Do you work in the energy sector? Are you hoping to work in the energy sector once you have completed your education? Are you interested in inspiring others to join you?
The European Network of Women for Innovative Energy Solutions (Women4Energy Network) would like to know more about you and your experience as a researcher / student / entrepreneur in the energy sector. We would like to build up a portfolio of pioneering and inspirational figures to present to students and female pupils, helping them to make their career selection by showing real impressions of your career in the energy sector and the opportunities the field offers.
Tell us about what you do, how you decided on this field and what your expectations for the future are. By telling us your story, we will be able to show others your experience and help get other women interested in joining the sector.
Please send us a digital picture of yourself. Choose between a portrait photograph and a photo which gives an impression of what you do in your profession.
John Deere GmbH & Co. KG
Fabienne Seibold, agronomical engineer, is employed at John Deere, the largest European and worldwide manufacturer of agricultural equipment and a leading producer of forestry and construction machinery. As development engineer, Fabienne leads all publicly funded R&D activities in EU zone (except Germany) and external technology relationships with main focus on sustainability and manufacturing. She is also the German ambassador of the Society of Women Engineer (SWE) and the lead of John Deere Women Network in Germany
Professor for energy economics and energy markets | owner of Löbbe Consulting
During my studies in business administration in 1988 in Saarbrücken, I was responsible for the acquisition and management of projects within a student initiative covering marketing issues. We worked with a local utility, Prognos and Wuppertal Institute on a project destined to develop a concept for positioning the municipal utility of Bremen, Northern Germany as a provider for energy services. The initiator’s motivation, the Bremen Senate, was to develop answers regarding the nuclear accident in Tchernobyl in 1987. Our task was to develop a marketing concept for the utility. This was rather unique at that time.
This hazard-like approach made me get in touch with the energy industry. Later, I started working for a regional utility and wrote my doctorate about Marketing Strategies for Utilities.
In the last 30 years, I accompanied many utilities and related firms and associations in developing and implementing strategies, business models and in realizing change. I worked as a general manager in utilities as well as consultant. For three years, I enjoy teaching, researching and consulting.
What motivates me still today: Strategy and business model development in the energy industry means “change” and “shaping the future” in a complex environment.
Executive Strategic Growth Leader
GE Renewable Energy
Boulogne Billancourt, France
Amelie Wulff is the Global Strategic Growth Leader for GE Renewable Energy based out of the global headquarters in Paris, France. In her role, Amelie is driving thought-leadership, strategic plans and initiatives for GE’s Renewables business. She is overlooking a portfolio of multi-use technologies and generation assets and is seeking to drive new markets and business models across the globe.
Prior to joining Amelie spent 2 years as the Managing Director – Project Finance – for the International Markets at Current, powered by GE. Current, powered by GE, is activating and leading the transition to a 21st century ecosystem by helping companies redefine the way they use energy and data technologies.
Before her move to Current, she spent 10 years at GE Capital working in a number of GE businesses across Europe. She began her career in 2003 at Industrie-und Kreditbank in Germany working in the Structured Finance department covering the international offices of IKB from the risk side. In 2006, Amelie joined GE Capital in the Central European division of Healthcare Finance. From 2011 through 2015 she worked on GE’s Corporate Leadership Staff and from 2014 to 2016, Amelie spearheaded all commercial and business development activities for GE Capital International in EMEA in the Healthcare Finance unit based out of London.
Amelie holds an M.B.A. University of Utrecht and a B.A. in Economics from Boston College.
Amelie is on the board of the Evangelische Krankenhaus Duesseldorf and an advisor to both a medical device and an IT start-up based out of Germany.
Scientific Officer / M.A. Sociologist
Institute for Resource Efficiency and Energy Strategies (IREES)
My research focuses mainly on the identification of acceptance factors and impeding factors as well as the examination of communication processes with regard to innovative and energy-efficient products (e.g. LED lighting) and renewable energy. I look at the field of education as well as industry and commerce and on the municipal level. My responsibilities also include the formulation of policy recommendations.
As I studied sociology (focus on education and migration), I was not quite clear what to do with it until I found the niche of energy and environmental research. I have always been interested in sustainable issues and was very happy to see that I can contribute to a better future in the way of research in energy topics.
I work for almost five years now (since 2012) in a small institute that is independent and interdisciplinary. I really enjoy this small group of researchers and could not imagine working in a “big player” organization. But of course I try my best to become a well known expert in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energy research in order to support decision makers.
Project Manager / Junior Consultant
Dr. Langniß Energie & Analyse
I am working on studies about renewable energies (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) for governmental institutions and commercial customers and setting up strategies for implementing RE and EE worldwide. Besides, I am coordinating projects in the energy sector. This is one of the most important economic sectors and impacts the development of all other sectors. The combination of state and public property and their regulation makes this sector even more interesting to work in. I started my career in the energy sector in 2008 in the Russian Energy Ministry. At that time, a large-scale transformation of the Russian energy sector took place when a vertical integrated state company that was responsible for all elements of the energy sector value chain was resolved into private (power generation and supply) and state companies (networks). Then, I worked in numerous Russian and German companies in the energy sector and was especially active in research and market analysis. My long-term commitment to this sector has only proved that it is a very exciting and challenging sphere.
My objective is to become a professional project manager and experienced consultant for projects aiming at climate change mitigation worldwide (increasing the share of renewable energies in power generation and energy efficiency) and perhaps the establishment of my own company, or working as an independent consultant.
Scientific Project Coordinator / PhD Student
Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems
“When I chose to become an engineer, I – thinking very idealistically as a student – wanted to contribute to solving the world’s energy problem”. Daniela Dirnberger was especially interested in renewable energies. As a result of the lack of options offering a focus on renewable energies as well as education in necessary fundamentals, she went to study mechanical engineering. The focus there was more on fossil and nuclear power generation. She was quite impressed by the technical achievements allowing for the operation of huge power plants.
And again, as in many other cases, her studies allowed her to travel. Her first practical experiences were in the field of commissioning of power plants, in Australia and Germany. After this experience, she realised that she really wanted to specialise in renewable energies, as she had started to believe that fossil and nuclear power plants were not the only alternatives. Daniela Dirnberger believes that renewable energies are key for energetic independence in the future.
For her future, she wants to face challenging tasks in the field of renewable energies. She would also like to contribute to true gender equality in business – a goal that she shares with many other excellently educated women linked in the femtec.Alumnae e.V. network (www.femtec-alumnae.org).
Lucía Doyle is working at the Technologie-Transfer-Zentrum Bremerhaven (ttz), in the north of Germany. She is part of the Environment Department, which performs applied research and development in the areas of "Water, Energy and Land Use Management", not only in Germany and Europe but also around the globe. Energy efficiency, renewable energies or new technologies for biomass… all this and more is the focus of Ms. Doyle. She works in cooperation with other researchers, companies and associations, conducing applied research and bringing the innovations on the market.
She studied Chemical Engineering at the Autónoma University of Madrid in Spain, after which she conducted a MSc in Energy and Fuels for the Future. After working for some years in concentrated solar power, she is now focusing on biomass conversion technologies and waste-to-energy systems
as part of the biomass group at ttz, where she is also coordinator of FP7 projects. Since she was a little girl, she knew exactly what she wanted to be. Her dream was to become an engineer. She wanted her work to help achieving a more sustainable future and this is why she decided to focus on renewable energies.
And for the future? With a long career ahead, she would like to become a Technical Director so she can build a team and lead new projects.
Entrepreneur / Architect
E2 Energie GmbH
Britt Sylvia Eckelmann is not a typical scientist or researcher. She is an entrepreneur, a partner in a company and studied architecture. To earn her degrees, she had to leave Germany and study in the UK and USA. She is an example that it is not necessary to be a scientist to work with new technologies and to make your environment better.
One of the companies in which she is active is E2 Energie GmbH, the other one being the architecture office CPM.
Britt Sylvia Eckelmann started her company very young – at 26 years old, straight after finishing her studies. She is successful in a male-dominated sector. Moreover, she is an advocate for working in mixed teams where women and men work together on projects.
In the energy field, she focuses on the supply of electricity and heating / cooling based on different energy sources including conventional sources as well as biogas, solar and photovoltaic systems and the operation of energy grids for industrial and residential projects.
She has been in the business for more than 10 years and during her work in real estate as an architect and developer, she witnessed the rising demand for changes in energy provision and sources. She recognises that there is potential and opportunities both in western and development countries alike. Unlike in Germany, renewable energies have proven to be an avenue for business success without any subsidies in other parts of the world. Ms. Eckelmann expanded the services of the architect office by using new innovative ideas. In her opinion, the diversification into renewable energies has been instrumental to the company’s current success.
Centre for Applied Research - Sustainable Energy Technology
Ursula Eicker hadn’t planned to study physics at high school — music and languages were here focus. But she wanted to try something new. As a fan of mathematics, she was looking for an application-oriented subject where theoretical and practical information could be combined. She studied physics with a focus on solid-state physics. Later, she received a doctoral degree in physics at the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. At the age of only 29, she became a professor for Building Physics at the University of Applied Sciences in Stuttgart. Today, she is head of the Egle-Institute for applied research at the University of Applied Sciences in Stuttgart as well as the Centre for Applied Research at Universities of Applied Sciences – Sustainable Energy Technology (zafh.net) in Stuttgart.
The fields of her research and study are very diverse, from building physics, solar heating and cooling (e.g. cooling with solar energy), photovoltaic, biomass, energy efficient buildings and city quarters to simulation and IT. Ursula Eicker feels at home with application-oriented research projects in cooperation with engineers, architects and other partners. The applied research sector is diverse and relatively new and the solar energy topic is important in society. Energy policy is also a topic that is discussed by the public at large. Her activities in the energy sector focus on application-oriented research, more specifically on urban energy concepts, energy management and innovative cooling and heating solutions. Increased networking with European and international communities with
trendsetting energy concepts is an exciting development and research and demonstration projects can help achieve sustainability quicker.
As a woman in a male-dominated sector, she is widely acknowledged and enjoys a good working atmosphere, be it in the office, at international events or on construction sites.
She encourages girls to consider a technical degree for a fulfilling and diverse life. Some idealism and pioneer spirit is still required to use the new technologies. She would like to see more use made of sustainable energy technology now and not only once fossil energy sources are running short and the energy allocation battles get harder.
Europäisches Institut für Energieforschung
Joelle Franceschi ist Diplom-Geographin und seit 2010 als Forschungsreferentin am Europäischen Institut für Energieforschung tätig. Als solche berät sie ForscherInnen bei der Auswahl von geeigneten Förderprogrammen und begleitet sie bei der Antragstellung und Durchführung von europäischen sowie nationalen Forschungsprojekten. Die Anbahnung von Forschungskooperationen gehört ebenfalls zu ihren Schwerpunkten.
Aufgrund ihrer im multikulturellen Umfeld erworbenen langjährigen interkulturellen Kompetenz berät sie MitarbeiterInnen auch zu Fragen internationaler Kooperationen.
Insbesondere im traditionell mehrheitlich männlich geprägten Bereich der Entwicklung dezentraler Energieversorgungstechnologien spielen Genderaspekte eine Rolle.
Wie lässt sich das Innovationspotential von Frauen weiter fördern? Wie wird Innovation in anderen Kulturen von Frauen gelebt? Dies und andere Fragen gehören zum Forschungsumfeld eines multinationalen Institutes und sollten weiter untersucht werden.
Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)
Sara Ghaem has always been fascinated by science and had a great time at school. “The inspiration came from my father’s job and I knew that I wanted to become an engineer. I got my engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST). After graduation, I have been working for several years in the oil and gas industry in Iran. In my last job, I have been the supervisor of the projects in the National Iranian Oil Company for four years.“ Working in the oil and gas industry gave her the chance to understand deeply how much society, policy and the environment are influenced by this source of energy and she asked herself, why just oil and gas which both have such a destructive influence. It made her think about other types of energy sources which are renewable and more sustainable with less environmental and social impacts.
Although working in industry was a great experience for her and she had a very challenging job, she wanted to get back to science and decided to return to the academic environment, improve her knowledge and make a change in the energy sector. “I also felt that living abroad could be an amazing experience and a step forward in achieving my dreams. In the end, I decided to come to Sweden which is one of the pioneers in sustainable society development.” She was accepted at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) to study a Master's degree in mechanical engineering with a specialization in sustainable energy and is now a PhD Student in the field of energy technology. Her work focuses on small-scale energy systems which provide electricity mostly via solar, wind, biomass or any other types of local renewable energy sources. Her project aims to provide technical solution to produce energy from available local energy sources and develop technologies which are more sustainable and reliable.
Sara is very passionate about her chosen career: “I love my work! It is a challenge every day and I have the chance to travel to different conferences and seminars. I believe that research and education are the key factors towards a better society and I want to contribute more in developing more sustainability in the energy sector.“ And does she think that it is hard for women in this sector? “In my opinion, science is a girl thing and it does not contradict with femininity or having an amazing lifestyle as a woman! We should forget all clichés about women in engineering by looking at the history of education for women during the last century and encourage other women to make a contribution towards a better society."
Institut für nachhaltige Energienutzung
"Als Projektleiterin und freiberuflich Forschende bin ich im fachübergreifenden Kompetenzfeld von nachhaltiger Architektur / Stadtplanung / Energie / Technologie / Soziologie / Projektmanagement, Kommunikation und Wissenstransfer tätig. Dabei bin ich auf vielfältige Weise mit Fragen zu Gender-Aspekten befasst. Die geringe Präsenz von Frauen in der Energietechnik, und im Besonderen in der Energieforschung, bewirkt einseitig ausgerichtete Forschungs- und Entwicklungsstrategien, die wichtige Fragestellungen ausklammern bzw. als zu gering erachten. Für anwendungsorientierte technologische Entwicklungen und -lösungen sehe ich in der Beachtung von Gender-Aspekten einen wesentlichen Erfolgsfaktor. Daraus ergeben sich passgenauere Lösungen für Produktentwicklung, Kommunikation sowie für den Planungsprozess.
Im Forschungsprojekt "GINGER - Genderaspekte In der Nutzung von Gebäuden, Energie und Ressourcen" wurde der Einfluss des NutzerInnenverhaltens auf den Betrieb von Niedrigstenergie- und Plusenergiegebäuden differenziert nach gesellschaftlichen, sozialen und interkulturellen Aspekten, insbesondere nach Gender-Aspekten untersucht. Ziel war eine umfassende Analyse des NutzerInnenverhaltens in Hinblick auf optimale Lösungen im Zielkonflikt zwischen energieeffizienter Gebäudekonzeption und verbraucherseitig bestimmten Einflussfaktoren. Daraus wurden Erkenntnisse für die Planung und Bauausführung sowie für die Produktentwicklung abgeleitet. Die Ergebnisse des zweijährigen Projekts sind für unterschiedliche Zielgruppen aufbereitet und in Form von „Factsheets“ dargestellt (Download unter http://www.use-energy.at/ginger_ergebnisse.html)."
Energji Ashta sh.p.k
Shkoder County, Albania
Klodeta Idrizi studied mechanical engineering at the Polytechnical University in Tirana. Later, she took part in various traineeships, which also involved travelling abroad, for example to Germany. Klodeta is convinced of one thing: ”First of all, I believe that to follow any career one must like her/his profession.” She has always been attracted by the subjects machineries, technology and physics. Her recognition of this helped her to decide on an engineering career. The energy sector became a significant challenge to her during her studies, due to it being a wide and delicate sector to work in. Following a recommendation from one of her professors and after visiting some of the hydropower plants in northern Albania, she decided to become part of these complicated and interesting systems.
The environmental sector is always progressing and trying to adapt to the current needs of the consumer. As a result, the nature and importance of the problems being faced change and require creative thinking in finding ways to solve them. She knows she faces a relatively challenging professional future and will have to stay very active in order to be competitive in this powerful sector.
Klodeta Idrizi currently works in the youngest river hydropower plant in Shkoder County in the northern part of Albania. She is the head of a team of five that is responsible for planning and executing the maintenance of the hydro-mechanical equipment of the power plant. One of her jobs is to keep all 90 hydromatrix turbines fully functional so that more than 100,000 Albanian households can be supplied with electricity.
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