Renskje K. Hietkamp

Research Clinician since 2005

What do you do at Eriksholm?

“I am a Research Clinician. My work involves research, where the main focus is on the broad group of people with hearing impairment, as well as clinical work, where the focus is on the individual person with hearing loss.”

And you have worked here for how long now?

"I have been here for about 12 years now. During my first study I soon realized I was a little different from the rest of my class. Even though working with clients was fulfilling, I also wanted a greater good and improve live for the group as a whole. So I took a second study as a supplement. I started out working in the public sector. One day I came across a job post from Eriksholm Research Centre, and it fit perfectly within my dream job, as it combined care for the individual with care for the group of individuals. Today, 12 years later, I still would not trade it for anything."

What are some of the projects you have been involved with at Eriksholm Research Centre?

“I started off by recruiting test subjects for our many research projects. Already during my two very first projects, my interest in accuracy and the fine craft of reliable research really became clear to me. During the first project, for example, we got some puzzling results. After some hard thinking, we came to the conclusion that our test subjects needed dedicated and focused training in the tasks they were asked to perform, so we could get a reliable results of the tests. This kind of accuracy, and working towards proper and reliable results, has since become my passion. The second project involved temporal fine structure, and once again we faced puzzling results, throwing us into a series of carefully designed experiments enabling us to explain our results. Once again, I got to use my passion for accuracy and precision. These days I am involved in projects across the board, and have students for mentoring as well.”

What do you like the most about working at Eriksholm Research Centre?

“I appreciate the freedom and ability to go our own ways in our research, which we are afforded here. I also like the fact, that all of our research is driven by a common goal: To make life easier for the hearing aid user. Eriksholm is between a product-driven process in a commercial organization, and a curiosity-driven one in a research setting, that does not always amount to anything tangible in the real world. This sort of in-between that Eriksholm is in, gives us freedom to be curious, while still being focused on our primary objective.”

What are the three most important values in your life?

1. Integrity – It is very important to me, that others feel they can trust me and my word. That my word carries weight, and I can live up to the expectations I and others set for me.
2. Mutual respect – I am a big fan of the golden rule, that you should treat others like you would want to be treated. That is important to me.
3. Adaptability – I have a very simple rule to live by: If you are dissatisfied by something in your life, change it! There is no sense sitting in a situation where you feel stuck or otherwise unhappy. You need to be willing to make a change.

What do you hope will happen in future science?

“I hope we will continue working towards more holistic solutions, especially in the hearing aid industry. I would like to see something that is convenient, comfortable, and hassle-free for the end user. On top of that, I would like us to find a way to make hearing aids seem more like gadgets than medical devices, and make wearing them feel less like a limitation.”

What is the most exciting scientific breakthrough in your lifetime?

"I think one of the most exciting things in my life comes back around to the first project I mentioned earlier. During that project we realized that there is a very big difference in the degree of auditory details including artefacts that people with hearing impairment are able to hear, even when wearing hearing aids, compared to people without hearing impairment. The realization that normal hearing persons are poor at predicting what is good for the hearing impaired, has had an impact on our approach of developing hearing aids. Our discovery gave us a better understanding of the impact of hearing loss, and today we are much, much more aware of this issue."

What do you do in your spare time?

“I like to spend my time running. I think it is a meditational thing for me, and I tend to meet with a group of friends and run together. Not quite marathon-level, however; it is more of a recreational thing. I also enjoy crafting jewelry whenever I can get away with it. One of the things I enjoy the very most, however, is having time with my family. Whether we go out to dine, or sit down in front of the television on a late evening, the time together is always very valuable to me.”