Farewell Qualcomm

Soundscape recording with a spherical microphone array at UC San Diego, 2019

It’s an end of an era, and the beginning of a new one.

I started my first corporate research and engineering job straight out of a post-doc at UC Berkeley in 2013. We rented a minivan, packed up two years of student life, and took our time along Highway 1 as we made our way to San Diego and a completely different lifestyle. If you had told me back then that I would stay in southern California for seven years and become a dual German-American citizen, I wouldn’t have believed you. But life passes fast, colleagues at Qualcomm became friends, I finally learned to surf.

I want to say thank you to the guy who brought me to Qualcomm and San Diego, my manager and the director of the 3D audio team, Deep Sen, for believing in me and hiring me. I was employee number three on his team. Under Deep’s direction, our team grew to double digits and did amazing international work in the field of immersive audio. Deep moved on to Apple in 2018. And now it’s my turn to move on to new adventures.

This June, I became a professor at the University of Nuremberg-Erlangen for the International Audio Laboratories. I am developing a research program in spatial audio processing for the internet of things with funding for potentially two PhD students or post-doctoral researchers. Reach out to me if you’re interested.

The time I spent at Qualcomm is invaluable. I learned things I never could have learned in academia, and all that I have learned, I will bring to my students with the intent to develop the next generation of interdisciplinary researchers and engineers.

One more thing. I want to especially say thank you to my mentor Nik. And to all of my colleagues: I owe you all one last IPA.