Studies in Chemistry as the foundation
The foundation stone for fulfilling his life’s dream was laid by studying Chemistry at TUM. Christian Schwarz continues to be influenced by this period in his life today. Among other things, while studying at the Chair of Inorganic Chemistry he met today’s University Professor Wolfgang A. Herrmann, who very much impressed him. “Professor Herrmann fascinated me back then because he has a special charisma and can inspire people.” However, the young student then focused on Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry in the department of Professor Horst Kessler, where he later completed his doctorate.
Challenges at the top of Hamburg’s Fire Service
The issues that Christian Schwarz has to get to grips with as the head of Hamburg’s Fire Service are complex and demanding. His job is to further develop the Fire Service in a city with highly dynamic growth and make it fit for the future. New fire stations, more personnel, alternative drive systems – a great deal, which the man in charge will also tackle with a calm and determined hand. Future questions also need answers and suitable strategies. Once again, Christian Schwarz benefits from his broad expertise in Chemistry. What happens, for example, when electric cars burn and how can the fire brigade deal with them in the best possible way? What is the ideal response to accidents involving container ships loaded with hazardous substances? “A great deal in the Fire Service is pure chemistry. It was the best decision I ever made to study that course. Also, because they approach questions in such a practical and technical way,” says Christian Schwarz. Summing up, he adds: “If I had to start all over again, I would study exactly the same subject.”
Degree in Chemistry 1994, PhD in 1998
Christian Schwarz was born in Munich and studied Chemistry at TUM from 1988 to 1993 after graduating from high school in Vaterstetten. Until April 1994 he wrote his degree thesis at the Chair of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry II under Prof. Dr. Horst Kessler, followed by his doctorate in the same department, which he completed in 1997.
During his doctoral studies, Christian Schwarz began training for higher office in the Fire Service in Stuttgart – during all his time at school and university, he was active in the volunteer Fire Service. The father of two daughters headed the Fire Service School in Geretsried for 17 years before being appointed head of the Hamburg fire brigade in 2018.
In Hamburg, the native of Upper Bavaria feels extremely comfortable and well accepted, and yet: “I sometimes miss the mountains and the Bavarian way of life. That’s why I come home regularly and visit friends and my mother”.