Dr.-Ing. Laura Florez

Applications Engineer, SIGMA Engineering GmbH

Joining IKV was somewhat unusual really. I am of Colombian nationality, studied mechanical engineering in my home country, specialising in plastics processing, and then worked for two years as chief editor of the main trade journal for plastics in Latin America. But I also knew full well that I wanted to gain experience abroad. As a mechanical engineer, my decision to opt for Germany was a relatively easy one. I searched on the Internet to find out which was the best institute for plastics technology in Germany, went to IKV and, at the end of it all, left the Institute with a doctorate through the support of a DAAD scholarship. At IKV, I worked in the field of thermoplastic foams, focusing on one of my pet subjects, namely material behaviour, in other words why and how plastics react in a certain way under certain conditions.

What I liked about IKV from the very beginning was the close cooperation with industry, especially the fact that not only the scientific assistants but also the students were very much involved with solving practically oriented problems. I particularly loved the outstanding working atmosphere: Being able to work together with young, very well trained and above all motivated people was an absolute pleasure.

At the end of my time at IKV, I had my first child. A year later I was awarded my doctorate with my baby in my arms. In 2009, I joined SIGMA Engineering GmbH as an applications engineer. After the birth of my second child in 2012, I returned to Colombia, where I set up an engineering office called PM Tec Engineering and am still a business partner of SIGMA in South America.