How did you come to work at Fraunhofer IAF?
After I discovered the institute through an internet search during my studies at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), I took two lectures by staff who worked at IAF, Prof. Ingmar Kallfass and Dr. Martin Walther, the latter still being part of IAF. I truly enjoyed both lectures and after the term, I was offered an internship at the institute. This was my way in. It started with an internship, which was followed by my diploma thesis and since then I have been working and writing my dissertation at IAF.
What is the topic of your dissertation?
The primary question is: how to combine data rates as high as possible with low power consumption in one integrated circuit. I research what factors affects both the power consumption and the data rate, and try to find the optimal solution in order to improve wireless networks of the future.
My research aims at data links, that is to say the communication between two determined communication devices. This allows various possible applications. One example is a data or video kiosk at which mobile data can be downloaded much faster than today. Another use would be to improve the communication between data nodes and base stations. This makes my research promising for future communication devices and the upcoming mobile communication standard 5G.
What is your work routine as a research assistant at Fraunhofer IAF?
I am involved in various projects, some of which are thematically quite different. This is very fruitful for me, as I am not restricted to one specific field, but am able to delve into a wide range of topics. I even work in two business units of IAF at the same time. On the one hand, I work in high frequency electronics, where I research integrated circuits for cryogenic applications for radio astronomy, or even for future quantum computing. On the other hand, I also work in power electronics, where I design highly linear receiver systems. Even though the topics are different, the fundamental questions are often the same and the synergies of the two business units are perfect for a circuit designer like me.