Early in her childhood, Mirjana Videnovic-Misic realized that she was good at mathematics. This talent led her to a career in research. Today, she works in the field of analog/radio frequency applications targeting 5G and their full front to end design automation. “If engineering is your thing, just go for it. IQ isn’t focused solely on one gender," she encourages young women interested in research. 

For Giovanna Grosso, her interest in research is central: "I have a passion for simulations. I just find it amazing that we can reproduce reality by numerically solving the right sets of equations." Giovanna is working on integrating ever smaller sensors into a larger system. This enables the continuous miniaturization of electronic systems.

However, components should not only become smaller and more efficient, but also greener. With her research, Johanna Zikulnig is actively contributing to climate protection. She develops sensors that can be printed on renewable materials, such as paper. This can increase the sustainability of electronic components. She is also working on the development of a smart respiratory mask. "It's exciting to see how ideas become applications," says Johanna. "I am proud to be actively involved in shaping this technological process." The smart mask was an innovative response to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Mahin Atiq also likes to solve current challenges, such as automation in industry: "The opportunity to develop new products and work on new ideas motivates me in my work." She is currently researching the interoperability of intelligent systems, i.e. how they can work together as seamlessly as possible.

"I was often looked at awkwardly when I said I wanted to study technical physics." But Jasmin Spettel was not deterred by this. Today she works in the field of integrated photonics, for example on the miniaturization of sensors of all kinds. These are used in smart home technologies or telecommunications, among others.

Delia Fugger is a theoretical physicist, who is currently working on the derivation of analytical solutions to heat diffusion problems. These solutions will be used to simulate the temperature dependence of electrical devices and circuits and improve their design. She is driven by the curiosity to understand physical processes, the interest in new mathematical methods and being on the brink to innovation. “In research, it never gets boring”, says Delia. Her advice for young women: “Think thoroughly about what you are really interested in and what drives you and then, just go for it  - and don’t let anyone scare you off!”

Katja Harms is working on quantum sensors - a technology that is still in its infancy. In the future, this field of research could directly measure the vitamin content of foods in a blender or be used for the early detection of diseases. In research, the mother of a young daughter appreciates industry-related projects in research: "Whatever we explore does not disappear after the end of a project but can be integrated into applications." Her advice to young women: "If you have a good idea, have the courage to bring it on."

Fjolla Ademaj focuses on the future of the automotive industry. Vehicles are becoming smarter and equipped with more sensors. The car beeps during parking, an overtaking car is displayed and when the front vehicle brakes, the rear one brakes as well. Autonomous driving is also getting closer and closer. These technologies count on secure, wireless communication. Fjolla thus makes a direct contribution to the user experience of these applications and ensures more safety when driving.

What do these researchers have in common?
The fascination for science and the motivation to work on innovative technologies of the future. “Just as Fjolla makes autonomous driving safer, Jasmin's research could eventually be in your living room, and Katja will tell her young daughter how she was able to bring completely new technologies to market with the help of quantum sensors – technological innovation comes from motivation and joy in the profession, not gender”, says Emily Knes, Head of Human Resources at SAL.

And if research is a feminine noun in German, why shouldn't especially women play a decisive role in shaping the technological future?