Skip to content

Maike Neuland

Published: 17 May 2019

Round 5

Maike Neuland

fter I graduated from my physics studies in Germany, I was torn between starting a PhD or a job directly and continuing my studies in a more specialized field. During the physics studies I was most motivated in the subjects of particle and astroparticle physics, cosmology and air shower experiments. When I got the confirmation of being selected for the SpaceMaster programme, I was so excited. The two years of SpaceMaster studies not only gave me a broad knowledge in the field of space science and technology, planetology and space physics, but also in personal skills. I did not only get to know many of my very good friends but also many professionals and splendors in the field of space research.

The experience of studying and living in very special places, like Kiruna in the very North of Sweden, made this time for me unique. On the one hand having international dinners in Würzburg, seeing the northern lights in Kiruna, exploring the Pyrenees near Toulouse and finally going snowboarding in the Swiss Alps, but also on the other hand visiting ESA headquarters, the Esrange rocket launch site and getting an internship in the rocket propulsion section of DLR during the summer break made these two years a perfect time in balance between studying, exploring and experiencing.

After Spacemaster I did a PhD in Bern/Switzerland in the Division of Space Research and Planetary Sciences, where I also did my Master Thesis. I was working on laser mass spectrometry for planetary exploration. First with a fellowship funding and now as an employee I am back at IRF Kiruna working on instrumentation and testing facilities for future space instruments.

A few years ago I couldn't have imagined that I one day I would be standing as a teacher in that room at LTU, where I was sitting as a student myself. Teaching courses in the SpaceMaster programme it is great to see that the SpaceMaster family keeps growing.

I have a strong network of SpaceMaster friends all around the world and wherever I go to present my work at a conference around Europe, I can be sure to run into a handful of SpaceMasters!