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Humboldt Fellow Etienne Wamba makes quantum connections

Humboldt Fellow Etienne Wamba

Humboldt Fellow Etienne Wamba. Foto: Koziel/TUK

The theoretical physicist says the Humboldt Fellowship and his experience in Germany has been life-changing both professionally and personally.

For theoretical physicist Etienne Wamba, completing his two-year Humboldt Fellowship at Technische Universität Kaiserslautern has been the experience of a lifetime.

“I think this will be one of the best things that will have happened in my career,” Wamba said.

Professionally, the fellowship enabled him to work with Prof. Dr. James R. Anglin and Priv.-Doz. Dr. Axel Pelster, exploring the foundations of quantum matter. Wamba relishes the deep discussions and debates with his two supervisors and colleagues to advance their field.

The fellowship was also personally rewarding. “I have spent a relatively short time in Germany, but I know quite well Germany thanks to the Humboldt Foundation,” Wamba said.

He explained that the foundation offers up to four months of intensive language training, and organizes a two-week tour of the country to educate fellows about German history and culture. Wamba heard from colleagues that he had been to places many Germans have not. For example, fellows are hosted with their families at the German President’s official residence, Schloss Bellevue, for an annual gathering. Being able to share that experience with his four children was “something that you cannot buy with money,” he said.

After completing his undergraduate and masters degree in physics at Dschang University, he conducted his PhD research at University of Yaoundé I in Cameroon. He worked as a high school chemistry and physics teacher to support himself throughout his studies.

Upon earning his Ph.D. in 2013, he secured an assistant lecturer position at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Limbe, Cameroon. He applied for and received the Humboldt Fellowship in 2015.

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Julia Reichelt
Media Relations

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