Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Kerstin Thurow is the managing director of the Institute of Automation (IAT) at the University of Rostock and is working as the CEO of the Center for Life Science Automation (celisca). Prof. Thurow founded different non-profit organizations and companies.
As founding member and president of the Rostock-Raleighe.V. – a sister city association – Dr. Thurow is striving for cultural, sportive, but also scientific and economic relations to one of the most important Life Science Regions in the United States.
Question 1. First of all, thanks for giving me your Interview, Prof. Thurow. You are a successful woman to aspire to be like especially in the research field of Life Science Automation. What is your viewpoint on women empowerment?
Answer: Very difficult question to answer as this word itself differentiates women from men. I feel when we talk of women empowerment, then we consider them somehow not as smart as men and as a species that needs our help. Women are in no way inferior to men and might excel in career provided they have equal opportunities. Women empowerment in Europe and Germany is different from that in India.
For example,we facilitate women in Germany to be successful in their career by providing suitable child care such as kindergarten etc. This is guaranteed by law. We help women to maintain work-life balance and – if possible – enable home offices.
However, in the case of India where the social conditions are different,women empowerment is meant standing for their basic rights of health, education, and equality.
I would like to see a woman always as an independently individual contributing to the national economy as well. “The girls should be made strong and boys should be educated to respect them” is my message.
Once we encourage women to hold leading positions, the entire society gets better. All in all, we dream of a society where all human are equal independent of their gender, race, belief,and religion.
Question 2. You have achieved success at early age by founding the Center for Life Science Automation (celisca). What is celisca?
Answer: Thanks for the compliments! The modern technology evolves very fast. celisca isan inter-disciplinarily research center providing automated and robotics based solutions for life sciences and pharmaceutical research.
We have in-house developed mobile autonomous robots working together in a cooperative manner with the human operators for performing routine tasks in a typical biotechnological laboratory. In future projects, we wish to use “flying-robots” for transportation tasks between different places.
Question 3. How can celisca cooperate with the community welfare research organizations in
Answer: Well, in the Indian context, celisca has huge potential in the field of environmental analytics. We know, that water contamination is big problem there. We have advanced analytical lab automation based solutions to detect pollutants (organic as well as inorganic heavy metals) in underground water very fast and with good precision and accuracy.
We have the technical expertise in developing mobile laboratories. The other area where celisca can work jointly is Medical Automation. We have done in the past a BMG project in association with Shah Satnam Ji Green-S Welfare Force Wing. celisca could be a showcase of interdisciplinary research that benefits communities across the world.
I would be happy in making the people to learn from our technological expertise and work for community welfare. We want to support any initiative to educate and empower rural people making them to stand by themselves. We look forward to support them in teaching technical courses.
Question 5: What do you do in your free time?
Answer: I read books whenever I am free. I prefer to read crime novels and autobiographies. My first priority and free time activity are my children.
Question 6: Who is your ideal?
Answer: Madam Curie, I admire and respect the most. She has impressed me a lot. She contributed to science during the time when women were not active in the scientific research. Her husband has supported her. I believe that science is meant for serving humanity.
Every scientist should aim to apply his/her research for peaceful purposes and not the war. The University of Rostock has a civil clause and is not doing any kind of military research. We are obliged for a research for peaceful purposes.
Question 7: Apart from reading what would you like to do in your free time?
Answer: Walking on beach, Swimming.
Question 8: Which is your favorite place?
Answer: Charleston, an old town in South Carolina, is a small and very beautiful city.
Question 9: What is your favorite food?
Answer: I like hot and spicy food. Not typical German. Indian and oriental food is great.
Question 10: What is your idea of India?
Answer: I learned about India a long time ago when I was in the school. A country far away from Germany. We experienced India as an exotic country of spices and Tajmahal. The first Indian I got to know was Mohit who came to Germany to do his PhD.
He was followed by many students and scientists who worked in celisca. During a cultural event organized by Rostocker-Indians, I came to know a lot about India. Indians are very open minded people.
They carry rich cultural heritage with them and I admire their tolerance towards all religions and cultures of the world. Bollywood and Yoga of-course are well known here in Germany.
Question 11: Which place would you like to visit in India?
Answer: The Taj Mahal! I also love to learn about real India visiting country side, their way of living,
eating, and everything about their lives.
Question 12: Message to Indians.
Answer: India is the fastest growing economy with an inclusive and pluralistic society. I wish India to grow economically and scientifically, however, keeping its core cultural and social values intact.
Thank you very much!
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