Diversity as a Factor of Success in Research

An article published in the magazine "audimax MINT-Guide 2024" (p. 32) on 18 October 2023 on the german website audimax.de .

Forschungszentrum Jülich is one of the largest research institutions in Europe and diversity plays a key role in our excellent research. This diversity ranges from a high degree of interdisciplinarity and a broad spectrum of topics within the three research priorities of energy, information, and bioeconomy to the highly specialized research infrastructures and cutting-edge scientific methods right up to the diversity of our employees. Diversity enables innovation, creativity, and the integration of many perspectives on the same topic. Here, three colleagues provide us with insights into their research and tell us how diversity enriches their everyday work.

Sonja Germscheid – doctoral researcher at the Institute of Energy and Climate Research – Energy Systems Engineering (IEK-10)

Diversity as a Factor of Success in Research

My doctoral thesis focuses on one of the many challenges associated with the energy transition: how can we overcome the uncertainties associated with generating renewable energy? I look at how industrial enterprises can optimize their electricity consumption and at the connection between system properties and the potential to save energy. In my everyday work, I appreciate the diverse personalities of my colleagues. Everybody contributes their own unique strengths depending on their character. For example, very analytical people ask really good and important questions; creative people find new ways of visualizing complex correlations; and visionaries combine existing approaches with new ideas. This diversity fosters progress driven by discussions, helping each other, listening, and understanding.

Prof. Dr. Estela Suarez – project leader in the area of high-performance computing at the Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC)

Diversity as a Factor of Success in Research

I am a physicist and have been working at JSC since 2010, where I am responsible for several research projects and collaborations at national and European level. As part of my research, I develop innovative concepts for the integration of different computing technologies with the aim of continuously improving the performance, energy efficiency, und user-friendliness of future supercomputers. Diversity and multidisciplinarity are two essential elements in my research area. At JSC, international colleagues from informatics, mathematics, physics, biology, engineering, and many other fields work together on solving the grand challenges facing society using supercomputers. They not only contribute their scientific expertise but also their cultural backgrounds, they enrich the working environment, and they help create an open welcoming culture, from which we all benefit – professionally and personally.

Suad Hammoudeh – research scientist at the Institute of Bio- and Geosciences – Agrosphere (IBG-3)

Diversity as a Factor of Success in Research

As part of the project “Digital Geosystem – Rhineland Region”, I am working on the development and application of a digital geodata infrastructure. Using advanced measurements and innovative simulations, we monitor and forecast complex interactions and feedback loops between geosystems e.g. the water cycle including periods of drought. Our work is very application oriented and helps to increase resource efficiency and sustainability, for example in agriculture. A particularly enriching aspect of the project, in my opinion, is the diverse, international team of people from very different cultural and scientific backgrounds and with very different career paths. This diversity fosters a dynamic exchange of ideas and expertise, which leads to a process of continuous learning and personal development. I have become more adaptable as a result of this working environment and I have learnt how to approach complex tasks creatively and work on them more effectively.

Copyrights: Sonja Germscheid (private); Prof. Dr. Estela Suarez (Forschungszentrum Jülich); Suad Hammoudeh (private)

Last Modified: 23.04.2024