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“I don’t give up my private attitude in a professional context”
Meet our research associate and PhD student Lena Riesenegger, who is fighting the climate crisis in all areas of her life.
Lena Riesenegger had already been privately committed to climate and environmental protection for several years before she also found a way to integrate the topic into her professional work: at the TUM Campus Straubing, she is currently writing and researching for her doctoral thesis at the Chair of Supply and Value Chain Management. The problem she addresses is devastating and highly topical.
After graduating from high school and training as a digital draftswoman, Lena entered the subject area in which she is still active today. As part of her industrial engineering studies at Kempten University of Applied Sciences, she chose to focus on the design and optimisation of various industrial processes in order to make them more sustainable. Although Lena liked working in the field, she continued her education even further: “Since I had already started to get involved in environmental and climate policy issues at that time, I decided to enroll in the master’s program in Renewable Resources at the TUM Campus for Biotechnology and Sustainability in Straubing.”
For the scientist, climate and environmental protection are central tasks of our time. That’s why it’s “important and necessary for people to communicate their commitment to environmental and climate protection to employers as well and initiate changes”, Lena thinks.
Coincidentally, she also came across the topic for her doctoral thesis through her private commitment: As a supporter of the organisation foodsharing, Lena became aware of how serious the problem of food waste really is. Now, Lena dedicates her dissertation to improving methods and models “in food supply chains in order to reduce surplus food in retail.” She feels that her passion for using mathematical knackering to develop the best solution to a business problem can be put to good use in the process.
Despite problematic conditions worldwide, Lena has not yet given up hope of averting the climate catastrophe. “Right now, meat consumption is at an all-time low. Plus, overnight train travel was becoming more popular before Corona put the brakes on travelling for the time being. News like these give us hope again,” Lena states.
Besides her environmental endeavors, the TUM School of Management doctoral student is also committed to shining a light on the topic of gender equality. Again, she feels that things are slowly moving in the right direction. Thanks in part to a stronger focus in the media landscape, Lena perceives a greater awareness of inequalities, although in her eyes the pace of change could be even faster. “Do I consistently include everyone linguistically? Am I aware that women may act differently in male-dominated teams? Do women have their say in meetings, can they speak up, is their opinion heard and taken seriously?” According to Lena, these are the kinds of questions you need to keep asking yourself if true gender equality is to be achieved.
Upcoming Events: Empowerment of Women
Some initiatives to empower girls and young women to play a part in the MINT sector, take place in the next few weeks. Save the date and join us for an exciting online program on the nationwide Girls’ Future Day, the annual career orientation day for girls, on April 22nd at TUM Campus Heilbronn. Experience first-hand and from home, what the lessons of the future might look like with the application EngageVR and dive into different virtual learning environments.
On April 27th, the TUM Management Alumni e.V. will be hosting the second edition of their new format: TUM Management Alumni Spotlight. This time, the event is dedicated to the topic: Empowerment of Women, with inspiring speakers from science and business. Find out more about this event here.
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