"What I find really cool about ZeroAMP is its non-mainstream character"
My name is Federica Haupt, and I’m working as communications coordinator at AMO GmbH. I’m originally from Genova, Italy, but since 10 years I am living in Aachen, which is right at the border between Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. It’s a small town with a large technical University (the RWTH Aachen University). This gives a very distinctive character to the city.
I studied Physics and did a PhD in theoretical condensed matter physics in Genova. After the PhD, I moved to Germany for a post-doc in Konstanz, followed by one at RWTH. That’s how I arrived in Aachen. About 6 years ago I left research to take up a position more focused on tutoring and teaching, and then I moved more and more towards scientific communications, which I something I really enjoy.
I have joined AMO a bit less than two years ago. My technical background is a big help in understanding (at least in rough terms) the many projects related to nanotechnology that are running here. I have to say, I keep being surprised by the variety of possible applications of nanotechnology – from computing, to energy harvesting, to self-cleaning surfaces and whatever else. This is what makes my job a never-boring one.
My role in ZeroAMP is a tiny one: I’m collaborating on the dissemination and communication activities, especially for what concerns ZeroAMP’s website and LinkedIn channel. Please follow us ;-)
What I find really cool about ZeroAMP is its non-mainstream character. Nowadays there is a lot of research directed to neuromorphic computing, or quantum computing, but the idea of developing a computing device based on mechanical components is almost unique. The target here is not to increase the speed or the efficiency of certain calculations, but to develop devices that are much more resistant to extreme temperatures or radiation than conventional electronics, and that consume much less power. This can have huge advantages for certain applications like space explorations or medical technology or the Internet of Things.
Well, I cannot say much about the technical challenges of the project. For what concerns the communication part, the difficulty is the need of addressing very different audiences. On one hand there is the scientific community, which is where we feel more at ease. On the other hand, there are the general public, the policy makers, and – most importantly – the representative of the industry that we would like to get interested into the ZeroAMP technology. Finding the right tone, the right message and the right media for the different audiences is not easy – it is one of the many aspects on which we’re keeping experimenting.