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Successful as a woman in a male domain

TU graduate Verena Loeck had her passion for technology since her kindergarten days and was recently awarded with the Eleonore-Dießner-Prize 2014

  • Doctoral student Verena Loeck works at PIV/LIF test stand of the Faculty for Mechanical Engineering. Photo: Dr. Thorsten Urbaneck

Eleonore Dießner achieved the same in 1969: She graduated with a doctorate at Technische Hochschule Karl-Marx-Stadt, the forerunner of today’s TU Chemnitz and then devoted herself fully to science. As one of the few women, she completed a purely engineering and scientific study, which therefore brought her a lot of credits. Same happened to Verena Loeck. The 28-year-old completed her Master’s degree in Sustainable Energy Supply Technologies with an overall score of 1.7. For her master’s thesis entitled “Modeling of processes after the A.Q.S. principle“ she got a smooth 1.0. This outstanding performance was recently awarded with the Eleonore-Dießner Prize. This officially happened on the 17th of November 2014 in the “Altes Heizhaus“ by the Rector of TU Chemnitz, Prof. Dr. Arnold van Zyl. “I am very pleased to receive this award“, says Loeck and adds: “It is great to have a special recognition being a woman, who is working in the area of engineering and science.“

At first Loeck studied Energy and Environmental Engineering at Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg and wrote her Bachelor’s thesis at the Fraunhofer-Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg. She also worked as a student assistant in the workshop of the Institute for Energy Technology at Technische Universität Chemnitz. Born in Wolfsburg, after her first degree, Loeck traveled for five months to Peru to provide a project-based aid. In the winter term 2011, she then was enrolled to a Master’s program in Sustainable Energy Supply Technologies at TU Chemnitz. In particular, the possibility of subject-specialization inspired a young student in engineering: “In the course were three topics to choose from. I opted for Thermal Energy Technology and, thus, turned to my field of interest.“ Her enthusiasm for the subject is reflected not only in the grades, but also in her plans for the future. After submitting her thesis, in January 2014 she began with the preparation of her dissertation. This is thematically linked to her thesis and deals with the evaluation of new arts of investment concepts for the energy use of low temperature heat. What happens after receiving her doctorate, Loeck does not know yet. The TU Chemnitz graduate takes things as they come and explains: “My current goal is my dissertation and I work on it. I take things as they are and try to make the best of it. The university environment offers an exceptional versatility, so I am sure that even then opens an interesting new door.

If you had asked Loeck five years ago, concerning the desire in acquiring a scientific career, the answer would have been rather negative. “As a native citizen of Wolfsburg, I was pre-punched. If one grows up in the motor city and if the father is an engineer, the fascination for science and technology is not uncommon. Since school times I have been interested in energy technology and did an internship in this sphere. But I haven’t actually thought that it is right for me“, Loeck recalls. At the moment, she sees her status of a woman in science as an advantage. She looks back on the positive experiences and says: “I have always experienced equality. Especially among my colleagues at the Department of Technical Thermodynamics I have been warmly accepted.“

The scientific poster for the thesis of Verena Loeck is available at the following link:

(Author: Katharina Preuß, Translation: Nataliia Boiko)

Katharina Thehos

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