Visualization TU Berlin main building © Oliver Baus

„Zukunftsmacher*innen“ - TU Berlin’s Alumni Podcast

TU Berlin’s Alumni Network comprises some 35,000 members in 139 countries worldwide. They all have in common that they once studied, worked, taught or researched at TU Berlin. Today, many of them are pursuing exciting and forward-thinking professions that can change all of our lives. In the following interviews, selected alumni from all over the world and from different subjects tell us how they found their way, what motivates them and what they are doing today to make the world a better place – as “Zukunftsmacher*innen”. Most episodes are currently available in German only.

TU Berlin's Alumni Podcast is available on all the major listening platforms, via its feed link and on this website.

The podcast is funded by the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises.

Are you an alumnus or alumna of TU Berlin and would like to become part of its worldwide alumni community? Then register for your free membership.

Recent Podcast Episodes

Episode 21 with Christoph Schünemann: "On decarbonisation, digitalization and decentralization"

Publication date: 1. December 2022

"No field of work is more exciting right now than the energy sector," says Christoph Schünemann. The Industrial Engineering graduate works as head of co-development at Siemens Energy. Together with customers and partners from business and science, he identifies, evaluates and realizes innovation ideas. In the interview, he talks not only about the "three Ds" as challenges in the energy transition, but also about tricky basic subjects during his studies. This episode is available in German only. Episode 21

Episode 22 with Florah Ikawa-Witte: "Storytelling as a profession"

Publication date: 20 December 2022

"I like telling stories and taking potential donors on a journey," says Florah Ikawa-Witte. The “Urban Management” graduate works as a fundraiser for a non-governmental organization that focuses on nature and animal conservation in Africa. In this episode, the native Kenyan shares what makes a good fundraiser, what role the number 40 plays in her work and how she experienced her first winter months in Germany. The interview was conducted in English. Episode 22

Previous Podcast Episodes

Episode 20 with Cansu Sagdic: “Shaping the energy transition”

Publication date: 27 October 2022

Cansu Sagdic works in an area that is currently a subject of much discussion. The project engineer plans power plants and energy generation facilities. In this episode, she speaks about how the energy transition affects her everyday work. Additionally, the graduate of the Master's program Process, Energy and Environmental Systems Engineering talks about her move from Istanbul to Berlin and shares how she polished up her German skills. This episode is available in German only. Episode 20

Episode 19 with Maria Sinz: “Dream job in teaching”

Publication date: 26 September 2022

"I have the best job in the world. We are far away from overhead projectors and teacher monologues," says Maria Sinz. She works as a vocational school teacher in an upper-level centre. Before studying civil engineering to become a vocational school teacher, Maria trained as a glazier. In the interview, Maria shares why she initially didn't dare go to university and how she dealt with self-doubts during her studies and teacher training. She also explains how the teaching profession differs between vocational and general education schools. This episode is available in German only. Episode 19

Episode 18 with Anne Katrin Burghartz: "Ensuring stable conditions"

Publication date: 28 July 2022

During her journalism studies, Anne Katrin Burghartz quickly realised that she would rather be an expert than a generalist. She then discovered her passion for civil engineering at TU Berlin and now works as a structural engineer in an engineering office. One of her most unusual projects to date was working on the art project of the late artist couple Christo and Jeanne-Claude to cover the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Anne Katrin developed the structural design for this project. In the interview, she shares how she had to withstand extreme wind loads and how she deals with responsibility and pressure on the job. Episode 18

Episode 17 with Elena Engelbrechter: "Art in practice! About working in a museum"

Publication date: 21 June 2022

"I've loved going to museums ever since I was in high school." Today, Elena Engelbrechter works right there. The graduate of the Art Studies and Art Technology program is a research assistant at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, where she is in charge of exhibitions and collections. Such positions are few and far between. In the interview, Elena shares how she landed her job and what role her traineeship played in the process. She also takes a look into the future and talks about digitization and sustainability in the museum industry. Episode 17

Episode 16 with Bonaventure Ndikung: "From the lab to the gallery"

Publication date: 28. April 2022

"There is so much to do, because there are so many things that have not been done yet." That's why Dr. Bonaventure Ndikung is not only a biotechnologist, but also a curator, art critic, and publicist. Art was always there, not only during his studies and doctorate. Even when the native Cameroonian worked in the laboratory of a company for pacemakers and defibrillators, he devoted his free time to art. In 2023, Bonaventure will take over as artistic director of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW). In this interview, he talks about his plans for this new challenge and his path there. Episode 16

Episode 15 with Albert Baur: "A career in sustainability: How to feel good about what you do"

Publication date: 31 March 2022

For Dr. Albert Baur, it's important to find meaning and purpose in his job. He works as a consultant and strategist for an agency that develops sustainability and climate strategies for companies. In his doctorate, he worked on sustainable urban development. In this episode, Albert Baur explains how he dealt with phases of demotivation, what the four letters CSRD have to do with sustainability, and what the Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains is all about. This episode is available in German only. Episode 15

Episode 14 with Braj Bhushan Prasad: "Silence please! Reducing the noise of wind turbines"

Publication date: 3 March 2022

Onshore wind turbines are too noisy. In Europe, they are always placed close to people, and their noise can cause headaches and hearing problems in the long term. Braj Bhushan Prasad is working on reducing the noise of wind turbines in his research project at Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg. The native from India studied Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science at TU Berlin. In the interview, Braj shares how he fell in love with the subject of mechanics, how he mastered the German language, and whether his expectations of Germany as the "land of engineers" have been fulfilled. This episode is available in German only. Episode 14

Episode 13 with Rachana Reddy Mamidi: "Careers in space: Preventing chaos in the universe"

Publication date: 3 February 2022

Rachana Reddy Mamidi keeps order in space. The graduate of the Master's program "Space Engineering" develops on-board data handling systems for microsatellites and ensures that the subsystems communicate correctly with each other. Her passion for everything related to orbit also influences her spare time: In her podcast, the native from India chats with people working in the space industry, and she is a co-founder of the Berlin group "Women in Aerospace". But how do you become a space engineer? Rachana has tips for a career in this field. The interview was conducted in English. Episode 13

Episode 12 with Bogna Jaroslawska: „The Power of Art: Social Change and Creativity”

Publication date: 6 January 2022

With her social sculptures, Bogna Grażyna Jaroslawska gives marginalized groups a voice. To achieve this she travels the world and is currently even planning to volunteer in India. The graduate of the study program Bühnenbild_Szenischer Raum is a freelance installation artist, opera dramaturg and stage designer.  In this episode, Bogna shares how she developed her signature style as an artist and looks into the future where she sees an important role for virtual reality in theater. This episode is available in German only. Episode 12

Episode 11 with Dmitriy Bogdanov: “Ride Shares and Cabs to Space”

Publication date: 2 December 2021

Dmitriy Bogdanov sends small satellites into space by ride-sharing or cab ride. And to ensure that their exit runs smoothly, the founder and CEO of Exolaunch GmbH develops separation systems. In this episode, Dmitriy explains how exactly this works. Studying Aeronautics and Astronautics was so interesting to him that it almost seemed like an entertainment program. Describing his job with a wink, Dmitriy says: "A lot of little boys like to play with spaceships and rockets. In some way, I just kept on playing." This episode is available in German only. Episode 11

Episode 10 with Maria Wirzberger: “Smart Learning with Algorithms and AI”

Publication date: 4 November 2021

Whether it is with diagrams, films or by reading aloud - each of us studies differently. Jun.-Prof. Dr. Maria Wirzberger individualizes learning support with the help of algorithms and artificial intelligence. The Assistant Professor for Teaching and Learning with Intelligent Systems develops programs that can adapt to the learner’s needs and offer tailored support. In this episode, the Human Factors graduate shares what role freedom plays in her profession, and why a "crooked" CV can be particularly purposeful. This episode is available in German only. Episode 10

Episode 9 with Nadine Hadad: "About Freedom of the Press and Ice-Bathing: Always Learning New Things on the Job"

Publication date: 7 October 2021

Nadine Hadad loves exploring and learning new things. In her job as a host at Bayerischer Rundfunk's PULS Reportage, as a presenter and as a campus reporter for TU Berlin, she gets to do just that. Nadine also worked a lot alongside her Master's studies in Language and Communication. In the interview, she tells us how she managed this double burden and picked out really exciting courses from the university's huge range of offerings. Nadine also reveals how she strayed from her original desire to become a dentist and ended up in the media. A little teaser: It all started at a summer camp. This episode is available in German only. Episode 9

Episode 8 with Jan Bohl: "The Democratization of the Music Industry: How Technology Supports Creativity"

Publication date: 18 August 2021

With just a laptop and some software, you can make really good music. That wasn't always the case. Business Administration alumnus Jan Bohl is Chief Financial Officer and co-owner of Ableton, one of the most innovative and successful producers of music software and hardware worldwide. Jan has combined his business education and his love of music in his career and wants to support musicians in their creativity. In the interview, Jan explains why Ableton is a good example of how one of the best motivations for starting a business is to meet your own needs. We also learn about the role music education for young people plays in the company’s future. This episode is available in German only. Episode 8

Episode 7 with Moustafa Adly: "Slow Charging the Electric Car: The Technology Behind the Switches"

Publication date: 21 July 2021

Electrical Engineering alumnus Dr. Moustafa Adly deals with the technology behind all the locking and unlocking functions in the car and the charging management of the electric car. In this episode, the development engineer at a leading automotive manufacturer shares how complex the programming of the required software is and what he loves about his work. We also learn why the native Egyptian came to Germany in 2013 to do his doctorate at TU Berlin, what he finds appealing about Germany’s industry, to what extent Berlin and Cairo are similar, and what Moustafa's vision for the future is - not just in terms of electric mobility. This episode is available in German only. Episode 7

Episode 6 with Fanny Rezza Vega: "Turning Cells into Singles: Cell separation as a profession"

Publication date: 2 June 2021

Biotechnology graduate Fanny Rezza Vega explains what a single cell can do better than a partnered cell and where the opportunities and challenges of personalized medicine lie. In her job, she deals with cell separation and produces monoclonal antibodies. When the Peruvian decided to study in Germany, it had to be TU Berlin. In this interview, Fanny tells us how she managed the Preparatory School, her studies at TU Berlin and the upbringing of her youngest daughter, who followed in her mother’s footsteps and is studying Biotechnology at TU Berlin today, and who supported her in the process. This episode is available in German only. Episode 6

Episode 5 with Philip Ehrhorn: “Fighting Marine Plastic Pollution with an Air Bubble Screen"

Publication date: 8 April 2021

Far too much plastic waste ends up in the sea. Most of the time it gets there via rivers and canals. Philip Ehrhorn has co-developed a solution called the Bubble Barrier that captures plastic waste before it reaches the ocean. The idea for this came to him in a sewage treatment plant during a semester abroad in Australia. In the interview, Philip talks about the objects he and his team have fished out of the rivers so far and the policies that are necessary to save the world's oceans from plastic pollution. He graduated in marine and ocean engineering. During his studies, Philip had doubts from time to time as to whether he had made the right choice of study. In the podcast, he shares how he mastered tricky maths exams and now dedicates his time to something that fulfils him professionally. This episode is available in German only. Episode 5

Episode 4 with Linda Ochwada: "On the Diversity of Geodata: How they can help prevent carjacking"

Publication date: 11 March 2021

Company founder Linda Ochwada knows full well that geoinformation systems can be used in a variety of ways. The graduate of the Master's programme "Geodesy and Geoinformation Science" has developed a product especially for the African market that can prevent carjacking. When she was a little girl, the Kenyan already knew that she would want to become her own boss one day. In the podcast, she shares how she balanced her studies and her role as a mother, how she holds her own in the male-dominated tech industry and how she supports women in Kenya on their way to financial independence.The interview was conducted in English. Episode 4 

Episode 3 with Dehai Dong: "The Perfect Mouthfeel: How yoghurt gets the right consistency"

Publication date: 18 February 2021

In this interview, Food Technology graduate Dehai Dong explains why firm yoghurt is usually not a big seller, how it gets creamy and what role "stabi" play in this. He also reveals how Vietnamese consumers prefer their yoghurt compared to Europeans. Dehai's motto is "healthy and smart nutrition". This does not come as a surprise because he works as a project manager for research and development in a company that develops and produces natural stabilisers and food additives. Born in China, Dehai has lived in Germany for over eleven years. In the podcast, he shares why he likes Berlin so much and what life here feels like compared to large Chinese cities. This episode is available in German only. Episode 3

Episode 2 with Francisco Morales Serrano: "On Cobots and Occluders: How cutting-edge technology is saving human lives"

Publication date: 4 February 2021

Learn which tasks robots can take on in hospitals, especially in times of Corona, and how special sensors protect the sensitive skin of newborns during medical examinations in the podcast with Prof. Dr. Francisco Morales Serrano. In the interview, the professor of Automation Technology at Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin talks about his passion for solving complex problems with technology and developing something that benefits people, for example in medical technology. The native of Mexico, who came to TU Berlin for his doctorate, also talks about how he experienced reunification in Berlin and why, if he could study again, he would choose mathematics of all subjects. This episode is available in German only. Episode 2

Episode 1 with Mirza Vranjaković: "Wood is the New Concrete: On Sustainability and Creativity in Architecture"

Publication date: 21 January 2021

Flying classrooms, police headquarters and libraries are the topics of the conversation with architect Mirza Vranjaković. He works at Hascher Jehle Architektur. In the podcast, Mirza not only tells us how to make an architectural statement and where the inspiration for it can come from. He also elaborates on building materials for the sustainable construction of cities and the importance of tolerance for future needs in the process of planning buildings. You will also hear how Mirza, who has loved visiting construction sites since he was a little boy, came to Berlin from Serbia via Turkey and, after completing his Master's degree in Architecture at TU Berlin, is now pursuing his dream job, where technology and art go hand in hand. This episode is available in German only. Episode 1

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