The last word…

March 16, 2020

...goes to Prof. Martin Schneider-Ramelow from Fraunhofer IZM

© Fraunhofer IZM
Prof. Martin Schneider-Ramelow.
© Private collection
Prof. Schneider-Ramelow is happiest spending his downtime out by the sea.

Prof. Martin Schneider-Ramelow, your professional development began in materials research; you are now deputy director of Fraunhofer IZM. Looking back, how would you describe your beginnings?

As very instructive! In a way, I learned the microelectronics packaging trade from scratch. At the beginning I stood at the grinding plate in metallography and carried out REM examinations. Later I assumed responsibility for projects, first leading a group, then a branch office, and finally a department. Now that I have a say in the institute’s strategy, it is sometimes very helpful to know of the needs and concerns at the grassroots level.

One focus of your activities is in the area of personnel coaching and advancement. What advice would you give to employees who want to advance their careers?

Have an inner compass! Anyone who starts at Fraunhofer should think about whether they want to move forward scientifically or hierarchically, or whether the job is more of a stepping stone into industry.

Which project from the Fraunhofer cosmos do you currently find most exciting?

As a researcher I regularly question existing limitations. This is why I consider the Research Fab Microelectronics Germany to be one of the most interesting initiatives, because this is the first time that a powerful collaboration for microelectronics in Germany has been forged across institutional boundaries. I am confident that we can take this idea forward at the European level.

You are author and co-author of 150 professional articles, professor at TU Berlin, and also deputy institute director at Fraunhofer IZM – you certainly have a lot to do. Do you have any advice on maintaining a good work-life balance?

If you don't make time for yourself, then you won’t have any! I love to cook and have written down my best recipes in my own cookbook; my wife illustrated it. It’s just like in the business world. With the right ingredients and the appropriate skill, small wonders can be conjured up. A good meal can bring even the most turbulent everyday life back into balance. And, if there’s time, I love to visit the coast, especially the North Sea.

Let us imagine that a point in your life is about to be turned into a film. What point would you choose?

Even if research is often far from Hollywood, you may know that I have worked intensively on wire bonding methods. Not everyone finds that particularly exciting. But you wouldn't believe how exciting it can be to find the strongest wire bond connection and also to understand, at a scientific level, how and why. It’s a bit like Cliffhanger. I think I would opt for my time as a young researcher when I was still experimenting a lot and basically setting the course for today.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and why?

It must not be just a fashionable issue: I consider it to be our most important task, not only at Fraunhofer, to reduce CO2 pollution and enable climate-neutral living worldwide! So that our grandchildren will also have a planet worth living on.

About Martin Schneider-Ramelow:

Born in the Emsland region in 1964. Married, one son. Studied materials science at TU Berlin and received his doctorate in the field of materials engineering with a thesis entitled “Inductive surface layer alloying of aluminum materials.” Initially a research assistant at TU Berlin at the Institute for Metallurgy, Metallurgical Engineering, later at the Institute for Materials Engineering. At Fraunhofer IZM in Berlin since 1998; from 2008 a department head for almost eleven years. Since 2014 also honorary professor at TU Berlin and since 2017 professor of Materials of Hetero-System Integration. Vice President of the research field of Microperipheric Technologies and Fraunhofer IZM.