Team leader, cell analysis , BMW Group
What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
I started my professional career as a researcher for secondary batteries that were mainly for hand-held devices. When the BMW Group started looking for battery experts, I decided to apply. I became part of a highly dynamic group that is now working on the development and implementation of electric mobility. I wanted to bring my battery knowledge to BMW to help shape this part of the automotive industry’s future.
Born: Wolfratshausen, Germany
Languages: German, English, some French
Education: Doctorate in solid-state chemistry and master’s degree in chemistry, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany
Your greatest achievement?
Starting a family with my wife. We have a little daughter. My wife and daughter help me recapture the power I need for the professional part of my life.
What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
I have learned that when you reach important agreements with associates, colleagues or supervisors, take the time to write it all down. If you don’t, some people claim to not remember what they agreed to, especially as more time goes by. I also recommend taking minutes or sending out a brief protocol to all the representatives who attended each meeting. This helps to keep people committed to getting things done on time.
What is your current challenge at work?
In late 2019, my team and I will move into the BMW Group Battery Cell Competence Centre. We will have to install new laboratory equipment and machinery, which also includes the development of new analytical methods for battery cells, materials and components. We also have to deal with the definition and organization of new work procedures and cross-functional collaboration models.
What about the auto industry surprises you?
When I started my job, it took me a long time to get an overview of all the aspects necessary to develop, build and sell a premium car. I was really impressed by how multi-faceted the process was and how the various departments work together. As I am working on electric powertrains, it has been interesting to see how difficult it is to get people to consider switching from long-established technologies to electric mobility.
2015-2017: Team leader, cell technology, BMW Group, Munich
2013-2014: Competence field leader, cell technology, BMW Group, Munich
2011-2013: Specialist in lithium ion cell technology, BMW Group, Munich
2007-2011: Developer of secondary batteries and deputy laboratory manager, Sanyo Component Europe, Munich
What is the best advice you have ever received?
My supervisor told me during one of my first evaluations that he liked my sense of duty, dependability and ability to understand things quickly. However, he said I was too stressed and
needed to find more joy. That was great advice. I believe you should always try to take things a little less seriously, if possible. This helps you keep enjoying your job.
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
Give it a try! The auto industry gives you the opportunity to work in various areas. There are unlimited possibilities for your professional and personal education and development. Surveys show that auto companies most often rank at the top when it comes to being great to their employees.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
I am currently leading a team of scientists. This is fantastic, especially since electric mobility is so future-oriented. I would love to push even further in this field. Perhaps this would be possible if I were to get a different management position or a promotion to a higher executive level.
What do you do to relax?
Weather permitting, I ride my mountain bike. It’s the best way to clear my head and concentrate on something else. I also like to putter around the house. There is always something to improve, install or repair.
What is your pet peeve?
I don’t like disorder, chaos and boredom. And on the highway I can’t stand it when people drive in the middle or left lane when the road is empty.
What was your first car?
A black third-generation VW Golf with 60 hp.
A BMW 4-series Gran Coupe.
If you were a car, which one would you be?
I would be a Mini Roadster because like me it’s fun, lively, usually in a good mood, as well as reliable and modern.