What is your background? What brought you to Neles and when?
I studied mechanical engineering at the university of Aachen and Stuttgart. My master’s thesis was about noise measurement of an Eckardt AG control valve. I saw a Neles advertisement in a newspaper, and shortly after that I joined Neles as a Technical Sales Engineer in January 1986. I’ve been dedicated to this job and company for 36 years, and now I’m retiring in 2021 as a proud Neles employee.
What is your typical workday like?
Ever since I started at Neles until now, my area has been E&HC (for Energy and Hydrocarbons). The tasks involved preparing quotations for the day-to-day business and for projects, execution of orders, guidance, contract negotiations, documentation (once I prepared 60 binders for a job), handling claims, expediting, being on-site during inspections. My ultimate target has always been to find the best solution for our customers and for our interests. This job has a lot to do with good communication. Our customers value prompt, qualified, and reliable communication, because they depend on our knowledge and experience. Communicating with different kinds of people requires good awareness. Good communication and relations are essential.
What kind of colleagues/team do you have?
In our sales office we work as a team for Pulp&Paper and for Energy and Hydrocarbons. Quotation and order handling can become really complex, so teamwork is essential – not only in our office, but also within the whole company. Systems provide a lot of support, but the skills of our colleagues are necessary in order to do a reliable job. We have a dedicated team in our office.
What inspires or motivates you at work? Any real-life examples of when you have felt this?
The work as a sales engineer is very exciting and demanding but never boring. I have been able to apply everything I learned during my university studies, such as thermodynamics, material issues, physics, mechanics, flow dynamics, optics, electrical issues, acoustic and vibrations, chemical issues, etc. Solving customer specifications is challenging and requires dedication. After having communicated with a lot of people in many countries, I have noticed that everyone wants to help make the world a little bit better.
What do you think has been your (or your team’s) greatest achievement at work? Can you recount any situations when you have felt that you have really succeeded?
Our office has always integrated a lot to improve our products, to develop and improve valves, positioners, Neles ValvGuard etc. When new systems were presented, we actively supported them. Yes, we changed something in the company. Our attitude has helped the company develop further.
What is the most challenging part of your work?
Over my 36 years at Neles, there have always been technical changes, and new products and systems have been introduced. In 1986, we started with simple computer from IBM running Nelprof 1. We had lots of technical and sales trainings. Even during the last few years, I have had to learn many new systems – also customer systems. Things are constantly becoming increasingly more complex and demanding. For me, maybe the most challenging thing is always staying up to date, which requires an eagerness to learn.
How would you describe the Neles culture?
I think the Neles culture is strongly related to having a personal relationship with customers and the attitude to develop and improve our products together with our customers. Good relations lead to good orders.
What do you like to do in your free time?
After work, I spend my time with my family and working in the garden. During holidays, I like to go to the mountains in southern Germany to observe the beauty of the nature. I am searching to understand what is basic and essential for happiness in life – for me and others. I mean the basic questions that cannot be answered by mechanical engineering, even though it has its own beauty.
What makes Neles a great place to work?
Neles is a successful international company. People all over the world are working together and supporting each other. I had very nice meetings and trainings, mostly in Helsinki, I’ve met people from all over the world and have had great relationships with them. The company is doing a lot to develop the skills of its employees. Neles is a well-known and respected company among end users, OEMs, and engineering companies all over the world. Neles is a great place to work.