Hello Professor Liubchenko. Where are you from?
I am from Odesa (Одеса, editor's note). In Ukrainian the city's name is written with only one 's'. It's important to me to say that, because the other form is the Russian spelling. Odesa is a city on the Black Sea and the administrative centre of the oblast of Odesa in the Ukraine. The city has just over a million residents. I've taught as a professor of software engineering at Odesa Polytechnic National University for over 20 years.
How are you doing at the moment?
I feel very strange right now. I'm happy to be in the peaceful and beautiful city of Hamburg. At the same time, I am continuing to teach my students at the university online. One day there was suddenly an air raid and my students fled to the shelter. I waited about 40 minutes for them to come back and was afraid the worst had happened. Thankfully, they all came back to the chat. Not all of my students are still in Odesa. Some have now fled to eastern Ukraine or Poland. All of this means that I feel a sense of incongruity and inner conflict. It seems unreal to me and I still can't believe what is happening there, even after six weeks.
How is your family doing?
My mother died long before the Russian war of aggression. I'm almost happy about this, because she lived through the Second World War and it means she doesn't have to experience this, thank God.
How did you come to HAW Hamburg?
Those of us who have fled are organised on Facebook. I found the HAW Hamburg page there and applied by email right away. I was already staying with an acquaintance in Hamburg, so it was convenient for me. Prof. Petra Margaritoff wrote me back right away and we met at the campus in Bergedorf. She offered me a position teaching software engineering in the Faculty of Life Sciences which started in the following week, on 31 March. I was a bit nervous before the course! I had prepared a presentation about the course content and about myself, but I thought the students would have a lot of questions.