The Question!

Learning beyond lectures - what are you currently researching?

Theory in the lecture hall, practice in the lab - at TU Ilmenau, students have numerous opportunities to apply their specialist knowledge in practice. In the workshops of the groups and affiliated institutes of TU Ilmenau and companies in the region, they contribute to research into future topics such as artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality and modern mobile communications.
In UNIonline, five students provide exciting insights into their final theses and research activities as student assistants and working students. They are developing AI-based voice assistants, designing mixed reality audio technologies or programming tools for USB modems.

TU Ilmenau/Eleonora Hamburg

Anna Nesterova, 25, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Computer Engineering, 5th semester, Master

In my degree course, I have the opportunity to complete my internship in a company. In this way, I got to know Internet Technologies AG and spent 20 informative weeks there as a software developer. The enjoyable work in the team opened the doors to various IT areas for me, e.g. e-commerce.
I am currently working as a student trainee at 4FriendsOnly and am writing my Master's thesis in cooperation with them. Among other things, I am looking at how customer questions can be answered with the help of Large Language Models (LLMs). At the company, I particularly enjoy applying my knowledge from my studies in practice, sharing my ideas with colleagues and getting their helpful feedback.
I find it exciting to see what useful tools can be implemented using AI and how much can still be researched here. LLMs are a hot topic right now and you read a lot of news about them. These developments are intertwined with fundamental academic knowledge and I feel that the current developments in this field represent a historic moment. Recently, I managed to attend the 5th Thuringia AI Forum as part of my Master's thesis and expand my AI community. This inspires me to explore the AI topic further.

TU Ilmenau/Eleonora Hamburg

Sebastian Schwarze, 26, Sonneberg

Media Technology, 2nd semester, Master

In my bachelor's thesis, which was supervised by the Electronic Media Technology Group, I dealt with VR, AR and mixed reality audio technologies. These are playing an increasingly important role in virtual conferences or in the consumer sector - for example, when a virtual sound source is placed in the room in a museum exhibition.
The aim is to generate the most plausible listening experience possible. As a lot of data is collected during the acoustic measurement of a room, I have linked and adapted existing algorithms that can reduce these data volumes by up to 40 percent without distorting the surround sound.
I particularly enjoyed applying the knowledge from my studies in practice and achieving my own results. The findings from my bachelor's thesis are being incorporated into research at the Electronic Media Technology Group and I am happy to be able to contribute to research into this socially relevant topic with my work. I have just taken up a position as a student assistant at the department and am looking forward to working with the scientists on the development of audio playback systems.

TU Ilmenau/Eleonora Hamburg

Maria Kley, 25 years old, Gotha

Computer Science, 9th semester, Bachelor

I work as a student assistant at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS. Here, scientists are researching technologies for modern mobile and satellite communication and navigation in close cooperation with the Electronic Measurements and Signal Processing Group EMS at TU Ilmenau. In the FORTE lab, which stands for Facility for Over-the-Air Research and Testing and takes up an entire building, I am currently developing a Python application that allows users to remotely control, configure and test user equipment (UE) such as (USB) modems and assign them to namespaces.
As a working student, I gain valuable practical experience and transfer my theoretical knowledge into possible applications. I also familiarize myself with new topics, e.g. I have deepened my programming skills. I enjoy operating the modern measuring systems and I learn a lot from my colleagues at Fraunhofer IIS. My work as a student assistant has also given me a feel for which research fields I am particularly interested in. This is absolutely important for my career orientation.

TU Ilmenau/Eleonora Hamburg

Jasmin Ruprecht, 23, Bad Salzungen

Mechanical Engineering, 10th semester, Diploma

I have been working as a research assistant (Hiwi) at the Group of Production and Precision Measurement Technology since April 2022 and have been involved in several projects there. Until recently, I supported a doctoral student in the group with investigations in the field of atomic force microscopy, lithography and scanning electron microscopy. I had the opportunity to work in the clean room of the Center for Micro- and Nanotechnologies (ZMN). My main tasks were to measure various surface structures.
I have now started my new student assistant position in the same group. The researchers there are pursuing the goal of developing a more cost-effective variant for a laser with two frequencies at a defined distance. I will be designing 3D printed parts and later realizing the control of the laser frequency.
During my work as a student assistant, I gained exciting insights into current research topics and upcoming developments, got to know the work in the specialist areas and made contacts with the researchers. This is very helpful when looking for a topic for my final thesis or a project seminar.
I work practically on exactly the topics that I am particularly interested in during my studies: Interferometry, laser measurement technology and nanomeasurement technology. I can organize my working hours flexibly and have a part-time job that fits in with my studies. I learn a lot of new things beyond lectures and seminars.

TU Ilmenau/Eleonora Hamburg

Thomas Röckl, 21, Regensburg

Mechatronics, 5th semester, Bachelor

I have been working as a student assistant in the Product and Systems Engineering Group since May 2023. As part of this work, I have further developed a shaft testing device that is used as a demonstrator in teaching, at schools or at events such as the Ilmenau Science Night.
Shafts are rotating mechanical components that are used in almost every machine to transmit power. My task is to design the control system for positioning the shaft with two motors. In addition, the sensors are to be read out so that researchers in the field can analyze the collected data. This information can then be used to understand how various influencing factors such as room temperature and vibrations affect the measurements.
It has already been very rewarding for me to be involved in the department's research, as I have been able to apply the basics from my studies in practice and deepen my knowledge of computer science. Above all, the independent development of a task and the sense of achievement in getting the demonstrator up and running, as well as presenting the results, have strengthened my skills.