What do you do at Eriksholm?
“I am a research clinician in the Advanced Algorithms group.”
When and why did you apply to work here?
“I finished my master’s degree in the summer of 2014, and knew I wanted to work in Research & Development. In most job listings, they asked for a couple years of practical experience, before considering a position within a research unit, so I took a job in rehabilitation. At the same time, I uploaded an application to the Oticon job database.
After working for a few months as a hearing care professional, Bo Westergård, head of communications and clinical audiology at Eriksholm Research Centre, found my resume in the database, and contacted me for a temporary position in the clinic group. Originally, my first contract was for 10 months. As of writing this, I have been here for about two years.”
Tell us about some of the projects and studies you have participated in.
“I have been involved in a number of projects. A couple of examples are“[separation of competing voices for people with hearing loss]”, and the project on “[separating known voices in hearing aids]”, both of which have since been published.
Typically, I am involved in a project from the very moment it reaches the drawing board. My role within these projects is reviewing literature, developing test protocols for the actual test, and identifying test subjects from our database. I also plan and execute the tests. Additionally, I am involved in writing the reports when the projects are finished.”
What do you like the most about working at Eriksholm Research Centre?
“Generally speaking, there is an amazing working environment among the employees at Eriksholm. I never wake up in the morning thinking “ugh, this again.’ Coming to work is always a joyful experience.
Eriksholm Research Centre is incredibly tight-knit, and there is a strong sense of unity and common achievement to the way we work. Everyone is treated with the utmost respect by his or her peers, and that really works well, here. Here I would like to draw an example from my own workday in the clinical group. The group of clinicians consists of four wildly different people, all of whom think and work differently. While this could seem to be a drawback, we complement each other very well, and are efficient in the way we divide tasks between us. Whenever I fall short, I can be certain that one of my colleagues has the skills to help me, and vice versa. I am incredibly happy with the group I work with.
On top of that, I think the location and environment at Eriksholm Research Centre is nothing short of amazing. You cannot help but feel a sense of serenity, sitting in the middle of this beautiful, idyllic place.”
What are the three most important values in your life?
- “Honesty – I cherish the opportunity to be true to myself and to others, and wish for the people around me to reflect that value. It is an incredibly important foundational pillar in building trust and friendships, that you can be honest and straightforward with one another.
- Integrity – It is very important to me that I do not have to compromise my own moral standpoints, and that I am true to myself. It helps me offer the best degree of service to our test subjects, if I believe in the work I do, and I believe I do it for all the right reasons.
- Fairness – I have a strong sense of righteousness, and have had that since I was a child. It was very amusing to my parents when I was younger. I recall a time, when I was about seventeen. That year, I had been on a ski-vacation with my school, and snapped a ligament in my knee. For the next long while after that, I had to take a taxi to school. One day the taxi pulled up in front of my house a solid ten minutes in advance. When I walked to the car, I realized the meter was already running. Once I sat comfortably in the car, I brought it up with the driver, asking him whether he really thought it was fair to run the meter so long in advance. He told me that yes, in fact, he did. For the remainder of my injury, we never spoke of this again, but since that day, the meter was never running before we took off.”
What do you hope will happen in future science?
“It is my hope that in future, people with hearing impairment will not require hearing aids to live a fulfilling life. That science finds a way to compensate for hearing loss without the physical devices we rely on today. Until then, I hope research within audiology will continuously contribute to making hearing aid users feel more and more empowered, and enable them to get the best outcome of their hearing solutions, so it will be as natural to wear hearing aids as it is to wear glasses.”
What is the most exciting scientific breakthrough in your lifetime?
“The smartphone really took the world by storm. It is one of the most exciting breakthroughs, particularly thanks to the breakneck speed of innovation on the platform, and the user friendliness provided. The way a smartphone can track your pulse, book you on an airplane, and track you via GPS and much more. It is also compatible with a number of eHealth applications, and works well with a number of different APIs [Application Program Interfaces] and frameworks. I think it could assist in dealing with hearing aid users and hearing impairment, and give people a sense of control over their own rehabilitation process.”
What do you do in your spare time?
“I enjoy spending a lot of time on various creative efforts. For example, I love making vacation films, digital scrapbooks, and other creative memorabilia of wherever I travel in life. My grandfather has made scrapbooks for as long as I can remember, meticulously gluing vacation photos onto page after page, and he proudly shared them with all of us in his family. I have always enjoyed the creative effort, and so I decided to carry on the tradition after him, and fit it to the 21st century, where everything is digital. Additionally, I can really appreciate a good TV-series, and so my boyfriend and I often find ourselves completely entangled in some great TV show. I also spend time in the gym, where I do spinning, bodypump and bodyflow; a mixture of yoga, Pilates, Thai Chi.”
If you would like to know more about Rikke, you can reach her on her LinkedIn profile, as well as her personal Twitter account, where she posts about her life and daily work at Eriksholm, whenever she is not watching the latest episode of Downton Abbey.