A moment with...
Professor Katharina Mehner-Heindl

“My interest in computer science was sparked at secondary school. Although it was rare for girls at the time, I went on to do a degree in Computer Science at RWTH Aachen University in 1990. I then pursued my doctorate at Paderborn University and worked in research at the Technical University of Berlin and Siemens, before my appointment as a professor at Offenburg University of Applied Sciences.”

(1) What I love about my current job is...
...that my work at the university is very varied, because I’m involved in a wide variety of degree courses, and that there are many opportunities for networking and collaborating with different companies. I also enjoy looking for new topics to teach.

(2) One of the highlights of my career so far has been... a lecture on my doctoral research project at IBM in New York.

(3) When I look back on my career so far, I’d say that what has particularly shaped me has been...
...the many stays abroad I’ve had and multitude of international contacts I’ve made.

(4) I’d advise any young women wishing to pursue a career similar to mine to...
...choose a degree that really interests you and have the courage to simply give things a go. If you’re passionate about your subject and delve deeply into it, it’s very likely you’ll subsequently find the right career for you – this not only applies for technical subjects, but also the humanities and languages.

(5) I try to inspire young women for my discipline and passion(s) by...
...offering voluntary courses in schools for pupils aged 10 and upwards on age-appropriate topics relating to computer science and digitalisation, so that girls can discover hidden talents from an early age. However, it would be beneficial to start this even early, in primary school or nursery.

(6) Given my experience as a professional with care responsibilities, I’ve found the following support particularly beneficial...
...Since my parental leave, I’ve been able to balance my work and childcare well, thanks to the university’s part-time working arrangement and have never had to take more than a year off. For me personally, it’s important that I can reduce my working hours to fifty percent work part time, or even less at times.

(7) I associate my time at Paderborn University with...
...on the one hand, a first-rate working environment, although I’m sure there are more bureaucratic and financial constraints these days. On the other hand, of course, I also associate it with friendships that last to this day. Interestingly, when I was at the university, young people were also able to benefit from access to university studies without the need for a general university entrance qualification.

(8) For the next 50 years, I wish Paderborn University... continue to attract interested students.

Also worth seeing

Sigrid Blömeke
Professor Sigrid Blömeke
Sigrid Blömeke is Director of the Centre for Educational Measurement (CEMO) at the University of Oslo. Between 1985 and 2001, she completed her degree, doctoral degree and habilitation at Paderborn University.
Professor Kathrin Padberg-Gehle
Kathrin Padberg-Gehle is Professor of Applied Mathematics at Leuphana University Lüneburg. She completed a degree and also a doctoral degree as well as worked as a research assistant in Paderborn between 1995 and 2007.
Claudia Auinger
Dr Claudia Auinger
Claudia Auinger opted for a career in regional economic development at an early stage and continues to support local companies with their development to this day.
Jakob, Eva
Junior Professor Eva Jakob
Eva Jakob is Junior Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Bayreuth. From 2014 to 2021, she worked as a research assistant and post-doc at TecUP – Paderborn University’s business start-up centre.
Habig, Therese
Therese Habig
Therese Habig is Managing Director and co-founder of safety innovation center gGmbH in Paderborn, which specialises in research and digitisation for civil safety.