The Siemens FutureMakers Fellowships is looking for the next generation of high-tech researchers

By: Virginie Maillard, Head of Siemens Corporate Technology USA and head of the Simulation and Digital Twin Technology Field

Siemens Corporate Technology’s FutureMakers Fellowships 3.0 is underway. It’s the third series of Corporate Technology’s R&D challenges designed to bolster its innovation pipeline and support the workforce of the future. 


Here’s how it works: In collaboration with leading universities throughout 2020, Siemens is hosting on-campus challenges in which doctoral students develop next-generation software concepts around emerging technologies and trends. Siemens then invests in the winning ideas, and teams work directly with Siemens R&D experts over the course of a year to bring the technologies from concept to reality – addressing some of today’s biggest societal challenges.  


In the first series of challenges, FutureMakers 1.0, the winning team from Rutgers University developed a concept for identifying the health of an agricultural plant. After successfully demonstrating their research, the core members of the team were hired by Siemens as interns to continue working on the project at Siemens Corporate Technology headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey. Merrill Edmonds, one of those original members, and his team were then able to present several demonstrations to Siemens colleagues, in addition to student groups that would come to the lab to see their work.


“For me, the benefit of the program was not only the advanced technology made available to us, but the exposure to the Siemens Corporate Technology engineers,” said Edmonds. “Our overall goals were met as far as the research project, as well as the altruistic goal of providing a healthier food supply, which had a lot of merit.”


Fellow Rutgers student Tarik Yigit is now working with Siemens R&D experts at Siemens Corporate Technology headquarters as an intern to continue developing the agricultural technology while pursuing his doctorate.


“Having a chance to use the Siemens technology on hand and apply it in my research is a very good investment for both my thesis and my career,” Yigit said. “I also have the chance to adapt my knowledge to Siemens technology to develop new systems.”


Another participating university in FutureMakers 1.0 was the Georgia Institute of Technology, where the winning team developed a concept for a computational tool using advanced machine learning and topology optimization to accelerate digital design and manufacturing.


Heng Chi, the team’s leader, then told Georgia Tech: “The idea of working closely with Siemens, a world leading company for engineering technology and innovation, is very attractive to me. It will allow me to be better connected to the engineering practice and apply my knowledge to real-world problems.”


Fast forward to today and Chi works full time for Siemens Corporate Technology and is one of several FutureMakers alumni now working at the company.


“I am currently working with the colleagues at Siemens Corporate Technology to generalize the ideas we developed during the FutureMakers 1.0 to solve other challenging problems in computational simulation,” said Chi. “It has been quite an enjoyable time since I joined the company.”


Editor’s Note: Across the country, Siemens is actively working to fill more than 1,500 open positions, from R&D experts to software developers and data architects. Visit our Jobs & Careers page to explore opportunities.