Wolken im Himmel

Young Investigator Network Event @ online EAC2020

YIN provides a networking platform for PhD students and early career scientists in aerosol research and related fields.

YIN enables scientific exchange between all areas of aerosol science, promotes cooperation and allows young scientists to meet their peers. All students and early career researchers in aerosol science are invited to join the YIN events and become part of the YIN network. Since 2017 YIN is a fixed point at the European Aerosol Conference and shall become an established social event at future conferences.

This year's YIN hosts, the Association of Aerosol Research (GAeF) and the Organization Committee of the EAC2020 are delighted to announce that this year‘s Young Investigator Event (YIN Event) will be realized online.

Access to the online YIN platform will be posted soon here on the EAC2020 website.

Save the Date: TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1 17:30 – 19:30

A special thanks goes to the YIN2020 sponsors!

Keep the distance, grab a drink or coffee whatever your taste and timezone and join us for YIN2020!

We are looking forward to meeting you online.

Your YIN 2020 team


Malte Bierwirth, Msc

Doctoral student at TU Clausthal


Peter Wlasits, Msc

Doctoral student at University of Vienna


Dr. Sophia Brilke

Project Manager at IMS Nanofabrication

We proudly announce that


Dr. Minna Väkevä

is our invited speaker for YIN2020 on the topic

YIN meets industry


A degree in science rocks – also in a company.

Can a scientist have a meaningful job outside academia? Is a scientist qualified to work outside academia? Is there a clash of values between someone working for industrial R&D and a person working at a University?

These and a few other aspects will be discussed with examples from Minna’s career during the talk.


Dr. Minna Väkevä

CEO at Airmodus Ltd.

Minna is the CEO of Airmodus, a company founded by aerosol scientists. She has a PhD in aerosol physics and several years of expertise in leading and participating business as well as research and development activities in several fields: data security, ICT, indoor positioning, air filtration, building ventilation and control solutions and air quality measurement technologies.

“I am a strong believer of analytic ways of working. One of my favourite quotes is “You need to have a box to be able to think out of the box” by Bengt Holmström. There needs to be a purpose for all that is being done. That means understanding not only the relevant science and technologies but also the values and drivers of customers, collaborators and stakeholders. Background as a scientist gives the perfect mindset for this:

Whatever the studied topic, you start by identifying the parameters that may influence. Then you define the weight and relevance of each, build a hypothesis and prove it right – or wrong – using data”

YIN invited guests for virtual round table discussions

Following the talk on career paths outside academia, you get the chance to talk to a number of professionals with a background in aerosol physics, chemistry and similar fields.

Meet our YIN invited guests at the virtual round tables in Yotribe enabling to divide into small sub groups and have face to face discussions.


Read here about our invited guests and their different backgrounds and careers. At YIN2020, boost your network, find out more about how your PhD may help you finding a position in industry or found a company yourself!


Dr. Jill Craven

Process Engineer at Intel Corporation

Jill has a doctorate and undergraduate degree in chemical engineering. During her doctoral research project at Caltech she focused on atmospheric aerosol mass spectrometry and its use in measuring airborne pollution. She very much enjoyed working on instrument development and performing field measurements on research aircrafts and at the CERN CLOUD experiment for her postdoctoral research. At Intel corporation’s research and development lab in Hillsboro, OR, she found a beautiful combination of her traditional chemical engineering background combined with field work and equipment specialty she developed in grad school.


Dr. Carla Frege

Application Scientist at Tofwerk

Carla has a background in environmental sciences with a special focus on analytical chemistry and atmospheric research. She started her career in the field of environmental sciences as an intern and measured pollutants in her home town in Bolivia. Also during her undergraduate and doctoral studies in environmental sciences she continued her research on atmospheric pollutants. During her PhD at Paul-Scherrer-Institute in Switzerland she studied atmospheric ions and new particle formation at the CERN CLOUD chamber and the high alpine research station Jungfraujoch. After a post-doc at the research institute Empa, Carla worked as a consultant in the private sector at Philipp Morris International measuring physical and chemical properties of aerosols. Now in 2020, she has started a position as Application Scientist at Tofwerk with the focus on mass spectrometry analysis.


Dr. Eben S. Cross

CTO & Co-Founder of QuantAQ

Eben is an atmospheric chemist passionate about building and sharing tools that people can use to improve their air intuition and avoid air pollution. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Chemistry from Connecticut College and a PhD in Physical Chemistry from Boston College.


Markus Leiminger, Msc

R&D Scientist at Ionicon Analytik GmbH

Markus is from Frankfurt where he received his BSc and MSc degree in Meteorology. From an early stage on, he found special interest in experimental atmospheric research and enjoyed working with mass spectrometers. He also participated in measurement campaigns at the CLOUD experiment at CERN. His doctoral studies led him into the Alps to the University of Innsbruck where he focused on developing new mass spectrometric methods to improve the understanding of measurement uncertainties in atmospheric nucleation. This research evolved into a cooperation with the company Ionicon Analytik, Innsbruck. Now, working at Ionicon Analytik, he can pursue his interest in instrument development for atmospheric research and researchers in a versatile, professional environment.


Dr. Gerhard Steiner

Product Manager at GRIMM Aerosol Technik

Gerhard Steiner, born in 1980, studied physics at the University of Vienna where he received his PhD with the focus on aerosol physics in 2011. He then moved to the University of Helsinki, where he held a post-doc position in cooperation with the University of Innsbruck (2011 – 2013). This was followed by a post-doc as PI in the course of a research project funded by the Austrian Science Fund (2014 – 2019) at the University of Innsbruck, also participating in the CLOUD project at CERN, and simultaneously a University assistant position at the University of Vienna (2014 – 2018). After the years in academia, Gerhard moved to GRIMM Aerosol Technik as senior scientist (since 2018) where he is currently responsible for the product management of the nano instrumentation line-up. Gerhard’s research interest spans form high-resolution ion mobility measurements, aerosol charging, particle formation and particle growth to the chemical composition of (atmospheric) aerosols.


Dr. Sebastian Schmitt

Application Engineer at TSI

Sebastian got his M.Sc. at University of Bayreuth. He received his doctorate in 2017 for his thesis with the topic: “Formation of Secondary Organic Aerosol from Photo-Oxidation of Benzene : a Chamber Study.” He conducted his research at Forschungszentrum Jülich, Institute for Energy and Climate Research: Troposphere. Since the IAC 2018 he is working with TSI as an Application Engineer for Particle Instruments, travelling all over the EMEA region and covering a variety of scientific and industry applications. In parallel Sebastian serves as the treasurer of GAeF and introduced YIN events to EAC conferences in 2017.


Patrick Minder, Bsc

Marketing and Business Development at Swisens AG

Patrick has a degree in Business Engineering and is expanding our competencies in business development, marketing and sales. In his current further education in marketing and marketing communication, he forms the important interface between technology, market and customers within the team and the company.


Dr. Claudia Heyn

IT Consultant at AWK Group AG

Claudi studied Meteorology at the Goethe Universität in Frankfurt. During her diploma degree she focused on aerosol physics. She finished her doctorate at Paul-Scherrer-Institute in Switzerland studying atmospheric clouds at the CERN CLOUD experiment. Now she works at AWK group AG as an IT consultant in many diversified projects. This includes for example software testing, business analysis or software implementations.


Dr. Joonas Vanhanen

CTO at Airmodus Ltd.

Joonas studied physics and received his PhD with title ”Developing experimental methods to understand atmospheric nucleation” at University of Helsinki. He is one of the co-founders of Airmodus Ltd.. Before starting the company, Joonas worked as research scientist both at the Finnish Meteorological Institute and at the Institute for atmospheric and Earth system research (INAR) with strong focus on new instrument development. As a founder of Airmodus Ltd., Joonas has been in charge of all the key operations at some point of the history of the company from manufacturing of the instruments to taking care of the human resources and finance.


Dr. Sonja Klee

Project Manager at Tofwerk

After her Bachelor/Master studies in chemistry, Sonja finished her doctorate in physical chemistry at the University of Wuppertal. Already since her 3rd semester in the Bachelor studies she started working as undergraduate research assistant in the department of Prof. Dr. Thorsten Benter for mass spectrometry and atmospheric science and stayed there until her final degree. During her doctoral research project she focused on the mechanisms of positive chemical ionization for the usage in mass spectrometric analysis. The doctoral research was financed by Bruker Daltonics GmbH, due to which her research was already influenced not just by the academic, but the industrial way of thinking. First contact with patenting and marketing showed that the real life of a development only starts when the first prototypes are already evaluated.
Directly after her defense Sonja was hired from Tofwerk AG (Thun, CH) as an EU ITN fellow for postdoctoral research at the CERN CLOUD collaboration. After this she stayed at Tofwerk as Project Leader in the R&D department. Besides the Project Leader position, she by now also coordinates the ion source knowledge and development at Tofwerk. In the current position she is able combine the skills in organization and team leading with the passion of ion source and mass spectrometric developments.


Dr. David H. Hagan

CEO & Co-Founder of QuantAQ

David is an atmospheric chemist with an interest in blending computer science with environmental chemistry to improve our understanding of air pollution. He holds Bachelor's degrees in Chemical Physics (Hendrix College) and Chemical Engineering (WashU) and a PhD in Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics from MIT.


Dr. Daniela Wimmer

Application Engineer at AVL

Daniela studied Physics at the University of Vienna and worked already during her master’s thesis on sub-3 nm aerosol particle measurement techniques. She applied for a PhD position as a CLOUD ITN student at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main where she had the opportunity to work with an international group of scientists at CERN. Her focus remained on developing instrumentation to measure size distributions of sub-3nm aerosol particles. After her PostDoc at the University of Helsinki, she was granted a Schrödinger fellowship. Now at her work as application engineer at AVL, she can use her skills in engineering and development of instrumentation to provide solutions for determining engine emissions and helping customers make best use of the technology provided by AVL.


Prof. Dr. Martin Fierz

Founder of NANEOS particle solutions

Martin studied physics and has a doctorate from the ETH Zürich. He did his PostDoc work in Honololu Hawaii for two years. He founded the company naneos particle solutions in 2012. Additionally he is a Professor of Physics at the University of Applied Science Nordschweiz since 2018.
Martin has been working with aerosols since his PhD thesis, with the focus on developing small, simple and easy-to use nanoparticle detectors.


Dr. Florian Dahlkötter

Sales Specialist at TSI Incorporated

Florian got his diploma at the “Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster”. He received his doctorate in 2014 for his thesis with the topic: “Airborne observations of black carbon aerosol layers at mid-latitudes.” He conducted his research at the German Aerospace Center Oberpfaffenhofen and Technical University of Munich. Since then he is working with TSI as a Sales Specialist for Particle Instruments, where he is responsible for the Nordic Countries.


Erny Niederberger, BSc MAS

CEO at Swisens AG

Erny is one of the three Swisens AG founders. He received his two degrees as electrical engineer and Master of Advanced Studies in Business Administration from the University of Lucerne. He worked for over 20 years as an electronic and embedded software developer in industry and has developed various sensor systems. At a former employer, he was involved in the development of highly sensitive aspirating smoke detectors. The big challenge was to avoid false alarms and to distinguish between smoke, dust and water vapour. In the process, he discovered that we know very little about the microcosm of aerosol particles in our ambient air. So he decided to make a contribution so that the knowledge about aerosol particles can be extended.


Dr. Manuel Gensch

Process Technology Manager at Umicore Automotive Catalysts

Manuel studied process engineering in Mannheim/Karlsruhe and Clausthal. During his bachelor thesis, he investigated the formation of soot particles in flames and therefore came in touch with Aerosols for the first time. After his Master degree, he started a doctorate at the Institute of Particle Technology at TU Clausthal. His doctoral research focused on the impaction behavior comprising the fragmentation, rebound of Nanoparticles and Nanoparticle-Agglomerates. After receiving his doctoral degree, Manuel joined Umicore Automotive Catalysts as a Manager for Process Technology. There he is responsible for the development of new production processes for automotive catalysts. Within this position the focus of particulate systems changed from aerosols to suspensions. Manuel is especially interested in the technical application of particulate systems.


Dr. Christian Tauber

Process and Development Technologist at Primetals

Christian did his master’s in environmental system science at the University of Graz, where he was involved in plasma physic related research area. During his doctoral research study at the University of Vienna, he investigated the charge, temperature and humidity dependence of heterogeneous nucleation of n-butanol vapor for improved nanoparticle detection. In the course of academic training he initiated a funded project to develop a prototype of a plasma charger specifically for aerosol physics and mass spectrometry purposes. Currently he is working as Process and Development Technologist in the steel making industry at Primetals Technologies. In this role one of his major tasks is the introduction of new measurements or analysis methods for optimizing the iron making processes and the implementation of it onside.


Dr. Tamara Pinterich

Software and Function Developer at Bosch GmbH

Tamara Pinterich studied Physics at the University of Vienna, where she specialized on aerosol and environmental physics. As part of her master thesis she investigated the temperature dependence of contact angles in laboratory settings.
She received a fellowship from the University of Helsinki to continue her work in the field of aerosol physics at the University of Vienna. The aim of her PhD thesis was to develop a versatile size analyzing nuclei counter (VSANC) for sub 3-nm particle detection. Supported by the University of Helsinki, Tamara deployed the VSANC at a field campaign in Hyytiälä, Finland.
During both her master and PhD studies Tamara taught undergraduate courses for physics students and actively engaged in science communication.
As a PostDoc, at Brookhaven National Laboratory her focus was on improving and deploying aerosol mass spectrometers specialized on airborne studies. This included the deployment of a fast integrating mass spectrometer (FIMS) at two field campaigns in Oklahoma and at the Azores.
Returning to Vienna, Tamara decided to leave academia and start a career in industry at Robert Bosch GmbH. As software and function developer at the Power Train Solutions department she works on improving thermal systems of electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles.
The skill set she acquired during her work as aerosol scientist helps her to find innovative solutions to challenging problems in an interdisciplinary team. The Austrian society for green technologies (ÖGUT) jury noticed her exceptional career path and nominated her for the ÖGUT in green technologies prize 2019.
Tamara is currently on maternity leave.

About GAeF

The "Gesellschaft für Aerosolforschung e.V." (GAeF) was founded in 1972 in order to promote all areas of aerosol research, to provide information on an interdisciplinary basis amongst members and the public, to provide an international forum for collaboration and support scientific education and teaching at all levels. GAeF has members from all over the world and encourages aerosol scientists to join the society.

Contact GAeF

Gesellschaft für Aerosolforschung e.V.

Postfach 45 04 05

50879 Köln


e-mail: info@gaef.de

2020 - Gesellschaft für Aerosolforschung e.V.