“Our team is always on the lookout for groundbreaking new solutions”


Selamawit Getachew Kelemu joined the Medical Technology business group at the Oberkochen site in 2013. Read the interview below to find out about her career to date, which led her to leave Ethiopia and move to Oberkochen. She tell us about what aspects of her work she enjoys the most.

Selamawit, you joined ZEISS in 2013. Can you tell us a bit about your career to date?
That’s right, I started working at ZEISS in February 2013. I was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I did my bachelor’s in electrical engineering at Jimma University in Ethiopia. I spent the next three years working in Ethiopia in Communications, which is where I discovered my passion for optical processes that are designed to process information. This prompted me to move to Germany to do my master’s in photonics at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena (Abbe School of Photonics, ASP).

You work at the Medical Technology business group in Oberkochen. Do you like living here?
I currently live in Aalen, which is about 12 kilometers away from Oberkochen. It’s a very nice little town. While not very big, it’s surrounded by untouched nature and has a cute town center. Since I grew up in a big city of more than 3.5 million people, it was quite an adjustment, let me tell you. That said, I think it’s a great place to live, and if you prefer a big city, then Ulm, Stuttgart and Nuremberg are all nearby.

How did you hear about ZEISS and what did you already know about the company?
I was familiar with ZEISS as a child due to its camera and eyeglass lenses; I used to have a pair of ZEISS binoculars myself. However, I became familiar with the company after starting my master’s at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena. Its Abbe School of Photonics has links with ZEISS. What’s more, the German government and ZEISS award scholarships to help people who want to study optics, and I was lucky enough to receive one of them.

Why did you choose to work for ZEISS after graduating and what were your first few months like?
I wrote my master’s thesis at Medical Technology about a very innovative technology project. During this time I learned a lot about ZEISS and found out how exciting it is to work for a company like this. In my first six months as a student, I found out about ZEISS’s different technology projects and collaborations. This made me want to work here even more. When I later joined ZEISS, it wasn’t a completely new experience as I was already familiar with the team and knew what to expect. That was great for me and for the company.

What are your duties and what are you currently working on?
I work as a development engineer at Video Technology. My job involves integrating innovative visualization technologies such as cameras, video control units and display systems into our surgical microscopes. For example, last year we launched the ZEISS KINEVO 900, a robotic visualization system. This system features state-of-the-art video technologies that provide our customers with ideal solutions thanks to their good visualization capabilities and additional information. Surgeons can make a clearer judgement about the course of the surgery and the patient’s status thanks to their precision and efficiency.

What do you find particularly inspiring about your work?
The fact that we’re always working on innovative solutions and on being one of the top companies to provide high-quality products. I especially like my work at Research and Development, which makes my job very dynamic as there is always something new to learn. Our team is always on the lookout for groundbreaking new solutions, which makes my work very interesting.

Are there any limitations/special challenges in your job and if so, what are they?
There are no limitations. We are a well-oiled team, and even use virtual solutions to work across multiple countries. As a development engineer, I always come up against new challenges and have to find solutions to them. This works very well on our team.

Why should someone like you work at ZEISS?
ZEISS is a very good employer that offers excellent opportunities to employees who want to further their career. We have a good working environment, a decent salary and a great team. What’s more, ZEISS is always investing in ways to improve its infrastructure and development projects, which gives our team the chance to be creative and put our skills to the test in a whole range of different ways.

Thank you very much for speaking to us, Selamawit!

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