Melanie Zimmer

Thanks to all the students for that great experience and congrats to Stu! Well done! :) Students, please get in contact if there is anything you want to know or if you want to come and visit us with your class! :)



I went to school and uni in Germany, recently started my PhD.


German A-levels (Abitur), Bachelor of Science in Maths, Master of Science in Computer Science

Work History:

I did an internship at Vector Informatik in Germany where I developed software for communication in cars. I joined my current employer HSSMI in August 2014 where I started to work on a project in augmented reality.

Current Job:

Graduate Engineer / PhD Student


High Speed Sustainable Manufacturing Institute (very catchy, I know) – a research institute located in the lovely Olympic Park in Stratford (London)

Me and my work

Graduate Engineer / PhD student researching into monitoring and model learning methods

I’m currently working as a Graduate Engineer. One of the projects I’m involved looks into how augmented reality can be used to facilitate manufacturing processes, but my main project, which is at the same time my PhD project, is focused around machine learning, artificial intelligence and so called agents (not James Bond, I’m afraid). We are considering buying a Lego train to test some of our ideas (and even if they don’t work, we can still keep the Lego train!).



My Typical Day

… starts with breakfast (most of the time porridge with honey, raisins and cinnamon).

On a typical day, I read a lot, I write a lot, and I talk a lot to create outcomes we need for projects and my PhD – I read a lot of papers other people have written on topics like machine learning and manufacturing, I write a lot of code and reports, and I talk a lot with my coworkers about ideas (and lunch). It is definitely more interesting that it sounds!


What I'd do with the money

Show students how current technologies are applied and used in manufacturing

I would like to invite students to visit our company here at the Olympic Park to show them some of the work we do and give them the chance to do some mini hands-on projects (using for example Lego) themselves. After that, we would visit an automotive company to see robots in action! I would hope to have an ongoing mentoring relationship between the students and my company to support and encourage in any way we can.

Additionally, I would like to buy a tablet and support a friend of mine from Germany working in Kenya. As their internet connection is not always the best, I would like to prepare lecture material they can use to learn more programming and directly test it on the tablet.


My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

amateur-baker, Disney-fan, spider-detesting

Who is your favourite singer or band?

The Beatles and I love rock music – but I’m currently listening to Ed Sheeran at work.

What's your favourite food?

A typical dish from the area in Germany where I am originally from – Linsen mit Spaetzle (followed by anything containing chocolate)

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Years ago, my mum and I went to a fun fair, where helicopter rides were offered. My mum asked if we should go for one, to which I happily agreed – unfortunately for her she was only joking. I really enjoyed it though!

What did you want to be after you left school?

Princess would have been nice ;)

Were you ever in trouble at school?

A friend of mine and I were not allowed to sit next to each other after we have been laughing too much in one of our lectures

What was your favourite subject at school?

Arts and Maths (and Biology because there was cake every lesson!)

What's the best thing you've done as an engineer?

Participating here in I’m an Engineer – Get me out of here! :)

If you weren't an engineer, what would you be?

I would have liked to be a car interior designer

Tell us a joke.

Q. Why was 6 afraid of 7? ————— A. Because 7 8 9.

Other stuff

Work photos:

This is the building we work in:


Here, we have my desk, which is probably the most overloaded desk in the office:


Work can also be fun!

Our Christmas jumper day last year:


One of my coworkers researching for one of his projects (really!):


This is a picture with some of the other PhD students and the those responsible for the programme. The picture was taken during our induction week last year in September when we made a trip one afternoon to the Edzell Castle in Scotland.


And many greetings from Switzerland!


This is my dog back home in Germany:


Her name is Muszka (Moo-sh-kah, which apparently means “little fly”). She is probably 3-4 years old and originally from Poland.

And although she is such a small dog, she needs so much space (of course on the comfy bed)!