In this month’s “Meet the BioAnalyt Team” introduction, we spotlight Dr. Christoph Kratz, a member of our Product Development team. Christoph was born in the harbor city of Hamburg, Germany. Hamburg is located on the river Elbe and is well known for its many bridges. Can you believe that Hamburg has more bridges than Amsterdam, London, and Venice combined?
Christoph grew up in a town called Buchholz in der Nordheide, where he spent most of his childhood exploring the outdoors together with his younger brother and their dogs.
As a young adult, he pursued physics at the Freie Universität and the Technische Universität, both in Berlin. During his Masters’ study, he worked at the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute fabricating and designing nano-structured optical elements to shape laser beams into a desired pattern or intensity distribution. He later worked on 3D Laser-Interference Holography for his Masters’ thesis.
For his Ph.D., he proceeded at the Leibniz Institut für Analytische Wissenschaften-ISAS-e.V. , specializing in microfluidic in-situ infra-red (IR) ellipsometry/spectrometry. He developed a novel device for IR Microscopy and a method to measure processes at surfaces using only a few microliters (µL) of the sample. This technology enables the study of the interactions of proteins with molecules requiring only minute amounts of sample (milligrams, µg, of the protein).
Furthermore, the technology is so sensitive that one can even “watch” a monolayer grow on the surface! Christoph not only bagged his Ph. D. during his time at the university but also married the love of his life. Together they have three children aged six years, three years, and ten months.
On his search for a new challenge outside of academia, Christoph stumbled across a job offering from BioAnalyt. He decided to apply for the position to learn more about the company. He says, “During the interview, the major aim of the company and its technology spoke to my heart. I saw a lot of potential to contribute to the advancement of the technology of the company.”
He started working at BioAnalyt in July 2021 and has since been busy developing iCheck Modular, the next generation of iCheck devices. At BioAnalyt, Christoph is a hardware specialist in product development and the project manager of iCheck Modular. In this position, he serves as a full-stack technology developer ranging from finding the proper hardware to building prototypes and the development of software needed to run the prototypes of the devices developed.
Christoph enjoys working at BioAnalyt. He says, “It makes me happy to know that I develop technologies for actual use in field applications that matter. After years in academic research pursuing the aim to be the best and most precise, on a proof-of-concept basis in the lab this is something new. Putting my knowledge to use in fighting the global challenge of hidden hunger really motivates me greatly. In addition, I enjoy searching for and developing hardware and software solutions to promote the applications of our devices. I have the possibility to use almost my full knowledge in the fields of electronics, optics and software engineering, often learning something new on the fly. Together with the great team and BioAnalyt that motivates me to do what I do”.
Besides work, Christoph loves to spend time with his family. He fondly remarks, “I have three kids so there is very little time for anything besides my children. So, I do not know if one is allowed to say it but my children and making sure that we all have a happy life together is my main hobby. If there is a little time for myself, I like to go long-distance running and take a bike tour through the Grunewald (a large, forested area in Berlin). I also enjoy good food and as soon as my ten-month old daughter is old enough, I am looking forward to exploring new restaurants in Berlin together with my wife”. If you happen to be in Berlin, play us a visit. You could arrange a long-distance run with Christoph and discuss everything about our technology!