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Ines-Marie Thelen

trainee physics laboratory technician at the Institute of Energy and Climate Research – Troposphere (IEK-8)

How did you come to Forschungszentrum Jülich?

After dropping out of my physics degree at the University of Bonn, it was clear to me that I needed to focus on the practical application of what I learned. A friend of mine who had finished his physics degree was working on his doctoral thesis at Forschungszentrum Jülich and recommended I apply for a traineeship. This would enable me to combine practice and theory in the best possible way and allow me to grow thanks to the variety of tasks. What’s more is that, for trainees in particular, it’s unusual to be able to learn and work with such high-quality equipment.

Ines-Marie ThelenCopyright: Forschungszentrum Jülich / Ralf-Uwe Limbach

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on the installation and maintenance of IAGOS measuring instruments at IEK-8. These devices are used on regular long-distance flights to investigate the atmosphere in a climate-friendly way. Investigating the influence of pollutants in the air is important, but at the same time, adhering to the safety regulations governing these passenger aircraft is also of the utmost importance. This means that even though I’m still in training, I already know that my work is relevant for further research and for the scientific view of climate change. That’s a huge plus. As is the fact that my work isn’t just about learning theory or basic principles.
I also work in cooperation with the Aachen Chamber of Industry and Commerce as a traineeship ambassador for schools in the region. I talk to the pupils there about my traineeship and Forschungszentrum Jülich and hope to attract potential new trainees.

What makes your work special to you?

The interdisciplinary aspect is very exciting because I’m constantly confronted with new ideas and approaches as well as new challenges. I can work on problems independently, but I can also rely on my colleagues and their different ways of thinking for instant support whenever I need it. By bringing together the various specialist fields, there are always interesting discussions about possible approaches to a project – I’m sure that this will allow me to keep learning even after concluding my traineeship.