Girl’s Day Interview with Julia Mayer, Mechanical Engineer at MBM innovations GmbH. Responsible for product development and technical project management of VSM® packaging machines.

Julia Mayer

Julia Mayer, B. Eng.

  1. What inspired you to study mechanical engineering and work in this field?

I believe the seeds were planted for me in childhood. Even as a little kid, I always wanted to accompany my dad into the manufacturing hall of our family business and stood in awe of the production machines. I loved watching how a complete component emerged from a drawing. My father still proudly recounts how I could visualize the 3D part from 2D drawings back then. This fascination has never left me. That’s why I’m thrilled to work in product development, still excited to be able to accompany the process from idea to finished system. It’s especially rewarding when your own ideas are realized, and you see the finished product.

  1. What aspects of your daily work in product development do you find particularly fascinating or challenging?

As I mentioned earlier, what fascinates me most each time is the journey from the initial idea gathering in meetings to the finished system. The path is usually not straight, which can often be challenging because, for example, a customer’s change request, feasibility studies, or other factors can reset all the brainstorming and tinkering back to square one. But in this process, it’s often important to take a step back, perhaps change perspective, and develop new approaches, which, in turn, I find particularly enjoyable.

  1. What does a typical workday look like for you?

I don’t really have a “typical” workday that’s the same nearly every day. Especially when I’m handling new developments or drafting concepts for clients, no task is like the other, and that’s what I enjoy most. Typical tasks within such projects for me include working on specifications, developing concepts, designing layouts, and directly engaging with the customer to find the best solution for them.

  1. What skills or qualities do you think are important to be successful in this field?

The theoretical knowledge from our studies is fundamental and lays the groundwork for our profession, such as understanding how mechanical processes unfold, how constructions are created, or how materials behave. However, I personally believe that there are skills, especially in product development, that cannot be learned in university. These include creativity and the willingness to think outside the box, as well as being flexible enough to change perspectives and adapt insights from other projects to new challenges.

The most important thing for everyone, but especially for women in STEM fields, is never to stop being curious and searching for new ideas.

  1. What opportunities are there for women in the field of mechanical engineering, especially for young girls interested in it?


  1. During your education or career as a mechanical engineer, have you faced any gender-specific challenges?

During my mechanical engineering studies, the few other women and I were unfortunately confronted with such challenges more often. Statements like “Women can now sit back because it’s about spatial imagination, which you can’t do anyway” really shocked me because my father – who also comes from the mechanical engineering field – always believed in me and made me feel that it doesn’t matter whether you’re a woman or a man. But of course, there were also many professors who were dedicated to inspiring students for the subject, regardless of gender. In my professional career, however, I have hardly faced such prejudices. Even though I still deal with more men than women in technical fields with customers and service providers. At MBM, we work with many international clients, and especially abroad, I feel that women in STEM fields are perceived differently and more positively. That’s why it’s so important to believe in yourself and create an environment that sees your potential. So, I’m very happy to work in a company that places a lot of value on selecting employees based on their skills.

  1. What advice would you give to young girls considering a career in mechanical engineering?

My advice would be: believe in yourself, don’t let people with outdated opinions deter you from your path, and dare to ask questions.