Monthly Archives: January 2014

My Job #2

In my last post I claimed that part of my research is paid for by Infineon, the rest of the money is actually coming from public funding. That is why we have to provide an annual report about our activities once a year. Today I spent most of my time preparing the 2013 report.

The afternoon mostly went into updating my CV and preparing job application material. This week’s discussions made me understand that I should at least be able to hand in something at any given time. – You gotta be prepared ;)


Looking for a Job

Ok, I’ll finally talk about my job. I am a PhD student and I am employed by the Johannes Kepler University Linz. However I am not involved in the teaching side of university apart from supervising Bachelor and Master Theses. I am a research assistant, I don’t TA and my research is (mostly) paid for by a company called Infineon.

To be a little bit more specific: I am doing research in the field of mm-wave radar systems. I’ve had quite a good time as PhD student. Lots of interesting conferences, research directions, research questions + great researchers around me. However (hopefully) I am going to graduate soon. Which brings me to the title of this post: I am going to be looking for a new job soon (May/June)!

I can’t help it, I have to make this yet another pleading for getting an engineering degree. One of the reasons: If you were flexible regarding the exact location, getting a job as an engineer has never been a problem during the last 20 years. To give you an example: As of today I haven’t applied for a single job, but I have received 6 job offers during the last year.

Today I was invited to yet another “job interview” at Infineon. – If you believe what some people say about a major Japanese customer awarding Infineon with a design win regarding automotive radar, you could image that they’d have a few of job openings in that field, such as

Actually it was less of an interview, because they know about my background. At any rate it was an interesting discussion and they are definitely on the list of addresses when I am going to start sending out job applications in April.

If you are a talented engineer, are looking for a job, would like to shape tomorrow’s driver-assistance system or maybe even self-driving transportation systems (aka cars), and are willing to move to a nice and dynamic city, I do highly recommend taking a look at the job offers above. Please apply even if you don’t think you’re the perfect fit!

Another Round Of Pro Scientia

I guess I keep repeating myself. But the truth is if you blog every day for 30 days and if you do not start repeating yourself, something’s probably wrong.

Apart from my day job (which is more than a day job, but which I can’t or don’t want to talk about that much) I did indulge myself in the world of PRO SCIENTIA  again. I left work early to listen to the organ concert of Christiane Hornbachner. She’s one of the 3 “PRO SCIENTIA student representatives” and a gifted, professional organ and piano player.

I think the last time I’ve listened to an organ concert was 5 years ago, and to be frank it always amazes me what kind of music these people (read “the organists”) are able to get out of the per se inaccurate and dynamically disabled instruments. – Sorry, please don’t kill me for that statement.

Later that night we had another PRO SCIENTIA presentation. This time from a member who has an engineering PhD and went on to become an engineering manager. The topic: Product Development. We spent the whole evening discussing graphs like this one


Usually I swim during the winter months and run during the summer months. I’ve truly neglected this habit since December, but I’ve picked it up again a week ago. And as we never really had winter this year in Austria (well it’s here now), I decided to start running again. Here’s the workout I tracked:

It was slower than usual a) because I am out of shape and b) because it was more like running on ice. I was even passed over by a cross-country skier on the running track!

What I find funny is that while it is still the same track that I’ve been using for years now, it does not get boring. I even thought about marking some spots along that track about things that have happened to me in the last couple of years. But as I am not much into nostalgia (that’s probably for later) I ditched that thought again.


Sunday’s are for sleeping, laundry and for connecting with people you haven’t seen in a while. I realized I hadn’t seen my parents since the first week of the new year. So it was good dropping by at my parent’s house for some coffee.

I would not want to move in again with them if you know what I mean, but they are always awesome hosts and great company for the duration of a nice Sunday afternoon coffee. Although it means some extra work for my mum, I guess she also appreciates the occasional visits.

This reminds me of a line from Mary Schmich’s graduation speech:

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

I guess I should give my sister a call tomorrow ;)

General Assembly

Some suggestions what you can do to live up to the stereotypes about Upper Austria/Bavaria:

  1. Play a brass instrument
  2. Be a member of a local wind band
  3. Go to church
  4. Go to a Gasthaus (tavern, inn) after you’ve been to church

I guess I can say I payed my dues today. 1/2 are things that I am doing for years and 3/4 were part of today’s general assembly of the Stadtkapelle Laakirchen (a local wind band), which I took part in. During the 3 hours event we were informed by the ExCom of the registered association about the past year, future plans, the financial situation, …


Lots of talking, lots of fun, lots of beer (not for me actually as I was the designated driver), lots of photos from past events, lots of awards (especially for members of age 60+) and a great evening for all of us.

Choices, Perfectionism and Photoshopping

Today I stumbled across yet another video

Many people on youtube gave it a like. I disliked it and some people asked why.

To begin with, I’d like to make one thing clear: The video is georgeous. The song is beautiful, the lyrics are convincing, the setup of people making music in a backyard is awesome. It really has everything that justifies it to be called “beautiful”.

What I don’t like about the video is that it is trying to sell the image that this actually was the setup that they used to record the whole thing. You can see mics all over the place and they left some imperfections in the video that probably are supposed to make you think that this was the original way it was recorded. E.g., how the drum pickup at around 1:55 is not perfect, or the imperfect intonation of the brass instruments, which for instance can be heard at around 3:30.

I do still doubt that it was recorded in that backyard, as they try to lead you to believe. There is musical photoshopping going on. If not entirely, at least at quite a few points. Like at 1:32 (“And I”) when you hear Emily sing background vocals while her mouth is not moving.

Again you can still say that the video is beautiful, there is no argument about that. – But so are the photos of those superficial models on the covers of the magazines at your local newspaper kiosk. I would rather prefer it to be a little bit more authentic with less photoshopping. Even if that meant it would turn out to be less perfect.

Keeping on Top of Mail

I did some statistics a while ago. Today I can give you an updated version. My term as IEEE Region 8 Student Representative lasts for 388 days now and on average I have received about 18 e-mails per day and I have sent out about 3.5 e-mails per day. – My work and private e-mails go through different accounts, so that is just the IEEE stuff.

The way I try to deal with my mail is simple. – Nothing is allowed to stay in my e-mail Inbox, unless it is unfinished buissness. If I receive some invitiation to some conference that I don’t care about -> it goes into my Ads folder. If I receive some ads -> again Ads folder.

Other mail goes into project related folders unless it requires some action that I am for some reason not willing to put on my todo list. In that sense my Inbox is also a kind of todo list, which should be as empty as possible. From time to time I fall a little behind, so it was time to do some serious housekeeping today.


IEEE Chat Session

We had the very first IEEE Region 8 SAC online chat session this year. About 40-50 participants from all over Region 8 (Africa, Europe, Middle East, Russia) dialed in. We (Piotr, Femia, Maciej, Rui Costa) tried to give them an update on

I guess there are a lot of exciting things coming up in 2014. Some people started sharing screenshots from the online session on facebook. I can’t resist to share with you the screenshot of this pink desktop by Christine Avdikou.


Pro Scientia

I am part of a network and scholarship program called “Pro Scientia”.

One of the aspects of “Pro Scienta” is that the scholarship students meet once or twice a month. During those meetings one of the students presents his research, art or any other topic that has some scientific, religious, cultural, historical, social and whatnot relevance, which is then open for discussion.

All of the scholarship students are grad students and mostly PhDs. Today we had a presentation from Benjamin, a PhD student in the field of education and psychology, about “Development and learning of leadership skills with a special focus on principals”. Well the actual title was a little shorter, but that’s just my interpretation.


The discussions are often intense, they are totally worth it. I’ve never found myself having discussions in such an interdisciplinary setup before joining Pro Scientia. In the photo you’ve got a lawyer, an engineer, a priest, an architect, a social scientist, an artist.

So if you are a grad student or artist who happens to be in Austria, are interested in interdisciplinary discussions and are good at what you do, you might want to consider applying for a Pro Scientia Scholarship: