Meet the Team
June 21, 2023

Silke – Head of Polymer Backbone & Polyimide Design 

Silke is responsible for the Polymer Backbone & Polyimide Design division at Evonik Fibres GmbH in Lenzing, Austria, where she and her team support all R&D projects relating to polyimide development. 

Silke, complete the sentence for us: 

As a chemist, I am especially proud that... 

... I can achieve great things with small molecules! Big things like the fact that industrial plants can be operated more efficiently thanks to our polymers or that membranes based on our polymers promote sustainable gas management. In my area of responsibility, I deal with organic syntheses of our monomers, the subsequent polymerization and gain insights and knowledge into the later application of the polymer – this helps me in targeted research. After a few years in my career that were very application-oriented, now I have “molecules on my table” again! The last time I did this was during my undergraduate and doctoral studies in Polymer Chemistry at Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena!  

Working in different areas of the company was valuable for me because... 

…I always enjoy taking on a new challenge! My time in Marl, starting in 2016, was especially interesting and also intense, because two worlds were coming together: research and production. It was very clear that this would only work as a team, and I couldn’t do it alone. I am extremely grateful to the outstanding team. Even now, it is still important to ensure a close collaboration between research and production. 

For me, my workplace in Lenzing, Austria, means... 

…working with a great research team in a very international environment. Before I came here, I spent more than ten years working on a specialized area from various perspectives, which I loved, but I wanted to do something new. When there was a job opening in Austria at the start of the COVID pandemic, I moved to Austria on the spot with my fur babies – and I never regretted it! At this small location, the employees are in very close contact and everyone supports each other. And honestly, is there any better advertisement for the region than Lake Attersee and Lake Traunsee?