“Being part of a change towards a cleaner future gives my work a meaningful purpose”


Marija, thanks for taking the time for an interview today. First of all: Could you please shortly introduce yourself and your professional background?

My name is Marija Jankovic, I am an electrical engineer born in Serbia. I finished my Bachelor and Master studies in the field of electronics at the University of Belgrade and earned a PhD degree in power electronics from the University of Nottingham in the UK. Next, I gained professional experience in Stuttgart, Germany, where I first worked at Porsche Engineering Services on power electronics in charging infrastructure.

Dr. Marija Jankovic

Finally, I joined ROHM Semiconductor as a Field Application Engineer in power devices over four years ago.

What is your motivation to work in the field of tech?

There are two approaches: One is to be a part of a change – as power electronics is one of the key fields tackling the climate change. Being part of a change towards a cleaner future gives my work a meaningful purpose.

The other approach is to do what I’m good at and what I enjoy. At school I found out very quickly that scientific subjects such as physics are my specific area of interest. Therefore, I’m glad to be an engineer now.

Why did you decide to work for ROHM? What do you like most about ROHM?

At ROHM I can deal with the newest technology of power semiconductors and support projects for the next generation of electric vehicles. In this connection, I enjoy working at the forefront of the car generations for tomorrow together with the developers who will shape the future of all of us.

On top, ROHM supports my development as a professional by encouraging me to participate at conferences and workshops or doing some research activities such as experimenting. For example, just recently, I spent time in a specialized UK lab testing the cosmic ray robustness of our devices with my colleagues. This is a very nice change from daily routines and reminds me of my PhD days.

What are your key tasks? How does a typical working day look like for you?

My key task revolves around customer support: understanding their applications and supporting them to find the perfect product and use of that product inside their application.

My typical working day consists of regular meetings with some of ROHM’s key customers, communication with my team in Europe and also maintaining frequent exchange with our Headquarter colleagues in Japan. Additionally, my spectrum of tasks includes the support on various projects, collecting the data and carrying out simulations for example.

What do you like most about your field of profession?

I always enjoy learning new things – power electronics is evolving fast even if it is based on some well-known electrical and thermomechanical principles. On top, I like that our semiconductor industry is one of the key fields in hopefully solving the climate change problem.

Working as a woman in tech, did you ever have to face prejudices regarding your career choice? If yes, how did you cope?

This is a hard question. However, we need to keep addressing it as long as there is inequality in society. I personally never had to cope with serious prejudice issues. Nevertheless, there were moments in my career that I felt I needed to show professional perfection to be considered as an equal in the conversation and to gain respect. I dealt with it by bravely speaking my mind when I think my opinion would be important for the topic.

But I think there are less and less moments like that and more and more women in this field, at least at ROHM and among our customers.

From your perspective, which significance does networking have?

Networking is always important, especially from a sales point of view where the exposure of matching products to customers is key for winning projects. Developing the right product is a two-way street: We need to know what the market needs to be able to develop the right features. It is similar in the research, we need to know what the hot topics are and this information is often discussed in networking events, such as conference dinners or during exhibitions.

Could you recommend any initiatives where women in tech can exchange thoughts with each other?

Women only events are growing at the conferences and as a part of IEEE organization. I haven’t taken part in such events so far. Nothing against it, but I think that professional connections should be independent from gender and therefore inclusive to all.

Last year you were elected to the PCIM Europe Advisory Board. Could you please describe your role and tasks?

Yes, I am pleased that ROHM supports me here. My role is to take part in the conference organization with other advisory board members: I review and select papers, chair the poster or oral sessions and also think about relevant future conference topics.

How do you personally benefit from being part of the PCIM Europe Advisory Board?

I find it very useful because PCIM is the biggest exhibition for power electronics in Europe. The conference is very special because it’s a place where both scientists from academic institutions and R&D engineers from different companies are participating. From that perspective, the papers submitted for the conferences are connected to specific applications. Hence, it’s very beneficial for me to experience and understand new technology raised during these conferences early on.



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