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Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) and Women in Geothermal, fifth interview of the series with Edith Haslinger

The Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), Austria’s largest non-university research organization, has a business unit called ‘Thermal Energy System’ specialized on the development of heat pumps and thermal storages on both component and system level, and their integration into industrial processes, buildings and thermal networks. Within Geofit project, AIT is leading the development and demonstration of the electrically driven heat pump prototypes especially for the optimized integration of the newly developed ground heat exchangers and the test of cost-efficient alternative heat exchangers.

Edith Haslinger has been one of the main scientists involved in the optimization of the ground heat exchangers, working together with Groenholland. She is senior scientist at AIT and Project Manager for geothermal projects, both for deep and shallow geothermal and collaborates with industry, other research institutions and also technical offices. Through this interview, she explains how she landed in the field of geothermal energy by pure chance and her experience collaborating in Geofit, her first EU project, which she defines as a really positive project for the scientific community because one really sees that your ideas and visions for projects become real through the demonstration sites, and how these ideas really make a difference for people.

…the most interesting aspect of working with geothermal technologies is that geothermal is not a one uniform homogeneous field of knowledge, it is rather a combination of different fields and subjects. You have drilling, engineering, technical, geology, chemistry, political, social and economic aspects… so for successful geothermal projects you really have to combine all these fields and experience. This is the most interesting, working with different people, with other perspectives, different ideas, and everybody working together with a common goal