Interview with Dr Melanie Rohe
Dr Melanie Rohe is Head of EMC Inspection in Quality Management at Rheinmetall Landsysteme in Kassel. In this interview, she tells us something about her everyday work.
Dr Rohe, we would like to find out more about your work routine at Rheinmetall. What do you do as head of the EMC Inspection department? What do you deal with on a daily basis?
My main focus is electromagnetic compatibility (emitted interference and immunity to interference) of tactical wheeled vehicles, occasionally also tracked vehicles.
In addition to drawing up test specifications for EMC measurements (in accordance with specifications), I also provide assistance in development and integration. For example, to take protective measures against electromagnetic interference.
I prepare EMC measurements, and I also accompany those carried out by my colleagues in quality management. Afterwards I evaluate the results.
Other fields of activity are risk assessments regarding lightning protection and personal protection against electromagnetic fields. I also occasionally carry out analytical investigations using a simulation programme, e.g. to determine the radiation characteristics of radio antennas.
I am responsible for my department at the sites in Kassel and Unterlüß (Germany). In this function, capacities are bundled and testing processes are controlled across locations.
That sounds very interesting but quite complex. What excites you personally about your work?
Electromagnetic compatibility is a very unusual and varied field that always brings new challenges. In particular, the combination with highly complex military wheeled and tracked vehicles fascinates me. Even if the armour sets of all vehicles of a variant are identical, each vehicle can have different EMC properties.
Please describe briefly how your path led you to Rheinmetall in the first place.
I had my first contact with Rheinmetall Landsysteme from Kassel in 2013 as part of the EMC standards committee "VG - Nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse and Lightning" at Hanover University of Applied Sciences. In April 2014, I received an offer to work in EMC at Rheinmetall's Kassel site in the near future. I had the opportunity to take over a task area from a colleague who was retiring. I gladly accepted this offer, but could only start a year later - in July 2015 - because I had been working on a research project for the German Armed Forces, which I still wanted to complete successfully.
Before joining Rheinmetall, I completed a degree in electrical engineering at Leibniz University in Hanover and was a research assistant and later also a lecturer before gaining my doctorate in 2018.
Parallel to my professional activities, I am active in various standards committees, chair of the DIN Standards Committee Electrical Engineering advisory board and a lecturer at the Bundeswehr training centre in Mannheim.
You are a department head and were previously responsible as a team leader. In your opinion, what characterises a good team leader?
The team spirit and mutual support are very important to me. The working atmosphere is a central aspect of everyday work. In particular, I think transparent communication is crucial for all work processes and planning and implementation, also with other departments.
Why do you think Rheinmetall is a good employer for (prospective) engineers?
Rheinmetall is a technology group with a wide range of products and is therefore very versatile and diverse. There are many development opportunities in the various divisions such as wheeled and tracked vehicles as well as sensors and actuators.
There are also flexible working time models, company pension schemes and health promotion.
Finally, a theoretical question: If you could take one of Rheinmetall's products home with you, which would it be and why?
The BOXER armoured transport vehicle, because it is the first military vehicle I have seen in "real life". In 2008, as part of my studies, I did an internship at the Bundeswehr Institute for Protective Technologies and NBC Protection in Munster. At that time, tests were being conducted with this vehicle, which I was allowed to accompany. I was fascinated by the vehicle with its modular design, the versatile technologies and the complexity.
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