Ilka Kriegel started studying nanomaterials during her PhD at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany accompanied by a research stay at the University of Chicago, IL, USA. During her first postdoc at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy, she got insight into the ultrafast spectral response of hybrid nanomaterials. A Marie-Curie (global) fellowship brought her to the Molecular Foundry, Berkeley, CA, USA and the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), Genova, Italy, extending her knowledge to two-dimensional materials. Ilka is now head of the Functional Nanosystems group at IIT holding an ERC Starting Grant (Light-DYNAMO). She is further the coordinator of a collaborative FET Proactive grant (LIGHT-CAP). Her major research interests lie in the exploitation of functional nanosystems for energy and environment. Ilka is mother of three children.