany
2007 - 2022Participation in various outreach & mentoring activities
E.g. Cybermentoring program for STEM students, Girls’ Day, WiNS Mentoring
2019Lecturer at Bad Honnef Physics School, Physics of Strongly Coupled Systems.
2013Freshmen Seminar: Physics in Weightlessness, UC Berkeley.
Solely responsible for developing course, teaching once per week for the semester, and grading
2008–2012Writing an outreach science blog, “Zündspannung” at scilogs.de.
2007–2011Co-supervision of undergrad lab experiment on plasma crystals, Technische Universität München.