During the summer, Kerstin Goldau gets to take her lunch break on the banks of the Spree. That is the attraction of her workplace in the bend of the Spree at Carnotstraße, where Occupational Health and Safety Services and Environmental Protection (SDU) has its offices in the Chair of Internal Combustion Engines building. However, the flip side of the coin is that she is relatively far away from her target group, TU Berlin staff on the main campus at Straße des 17. Juni.
If she wants to conduct on-site inspections or, for example, discuss where to install new waste collection stations, she hops on her university-issued bike and is there in just ten minutes.
Goldau has served as the environmental protection officer in the SDU since 2009. In her role she is responsible for groundwater protection, a particularly important task at a university with many chemistry laboratories that work with solvents. She is also responsible for emission and resource protection. One of her areas of focus is waste separation and prevention. Goldau is particularly fond of TU Berlin – she studied Environmental Science and Technology here. “It’s exciting to have changed perspectives and to now focus on operational environmental protection.” However, she stills keeps in contact with students. In the Environmental Management module, for instance, she offers project cooperation on waste topics with different internal focuses. She particularly recalls a project she conducted together with students and the TU Berlin Press Office. In an Instagram takeover, students posted about waste prevention at TU Berlin for one week.
“I work with so many and so many different people in my job. That’s what makes it so exciting,” she says. Her team includes two other environmental protection officers as well as colleagues responsible for fire, radiation, occupational, and health protection. “We are team players and work closely together as many measures could otherwise counteract each other,” she says.
The SDU offices also house the TU Berlin Council for Sustainable Development. As it should, Goldau thinks. For example, she can introduce topics to the Academic Senate through the Council for Sustainable Development as the initiating body, thus ensuring that projects can be implemented. “I feel very supported in my work as the environmental officer.” President Christian Thomsen and consequently everyone at TU Berlin is committed to ensuring it becomes a sustainable university. She is proud to be part of this movement.