For Research. For Berlin.

Einstein Questionnaire

Friedel Gerfers


Friedel Gerfers investigates how exponentially growing data volumes in the age of the mobile Internet and the integration of networked machines and sensors can be transmitted with maximum energy efficiency and minimum delay times. He works at the intersection between antenna and the digital chip interface, in other words digital signal processing. In the future, he will not only be able to simulate the developed chips but also analyze their actual performance.


Please close your eyes and think about your research project. What do you see at first?
Faster mobile internet connection with the highest data rates.


How would you explain your research to a child?

We are researching in the field of faster Internet connections, communication of machines and self-driving vehicles, as well as microchips for medicine.


What is it that surprises people when you tell them about your research? 
How small and powerful todays microchips are. The latest transistors (transistor is the basic component of an amplifier) have a feature size of 10 nanometers and less. As a size comparison, our DNA is about this size.

With whom would you like to swap your workplace for one day? What would you do?

I would like to surf and ride the biggest waves.

Is there any rather unusual hobby or talent you might want to share with us?

I grew up on a small farm. Thus, I can handle animals and farm machines very well.


What did your research teach you about life?
To accepte failures but making a profit out of it and to learn what to do better next time and celebrating even small successes!


What would your job be, if not a scientist? 
Successful entrepreneur and company founder in Silicon Valley, USA.


Which place in Berlin do you like the most, and why?

We (my family and myself) find the Natural History Museum particularly thrilling with all the fossils, the fossilized dinosaur skeletons and the animal collection preserved in alcohol.


Is there anything about Berlin that you didn’t expect at all? And/or something that you miss here? What makes Berlin special for your research?

Most positively surprised me how "green" Berlin is, how much forest and green areas there are, even in the city centre.

My family and I miss the year-round very pleasant climate of the Silicon Valley and the associated flexible leisure activity planning.

Scientifically, Berlin has surprised me very positively with its unique economic and scientific expertise in the field of photonics within Germany and electronics and the large number of companies in the optical field. 

Scientifically and economically I do miss the Silicon Valley with the Stanford University and all the different core competencies, the innovative startups culture within a radius of only 50 kilometres.


June 2019