Who wouldn’t dream about flying more safely, efficiently, and comfortably? The Heidelberg Student Chapter of SIAM—together with members of Upstream (a network that promotes young female mathematicians)—organized a field trip to the headquarters of Lufthansa Systems in Raunheim, Germany. Such field trips allow chapter members to experience real-world applications of mathematics at big companies. They are also excellent platforms for networking, and provide information about job opportunities for mathematicians and computer scientists.
Lufthansa Systems is one of the leading information technology (IT) service providers for the aviation industry. The company digitalizes the airline enterprise by supporting all processes of aviation, including network and route planning, overbooking and revenue management systems, navigation, and on-board entertainment systems.
The trip to Lufthansa began with a delicious breakfast and an introduction to the company’s goals, services, clients, and values. Staff members then took us on a tour through the offices, presented Lufthansa’s modern workspaces, and explained how they shape the organization’s future with passion and innovation. We even got to meet Pepper, their friendly robot.
Lufthansa employees believe that IT is critical to the airline industry. Therefore, the first technical talk addressed ways in which the company tackles problems regarding route planning and copes with arising difficulties, like continually-changing route restrictions and unpredictable weather patterns.
Members of the Heidelberg Student Chapter of SIAM at the headquarters of Lufthansa Systems in Raunheim, Germany. Photo courtesy of Iris Ehrenbrand of Lufthansa Systems.
During lunch, we chatted informally with staff and learned more about the work environment and culture at Lufthansa. For example, a component of company development is the desire to not only earn money but also be socially engaged.
We attended several more talks in the afternoon, some of which were given by members of our group. Having already learned how to optimize a single plane’s route, we were excited to hear about the creation of flexible schedules and assignment of crews to flights. Our group was eager to learn and had the opportunity to discuss developments and trends that will determine the improvement of passenger transport in the coming years. We also had a chance to inquire about current career openings at Lufthansa.
Ultimately, this field trip inspired a greater understanding of mathematics’ application to the field of aviation. The Heidelberg Student Chapter of SIAM is grateful to Lufthansa Systems for hosting us and making this day a huge success.
— Heidelberg Student Chapter of SIAM