"I loved maths in school, but I wasn’t sure what kind of job I could get with that. I wanted an exciting job but, in my mind, everything related to maths sounded so boring. When I finished high school, I didn’t know what to study – I thought engineering was only about big machines and working in a man’s world. "
What is your educational background?
I loved maths in school, but I wasn’t sure what kind of job I could get with that. I wanted an exciting job but, in my mind, everything related to maths sounded so boring. When I finished high school, I didn’t know what to study – I thought engineering was only about big machines and working in a man’s world. I did some work experience with a company that manufactures special-purpose vehicles. That’s when I first considered a career in the automotive industry.
Tell us about your job and how you got to where you are
Even after my first experience in the automotive industry, I was still sceptical of studying engineering. I found it daunting. I decided to study industrial engineering, which is a mix of engineering and management studies. After a six-month internship with Mercedes road cars in a department where the designers and controllers work together, I realised I saw myself doing the designers’ job. That’s when I changed my study path, went ‘backwards’ two terms and started again with automotive engineering.
During my university degree, I discovered my passion for motorsport when I joined the Formula SAE team. Formula SAE is a design competition where students conceive, design, fabricate and compete with small formula-style racing cars.
When I finished university, I knew I wanted to work in motorsport, and I was fortunate to get a job in the race team at Mercedes. After five years, I was ready for a change – not only to work in a different race series with a different race car but also to move abroad to gain experience outside my home country of Germany.
In 2015 I landed a job with the Red Bull Racing team in Australia. Since then, I’ve continued my motorsport journey here.
What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?
I came to Australia not only for the amazing job opportunity but also for the lifestyle. I love surfing and any outdoor activities. I spend my spare time camping and surfing with my partner, our dog, and, since last year, our little boy.
As I spend a lot of weekends on the race track, I appreciate my weekends off. We always make the most of them by discovering something new or enjoying a place we love.
What are your long-term career goals? Where do you want to be in 5 years?
In five years, I want to be one of the top race engineers in Australia and make a global impact in motorsport. I want to keep exploring new fields and technologies. My life motto is ‘Let the journey never end’ (which I have tattooed on my ribs!). That keeps me pushing day in and day out.
What advice do you have for girls interested in STEM?
Don’t let anyone tell you that your goal is too far or too hard. Take small steps in the direction of your dreams. Sometimes you might need to take a detour, or you might feel like giving up, but if you have your goal in front of your eyes, you will get there. Don’t be shy to ask other women in the field for help and advice.