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Ulrike Willer

Lead Physicist, Clausthal University of Technology and Energy Research Center of Lower Saxony, Germany
Country of Birth: Germany

Educational Background: PhD physics, Clausthal University of Technology, Germany; Diploma physics, Christian Albrechts Universität Kiel, Germany

Ulrike WillerI was always sure about the fact that I wanted to work in sciences - the decision for physics was influenced by project work at high school, a very good and encouraging teacher who was convinced that I would study physics even before I seriously thought about it myself, and the fact that physics offers you a very broad field of professional work because you do not just learn laws of nature but a very special and efficient way to analyze and solve problems. I never regretted this decision.

I lead a small team of PhD students and graduate students and our goal is to use laser spectroscopy in a variety of applications like the detection of toxic substances, explosives, or gas concentrations that are of interest in industry or environmental monitoring. We develop sensors that are capable of being used outside the lab, thus also miniaturization and ruggedness of devices are important. Besides practical work, I write research proposals and interact with industrial collaborators to assure funding.

Just follow your dream. If you are doing what you like and are passionate about it you will easily master challenges that would be insuperable if you would just do any job. Be aware that you are within a minority. There is no need to be intimidated by that fact - you just stick out of the crowd and that is a good starting point to convince others of your qualities and abilities.