Sabine, you originally trained as a physics laboratory assistant. Today, you work in metallography and material analysis, studying the properties of different materials. Did you already know during your training that you wanted to work in this field?
No, it wasn’t clear to me at the time. However, exploring the “why” has always been important to me. That’s the reason I wanted to get into research and development. As someone from Aachen, the RWTH was the obvious choice. Fortunately, in 1998, I had the opportunity to start my training at the RWTH, specifically at the Chair of Semiconductor Technology (IHT), as a physics laboratory assistant. I remained loyal to the RWTH and later switched institutes to broaden my perspective.
I transitioned from semiconductor technology, with a few smaller stops along the way, to the Chair of Ceramic Components in Mechanical Engineering (IKKM). It later merged with IWK to form IWM under the leadership of Professor Beiss. Eventually, Professor Broeckmann took over IWM. During my time there, I worked as the head of the thermophysical laboratory, which initially had a small team. Consequently, I aided in ceramicography and scanning electron microscopy, gaining a broad knowledge base and a comprehensive understanding of various laboratory areas and their processes. As time went on, my role evolved, and I was able to focus on my passion for instrumental analytics in thermal analysis. After 13 years, seeking new experiences, I moved to the GHI (Glass Chair) where I specialized in studying glasses and their thermokinetics.
What led you to join our chair? Were you familiar with additive manufacturing before coming here?
After over 21 years, I had gained considerable experience and developed a strong network at the RWTH. In early 2020, I heard that the DAP was seeking support in establishing its own metallographic and analytical laboratory. I had thoroughly enjoyed setting up thermal analysis at IKKM/IWM, and this opportunity allowed me to be part of a young chair with an incredibly exciting, completely new topic. It was a chance to contribute to building a suitable laboratory once again. Having worked with ceramics, (hard) metals, and glass using traditional manufacturing processes, I was eager to dive deeper into additive manufacturing and explore the diverse possibilities of component fabrication and material compositions. I couldn’t pass up this opportunity.