In conversation with Jasmin Niemasz

You have been at IAF since 2008, how did it start back then?

After I studied in Freiburg and worked at the university, I wanted to do something new. Since my interests are very broad, I have looked into various different career options, from industry to university. I also came across IAF, which immediately caught my attention. I decided to work here at a research institute partly, because developmental research offers a great opportunity to learn, but also because it is very easy to switch to career in industry later on. Since the teamwork is so great and it always remains varied and exciting, I still enjoy working at IAF today.


What fascinates you about your tasks as a process engineer?

I enjoy process technology because it is not just theory. My tasks are very varied: It is possible that I spent a whole day in the clean room, working on wafers at a chemistry table, a scanning electron microscope or a lithography tool; but there are also office days, where I process data and collect results. I am a technology coordinator, i.e. I plan and coordinate how a process should look like, so that in the end our devices, in my case infrared detectors, come out. This combination of theoretical and practical work is fascinating to me and it makes my work life very varied. And the best thing about it is that in the end I usually hold a finished product, or at least part of one, in my hands.

© Fraunhofer IAF

You are leading the group packaging technologies since two years. How does your daily work look like?

Actually, group management has a lot in common with process technology. There are many different tasks ensuring that all the work of my group can be done according to plan and in a targeted manner. This means distributing tasks in a way that everyone is occupied without being overwhelmed and making sure that the necessary equipment is available and functioning. In addition, of course, there are also administrative tasks. The most important thing, however, is to keep an eye open for the wellbeing of the colleagues.

A special feature of my work as group manager is that I get an insight into many other areas and business fields at our institute, some for which I might otherwise not have taken the time during my working life. My group mainly focuses on the packaging of quantum cascade lasers (QCLs), the growth of aluminum scandium nitride (AlScN) layers, the hybridization of infrared detectors, the grinding of wafers made of gallium arsenide (GaAs), silicon carbide (SiC) or of hybrids and chemical mechanical polishing (CMP). Since most of the work done at IAF is based on packaging technologies, my group has many points of contact with other projects and research areas, which is very exciting.


You have been partaking in the promotion program “TALENTA speed up” for a year now. It is an offer from the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft for female scientists who take on management or specialist positions. What have you experienced so far?

So far I have partook at the kick-off meeting and at the “TALENTA Day”. It was very interesting to get to know all the other female scientists and a great networking opportunity. There were also different workshops on methodical and personal competences during these days, which formed a good foundation for the individual career development. For the next year, I plan to take part in various trainings as part of the TALENTA program. I also hope that there will be more events of TALENTA itself, since the exchange with participants from other institutes produces nice impulses and ideas that can be put into practice at one’s own institute.

What do you cherish most about Freiburg and its surroundings?

The fact that I stayed here after my studies shows how much I like it here. On the one hand, it is the good weather, which is most of the time better than in the rest of Germany. On the other hand, it is the proximity to nature. You can be hiking or skiing in the mountains in no time or take your bike to drive to a lake for swimming in summer. Besides, Freiburg itself is a very beautiful and young student city. It is neither too big nor too small—you have a bit of everything.


What has been your personal highlight at Fraunhofer IAF?

Considering we are a research institute, it is always a small highlight when a device or component we developed works exactly how we planned. A concrete highlight to me was our contribution to the first European longwave infrared camera. We could even see it in action during an event at our institute. It was just great to see the finished product and to use it, knowing that the chip we have developed is build inside. The infrared picture we took of our institute still hangs in my office.


How would you briefly describe Fraunhofer IAF with just three words?



Jasmin Niemasz works as process manager in the field of photodetectors at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF since 2008. In the meantime, she became group manager of the group packaging technologies. Previously, she studied microsystem technologies with a focus on “Life Science” at the University of Freiburg and worked at the Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK).

Further employees of Fraunhofer IAF in conversation


"GaN technology is a real innovation for everyday applications."

Stefan Mönch, researcher PhD


"I accompany projects before they start and until they reach market."

Deborah Mohrmann, business developer



"The synergies are perfect for a circuit designer like me."

Fabian Thome, researcher PhD


All interviews

Here you can find all interviews with our colleagues.