»I really wanted to be an engineer«

© Fraunhofer FKIE
As a scientist, Rocío has the opportunity to participate in many international conferences and events, such as a NATO Lecture Series on "Artificial Intelligence for Military Multiple Sensor Fusion Engines" at the end of September 2022, where many renowned AI experts presented the current state of research. Rocio: "It was very, very exciting. I learned a lot."

Rocío, as a Spaniard, you came to significantly less sunny Germany for your master's studies and even stayed here afterwards. Most Germans would probably want to do the opposite, at least if they could follow their hearts. Especially since you come from the beautiful city of Marbella (Málaga), one of the most popular vacation spots on the Costa del Sol. How do you feel about this decision now?

Rocío: I feel very good about it. Yes, I was born in Marbella, and my family still lives there. I studied in Málaga, which is about 60 km north of Marbella on the Andalusian coast, where I earned my bachelor's degree in Telecommunications Engineering. That was always my dream - to study something related to engineering! Mathematics, physics, technical drawing - these subjects have always been more natural for me than any other. Because of the better career prospects and working conditions, I applied to RWTH Aachen for my master's degree in electrical engineering and started there in 2019. I completed my master's thesis on "Optimized Receiver Systems Preserving Maximum Relevant Mutual Information" in September 2021. A month later, I started at Fraunhofer FKIE. And here I am now, very happy!


How did you come to Fraunhofer FKIE?

Rocío: I had my first contact with Fraunhofer at RWTH, where I worked as a research assistant for Fraunhofer FHR, our sister institute here on the Wachtberg campus. Both Fraunhofer FHR and Fraunhofer FKIE offer courses there. In a semester that was actually reserved for an internship, which was canceled due to Corona, I suddenly had free time. To not let it pass aimlessly, I decided to attend voluntary courses and lectures that interested me. That's how I ended up in a course by Dr. Marc Adrat, head of the "Software Defined Radio" research group at FKIE. I found the topic very exciting and, because he encouraged me, even took the final exam for the course, even though I had doubts at the beginning. I did well on the exam, so I asked him if he offered a master's thesis on the topic. After that, he asked me if I would like to work for him as an intern at FKIE. A great twist of fate!


What are you currently working on?

Rocío: Currently, I am working on improving communication using machine learning, reducing interference, and possibly even eliminating it altogether.


What do you like about FKIE?

Rocío: I feel very supported here. I like my colleagues, and I can ask them anything. For example, they are currently helping me coordinate a topic for my doctorate with the University of the Bundeswehr.