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.

Dr. Osianoh Glenn Aliu

© Photo Osianoh Glenn Aliu

That’s me in San Francisco, Menlo Park CA, in the headquarters of Facebook, where I presented our Wireless Backhaul (WiBACK) technology during the first summit meeting of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP). TIP aims to bring together operators, infrastructure providers, system integrators and other technology companies in order to improve the global telecom network infrastructures.

I work as a Research Scientist on wireless network technologies within the Cooperation Systems Department (CSCW). Over the past four years, our work has led to developing integrated mobile and satellite communication network with field trials of a device prototype for the EU. We have also provided a study that advises the European Space Agency (ESA) on technology roadmap for future integrated terrestrial satellite systems. Currently, we are exploring communication technologies required for a robust Internet of Things as well as wireless backhaul technology.

I decided to get on a plane from Lagos, Nigeria in 2013 and relocate to Bonn, Germany because of the vision and impact of the applied research work done in Fraunhofer. Specifically the novel Wireless Backhaul Technology (WiBACK) which has gained interest globally and is currently deployed in Africa, South America and in Europe. After several interviews, the offer from Fraunhofer was the best in terms of an opportunity to learn, grow and work on applied research projects with significant impact.

I had never been to Germany before applying so it was a bit challenging not knowing if I would be welcomed or how I would integrate. I had zero knowledge of the German language but the Institute provided me the required support to do my research in English while participating in a language course.

Looking back, I am happy I made the right call. Working in FIT gives me the flexibility to explore different ideas and research their feasibility. There are various opportunities to learn from experts in various fields.

Olga Michel Chico

© Photo 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

© Photo 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

© Photo 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.