• Explore Membership
  • Student Services
  • Early Career Resources
  • Corporate Membership
  • SPIE Professional Magazine
Print PageEmail Page

Ruth Houbertz

Head of Competence Unit, Optics & Electronic, Fraunhofer ISC, Wuerzburg, Germany
Country of birth: Germany

Educational background: PhD Physics, University Ulm, Germany; MS University of Saarland, Germany

Who or whRuth Houbertzat inspired you to work in science/engineering?
I was inspired to study physics by my horrible school grades, since I could not study medicine, as originally planned. In medicine, there were access restrictions related to the grades. Science was completely open to the "bad grades", thus, I decided to start with physics. (Also, my father is a physics and math teacher, and I could use the things I learned for medicine later.) I am far too curious to not be in science and engineering.

Primary responsibilities of your current job
My primary responsibilities range from the development of inorganic-organic hybrid materials via their processing to the creation of novel technologies for 3D patterning for optical, electronic, bio- and micromedical applications. In addition, I manage my nanotechnology team, which consists of chemists, physicists, and engineers, including master’s and PhD students. The materials have to enable the miniaturization from the macroscopy via the microscopic down to the nano scale. Presently, my major interests are focused on the 3D integration of optics into printed-circuit boards and the use of light-matter interaction to create micro- and nanostructures.

Advice you wish you had received when you were first starting out
I got this from my parents, who were always supportive: strength, confidence, tolerance, respect, no ignorance, being open to everything so you can transfer knowledge from one community to another, not being frustrated if intellectually threatened, thinking about consequences of decisions carefully, and finding the right way to make decisions (which
should be fair and objective, although this might be hard sometimes).