AutoSock Research and Development: an interview

An Interview with Sophia Furtwängler – Researcher and Developer

AutoSock Interview Series “5 Questions”

Research and development (R&D) are the innovative activities undertaken by corporations to develop new products and improving existing ones. AutoSock is continuously developing their snow socks and new product ideas to meet new customer requirements. For the new part of our interview series "5 questions", we interviewed Sophia Furtwängler, R&D engineer at AutoSock.

Spoiler alert: this interview does not reveal any secret new product developments.

1. Who are you and what do you do at AutoSock?
I’m Sophia Furtwängler, 27 years old and I’m holding a degree in textile technology. As research and development engineer at AutoSock Operations AS, I’m responsible for the management of new product development projects and the support of the production department. Most of the time, I’m working from my home office space in Hamburg, Germany.

2. How did you get in contact with AutoSock and what is your backstory?
Textiles are secret all-rounders. I have always been impressed by its diversity. Therefore, I decided to study textile management and textile technology (B.Sc. & M.A.) in Germany at Reutlingen University. Some of my colleagues chose the same path of education. I finished my scientific research paper in 2018 and published my master thesis as part of my studies in cooperation with AutoSock one year later.

3. How does a typical day in the process of researching and developing AutoSock look like?
Great about my job is its variety of tasks, so I work both practically and theoretically. A so to speak “typical day” varies from the tasks. When it’s clear what we want to develop, then research, testing of materials and prototypes, and many more involved processes need to be done. Together with our team and production partners, we discuss all the ideas and results. My work includes reading, writing, thinking, drawing, listening, talking, analysing, typing, designing, testing, implementing and last but not least having fun.

Textile testing methods of material properties and quality for AutoSock products

4. What goals do you have with AutoSock? What do you want to achieve?
On a personal note, it would be great to see that the products, I'm working on are accepted and appreciated by customers and integrated into the market. The recent AutoSock products are good examples for it. At the same time sustainability has come into global focus. This topic is of particular importance to me and as part of the textile industry, I’m committed to change something.

5. Besides of the work: What is your favorite place in Hamburg and why?
The Outer Alster is one of the most beautiful places in Hamburg. There is a lot to see, to discover and always in view: a lot of water. The surrounding parks and adjacent sports facilities offer numerous recreational opportunities.

Sophia in home office with her dog Pablo

Read also our interview with Bård Løtveit, the inventor of snow socks.

Read also our interview with Einar Hareide, the person behind the AutoSock design.
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