What makes FIT special

Fraunhofer FIT employees work in an inspiring work environment and with colleagues from many parts of the world. Young researchers and advanced students find ample opportunity to hone their profiles. Here is what FIT researchers have to say about it.

Kenneth Samaan

© Lena Utz

My path to FIT started in 2016 when I joined the Institute of High Voltage Technology (IFHT) at RWTH Aachen University as a student assistant. The institute cooperates closely with FIT and one of the first colleagues involved in this cooperation also happened to be my thesis supervisor. So, after  completing my Master in Industrial Engineering and Management with a specialization in electrical power engineering, I joined FIT in 2019. Here, I am working in projects in the field of information and energy technology. I particularly enjoy the diversity of tasks, be it research projects, teaching activities or the supervision of theses. In addition, working with colleagues from different disciplines shows me new perspectives on my own topics. This gives me new ideas for my own dissertation and relevant research questions.

Lena Utz

© Lena Utz

At the end of the first semester of my Business Informatics studies at Augsburg University, I landed a student assistant job with Prof. Buhl. Since then I have been involved in the Project Group, now as a scientist and working towards my doctoral degree. My reason for that is at the same time trivial and essential: the job is stimulating and great fun! The trust of my co-workers is a great inspiration, too. Moreover, the Fraunhofer TALENTA start program fosters my personal and professional development. In particular, I appreciate the support whenever I entered a new phase in my life. After a one-year parental leave, I am back in the job now. To spend enough time with my baby son, I am working part-time, and I am very grateful for this arrangement.

Carina Goretzky

© Carina Goretzky

My career at Fraunhofer FIT began in 2012 as a student assistant in the High Content Analysis (HCA) department of the Life Science Informatics research group. I became aware of the institute through the Master's program "Life Science Informatics" of b-it (Bonn-Aachen International Center for Information Technology), since some courses are held by professors of FIT. At that time I focused on the topic of image processing.

After graduating in 2015, I was offered a position as a research assistant at FIT's SYMILA application center in Hamm. My office was in Birlinghoven, though. Since then my field of research has changed a lot. I am now working in the field of frontend web development and in the last years I have mainly contributed to the development of a portal for the care of chronically ill people. Being accepted into the TALENTA start program, a support program for women at Fraunhofer, gives me the additional opportunity to work in the field of project management.  Furthermore, I am involved in the acquisition of new projects. In this way I can deepen my knowledge in programming on the one hand, and improve my knowledge in project acquisition and management on the other hand. By attending training courses and conferences I have the opportunity to develop further.

What I appreciate most is the great cooperation with my colleagues and that I can always immerse myself in new research topics. I learn a lot and the work is always fascinating and never boring. Acquisition needs occasionally traveling, which is sometimes exhausting but quite often exciting and interesting.

Dr. Sisay Chala

I joined Fraunhofer FIT as a researcher in Software Engineering in the User-Centered Ubiquitous Computing team. I obtained my PhD in Computer Science from University of Siegen, where I was a Marie Curie ITN Fellow working on data-intensive personalized vacancy recommendation, and assisting in teaching software engineering for mechatronics international program. Earlier, I worked for Haramaya University (Ethiopia) as an ICT Director and system administrator on Linux and Windows network environments for over three years. I also taught in the same university for more than eight years. In addition, I researched on Statistical Machine Translation when I was a visiting researcher at German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) based in Saarland University. My research interests include machine translation, data mining and machine learning, information retrieval, and application of ICT in various problem domains.

At Fraunhofer FIT, I am involved in projects that work in the area of smart data analytics. Notable projects I am actively working on are Storage4Grid where we study energy consumption prediction, and GOEASY in which we study optimization of location based services.

I enjoy my stay at FIT due the conducive and vibrant working environment that encourages healthy work-life balance and sustainable productivity. Tackling real-world challenges by applying multidisciplinary approaches is also what captivates me a lot here at FIT. Moreover, what is more fascinating than working in a multicultural team that FIT offers?

Olga Michel Chico

© Olga Michel Chico

I was born and raised in Mexico. I started my design studies in Europe and did a Master in integrated design in Germany. Coming from a background in communication and design combined with work experience as a User Researcher in the tech industry, I found myself in the intersection between design, psychology, technology and innovation. At that point, when looking for a new area to continue my professional path and a particular interest in research and applied solutions, Fraunhofer FIT seemed like a very suitable option. After going through the recruitment process and getting the position at FIT, I was immediately welcomed by an international and multidisciplinary team open to new ideas and new approaches.

My role at FIT covers a broad range of activities and projects, which makes it very dynamic. I particularly support the projects by guiding User-Centered Design activities that are needed at the different project stages. In my day-to-day, I am in charge of different tasks covering the preparation and moderation of user workshops, validation of user insights, creation of paper prototypes, wireframes and click dummies. Since I started working here, there have been plenty of opportunities to develop new skills: I have been granted trust and responsibility from the day 1 since I joined the team. This might have been challenging at times, but it also has given me the opportunity to learn-by-doing, try out things, learn from own mistakes and evolve faster.

Working at FIT for the last months has also proven to be a great place to explore different areas of interest and domains. The projects that we conduct at the institute cover a broad spectrum: from huge IoT research projects, to smaller industry projects with very particular focuses. This various opportunities make working here very exciting and inspiring. 

Clemens Putschli

© cologne IT summit_ c/o JOGECON GmbH
Here I demonstrate the Smart Glasses solutions of the FIT at the cologne IT summit_ 2016.

I have been a member of FIT's scientific staff since March 2016. But I have been affiliated with FIT for much longer, as I wrote my bachelor's and master's theses here. The variety of challenges is what I value in my job for FIT. From a smaller industry project to a large European project everything is possible. I particularly like how my colleagues immediate put a lot of trust in everybody. Early on I was encouraged to supervise a course for students and to join the institute's steering committee. And I am working here in a really technophile group, where everybody is fond of the latest gadgets. For me, FIT offers a healthy mix of enthusiasm for technology, scientific research and cool industry projects.

Dr. Anja Linnemann

© Anja Linnemann

My career at Fraunhofer FIT started in 2011, right after my doctorate in biochemistry at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn.

At first, I was mainly responsible for laboratory work. But I quickly learned what it means to work in a team that is diverse in every respect. The clashing of different characters, languages, cultures and disciplines presented a challenge. On the other hand, it is an incredible enrichment not only for working life, but also for personal development. Over time the focus of my tasks has changed to the management of projects and other processes.

Although I am a career changer, FIT provides me many possibilities to develop personally AND professionally. Thus, I was able to participate in an internal promotion and development program for women scientists, the "Fraunhofer TALENTA excellence"program, that gave me free space to develop my strategic career. Currently I am studying research management. This is also an internal program for on-the-job training with the aim of encouraging and supervising change processes, which are indispensable in the fast-moving field of research and development. The focus is always on the targeted, effective transfer of research results and innovations into the application.

What has inspired me from the very beginning of my work at FIT is the great team atmosphere and the fact that my work will benefit people directly.