Interview 7

Ursula Pähler


Ursula Pähler is a research assistant at the Deggendorf Institute of Technology (THD) at the Technology Campus Freyung (TCF) - Institute for Applied Computer Science & Bionics. Her Master's degree in Technology Management followed her Bachelor's degrees in Engineering Physics and Industrial Engineering. After several positions at the THD (including STEM promotion), she is now responsible for ontologies in the SensoTwin project at the TCF. At the same time, she advises companies on topics relating to digitalisation and AI in the Zukunftszentrum Süd project.

What do you find most exciting about the MaterialDigital initiative?

The cooperation and exchange between different fields and research areas, material areas, objectives, institutes, regions ... and thus the contact with the most diverse people with the most diverse strengths, biographies, working methods and goals. Thanks to the diverse backgrounds of the participants, it's never boring, there's always something new to learn - even outside your own area of expertise - and it's exciting to see where similarities can be found despite all the differences.

How do you explain your work (e.g., the creation of an ontology) in simple terms to your parents or friends?

"No, I don't work with birds, and no, it has nothing to do with cancer either - an ontology is a bit like a mind map on steroids. We try to present knowledge and correlations (digitally) in a way that both humans and machines can understand, in order to gain new insights".

What do you see as the main goals for digitalising Materials Science?

That the advantages and importance of structured data collection and digitalisation are recognised and driven forward across all areas - from skilled workers to management level, from the innovative research and development area to the (small) manufactory.

How do you keep a good balance between work and private life?

Ideally, balance is found through activity - whether it's bouldering, dancing or motorcycling. But sometimes a (good) book will do the trick too. If your head is already spinning, it can be less demanding and simply entertaining.