Feinmechanik / Feinwerktechnik
Projekt‐ & Berufserfahrung
High-Tech- und Elektroindustrie
1/2014 – 4/2014Tätigkeitsbeschreibung
GWF is Switzerland’s biggest manufacturer in the metering industry. It is a medium sized organisation with about 150 employees.
Metering devices are used to measure the consumption of energy. There are many forms of metered energy, including gas, cold water, warm water, electricity or calories (a unit of heat energy). Households consume resources that need to be split among consumers according to what they specifically use. Sometimes, there are central heating installations used by other individual units in order to work more efficiently. Accurate and reliable metering devices are required to split consumption into individual consumption units. Consequently, devices that meter energy are in high demand. Metering devices were exclusively mechanical in nature until the recent technological advances took place that opened new design opportunities. The technical transition allowed new designs moving from more mechanical towards more electronic. Today
most meters still contain a counter displaying mechanical digits. But this requires an in-person readout by someone who also has to track the meter’s accuracy and calibration. There is even a whole service industry devoted to the management of this type of data.
After the brief overview of the metering industry and the technology involved behind it, we are able to understand that not only technical challenges exist in the metering industry. There is a lack of standards from a hardware perspective. Also, legislative barriers exist that impact the exportation of products. Each country regulates metering device specifications, and even within the European Union, there are different standards, such as device dimensions or materials used. In addition to that, countries do regulate electronic components and wireless signal processing.
Products have undergone changes and meters are becoming smart. They are able to communicate information resulting in new metering components being implemented, such as electronics and software for managing that data. Hence, the term smart meter. As technical standards for smart meters do not drive the goals of the European Union’s free trade agreement, each product has the be customised to the specific country it is sold to. This requires a fundamental understanding of national regulations and it can be said that this results indirectly in import obstacles within the free trade zone.
Export Sales Engineers are then needed to help understand these specific projects. They coordinate internal resources, such as marketing and design departments. They understand the market and help develop appropriate sales strategies. They also evaluate competition and suggest amendments to product managers and marketing.
To assure a full understanding of the industry, I have accomplished a rotation program through different departments for internal networking, as well as for learning about the industry. GWF products are mostly manufactured in-house, but external manufacturers are also in the supply chain. Their customers are mostly Swiss, but a significant part of the revenue is generated abroad. I was placed in the export department where I worked on business projects for clients from Europe, Canada, Qatar and India. I evaluated markets and their technical and legislative demand. I have received in-house-training on products and learned about their specification. In addition, I learned device installation
and usage to according to GWF’s specifications and standards. I became familiar with the production process and learned about the organisation behind it. Finally, I helped with product demonstrations and designed a marketing presentation for client meetings.
The trainee at GWF metering gave me the chance to experience a medium-sized company in the metering industry. I learned about smart meter devices and it's international markets.
Management-Informationssysteme, Hydromechanik, Wasserkraft / Wasserkrafttechnik / Hydrodynamik, Mechanische Inbetriebnahme, Mechanische Technologie, Internationalisierung, Effizienz-Messung, Leistungsmessung, Informationslogistik, Werkstofflehre / Werkstofftechnik / Werkstoffwissenschaft
Texas Instruments, Manchester
High-Tech- und Elektroindustrie
10/2012 – 6/2013Tätigkeitsbeschreibung
Texas Instruments is a multinational company with its headquarters in Dallas, Texas. The company produces semiconductors (microchips) and electronics that are used in many devices including cell phones, computers and air-planes. The European headquarters is located in Munich, Germany, where EMEA markets (Europe and the Middle East) are also managed from. The industry with its internationally acting organisations is one of the most challenging. Due to its complexity, trainee programs are offered.
I was invited for a rotation program where my task was to understand the business and operations of the multinational organisation. There are many departments spread throughout the world organised into separate business units. Hence, networking within the company was an integral part of the program. It helped me to become familiar with many business units and its respective employees. To grant a holistic understanding of the industry, Texas Instruments (TI) offers a ‘Rotation Program’ that allows trainees to shadow their teammates in different departments and countries.
There are over 64 000 different parts offered by TI only. Working with them requires a fundamental technical background and familiarity with products and the industry, as well as within the organisation. The program started in the headquarters in Munich where I spent the first month. TI introduced me to their business culture and the industry. I learned about the production process and business code of conduct. I visited several business units, including the Power and Automotive division, which accounts for 90% of TI’s revenue, and I was introduced to several product managers.
Business units are called after their technical specialisation. They are run by project managers that coordinate internal resources as engineers or marketing specialists.
They concentrate on one sector. For example, the power department deals with
products that are used for power management of devices.
Later, I was assigned to sales offices in Stuttgart, Germany and Manchester in the United Kingdom where I participated in meetings with customers and distributors. To illustrate how the organisation works, I will use the example of a client’s project. The client launches a new product for automated illumination of offices. Hence, there is a product to be designed. However, the product contains various parts. Usually there is a long list of seemingly unrelated parts such as lamps, screws, cables, sensors and electronics. A manufacturer is not producing all parts themselves and external suppliers are needed. In the semiconductor industry though, the product is not simply on a shelf ready to sell. These products are not comparable to a screw where standards have
been set and the task of a screw is crystal clear to everyone. Moreover, semiconductors need to be customised to the end product and sometimes they have to be exclusively designed for its use.
Therefore, a customer project is set where internal engineers and the sales force meet with clients and distributors to discuss the project altogether. Price goals are set and technical feasibility is discussed. External project managers (client engineers and other resources) evaluate project goals and consult TI internal professionals to achieve a final project outcome.
In our example of the automated illumination of offices, such a project at first seems quite simple. The device does not contain complex technology and the product sold by TI to the manufacturer could possibly be a module for power supply with an add-on for network operation. The sales force, including distributors, offers a package that also contains light sensors, so the end product can be delivered by one distributor. If more products are offered by only one supplier it actually benefits both, due to granted compatibility and decrease in sales effort. Managing the project eases since there are less external project managers and accountants involved. The sales-force mostly consists of engineers that act as consultants.
-Field Application Engineers are engineers that attend project meetings in order to provide technical know-how. They understand projects and document them for internal processing and coordination. They suggest the implementation of products and additionally help designing circuit boards. They are also promoting products through cross-selling.
-Field Sales Engineers are engineers that focus on the business aspects. They are well educated on the technology, but concentrate more on the revenue in trying to win projects against the competition. They set appointments with customers and coordinate internal and external resources with project managers and distributors. They advise on functions and feasibility and maintain accounts.
-Distributors are the organisational force behind the project. They are externals that participate in client meetings and they offer aid in forms of logistics. They play an integral part in the industry as they are the outsourced logistical power that OEM’s (original equipment manufacturers) use in the supply chain. Needless to say, distributors are not tied to only one supplier. They also offer products from competitors and deal with hundreds of thousands of products.
It can be said that most revenue is generated by the sales force which are Field
Application Engineers and Field Sales Engineers.
Through shadowing various levels of employees and through participation in meetings, I had the chance to experience the industry on field. The rotation program helped me to truly understand the semiconductor and electronics industry through going and experiencing work in different departments. I became familiar with the production and distribution process. I also learned about business units and the marketing behind them.
Attending meetings with customers helped me to understand the complexity of technical projects. It requires highly skilled professionals that are well coordinated and well equipped to ensure projects’ success. Shadowing Field Application Engineers (FAEs) and interacting with them helped me to understand how engineers feel about their work.
I learned to be more precise and to communicate more directly. FAEs tend to be short on words but are very direct in their communication.
Shadowing Field Sales Engineers (FSEs) showed me how important the maintenance of client relationships are, because the right tone opens doors. It is important to be a capable and reliable partner in this business because projects can last months.
Embedded Entwicklung / hardwarenahe Entwicklung, Mikrocontroller, Halbleitertechnik, Analogtechnik / Analogelektronik, Digitaltechnik / Digitalelektronik, Technischer Vertrieb, Enterprise project management (EPM), Vertriebsingenieur
University of Furtwangen, Furtwangen
Hochschulen und Forschungseinrichtungen
9/2011 – 2/2012Tätigkeitsbeschreibung
The project took place in the University of Applied Sciences in Furtwangen and
Singapore. The purpose was to communicate university curriculum over mobile devices as new technology has opened new opportunities for teaching school curriculum.
However, there were challenges due to technical limits set by devices.
The perspective of the application was to supply students with their university
curriculum over their mobile devices. The application offered a wide range of new opportunities as content is no longer limited to being static. Furthermore, multimedia enables a new way of teaching complex topics, such as technical drawing. It can illustrate content multidimensional in forms of videos, pictures and animations. Objects can be interactively dealt with and teaching demanding content can be beneficial over cellular phones. 3D illustration offers a better understanding of spatial objects. Linked forums that were systematically assigned to sub topics offered space for relevant debates on demand. The application was similar to the concept of social media, but restricted for university teaching purposes and it helped the tutor to gather feedback.
Hence, it would offer a function to focus on problematic topics that may be revealed in the process of teaching.
I worked with the Android OS and a programming platform called AppInventor due to Google’s increasing popularity in the field. The applied programming language is based on java. Next to this, I got familiar with didactic methods (teaching methods that follows a consistent scientific approach to engage the students mind) and applied them to spite of the usability.
I set milestones and learned to organise activities. Designing the application in consideration with teaching methods gave me the chance to program hands-on. I learned how to independently launch coding and its documentation. I created a blueprint and continuously amended it and along the way, I gathered knowledge about technical feasibility and about mobile applications and their operating platforms while I got familiar with teaching methods.
Android Entwicklung, Java (allg.), Technisches Zeichnen, Informationsdesign, Adobe Photoshop
High-Tech- und Elektroindustrie
3/2011 – 8/2011Tätigkeitsbeschreibung
I assisted in various fields. My task in Quality Assurance was to execute test cases and to document bugs. I systematically analysed and tested various program instances where bugs were identified, documented and sent off for debugging. The source code was amended and the engine was optimised. I also assisted with the online presentation. I was managing the content, and I undertook changes in design. I helped with the online presentation in PHP and MySQL database, and I maintained the content of the homepage. Next to this, I worked with Photoshop for designing logos and buttons.
I assisted with the marketing strategy where I evaluated the market for video games and helped find new distribution networks.
The project gave me the chance to experience a start-up atmosphere with its pitfalls and struggles in a fast changing market as there is a constant transformation in technology.
SQL, C++, Java (allg.), Software engineering / -technik, HTML5, CSS (Cascading Style Sheet), Adobe Photoshop
Best Downloads, Weltweit
2/2005 – 10/2010Tätigkeitsbeschreibung
As co-founder of the company, I had a broad set of responsibilities and my work
covered a wide diversity of fields. Not only did I develop a webpage and manage
content, I also developed the marketing strategy and handled sales and advertising.
I acquired valuable knowledge about programming and marketing through the hands-on work at BestDownloads.de. As a co-founder I learnt to
handle many different types of jobs at the same time, and I learnt especially how to communicate with international customers of other cultures. Managing a complex multilingual database at the size of 60 000 file sets has also helped me to gain a fundamental understanding of the online world.
Initiating a project in such a form taught me the importance of accountability and teamwork. This entrepreneurial stint has showed me that persistence and resilience in the face of hardship is key to success.
This startup was a good lesson in the first step of my career where I acquired coding knowledge in PHP, SQL and CSS.
mySQL, CSS (Cascading Style Sheet), PHP, Enterprise project management (EPM), Marketing (allg.)
High-Tech- und Elektroindustrie
1/2005 – 1/2007Tätigkeitsbeschreibung
I developed, designed and patented a wellness product for illuminating bath tub water. I evaluated the market for the product and made a feasibility study. Hence, I learned about all various kinds of patents and the international legislation involved. I attended fairs where I found a business partner and investor. Then I helped design the product and assisted in monitoring its production. I evaluated the blueprint in meetings with Hydas (the investing organisation) and helped with technical amendments in the design. Then, I assisted in developing a marketing and distribution strategy. The product “AquaLicht” was eventually promoted as light and aroma therapy. It was
successfully sold in the United States and Europe online and in stores for years.
During this project, I designed a blueprint from scratch and was able to apply my
knowledge in electronics from my prior vocational training. Next to this, I had the challenging undertaking to secure the product legally. I learned about European Union directives and regulations in countries which are part to
the European Patent Convention. I consulted patent lawyers and helped defining the documentation. On base of my research I decided on a legal protection strategy. I also learned to correctly identify and approach decision-makers and how to successfully establish business contacts by attending numerous fairs.
Embedded Entwicklung / hardwarenahe Entwicklung, Mikrocontroller, CAD (computer-aided design), Internationalisierung, Datenbankrecherche - Patentrecherchen, Marktforschung / -analyse, Markenmanagement, Geschäftsfeldstrategie
Philips Service Subcontractor, Fa. Walter, Freiburg
High-Tech- und Elektroindustrie
9/2002 – 4/2006Tätigkeitsbeschreibung
I earned the title ‘Informationselektroniker’ which stands for Electronics IT
Technician. The theoretical part of the program was taught at the Polytechnic of Freiburg. The practical part was held in an assigned company, which in my case was a subcontractor for the multinational electronics company of Philips, a producer of consumer electronics and communication devices.
I maintained and repaired consumer electronic devices, and I was also responsible for the documentation and systematic gathering of failures for Philips products. The information was used to amend the product design or manufacturing processes in order to prevent future issues. Electronic products mostly show their technical weakness after sometime, therefore communicating detailed technical analysis of failures is mandatory for assuring quality standards in their production processes. In this industry, production
issues can be a costly undertaking for a manufacturer as devices might cause
substantial future modification costs.
In addition to the above, I was installing communication hardware and infrastructure such as ISDN, voice over IP (VOIP), analog telephony as well as satellite and cable signal processing.
Electronic Technology has undergone vast transitions and progress, which can be easiest described as miniaturisation. New materials and production methods have changed the shape of today’s devices dramatically. The early 2000s, and therefore the early days of digital electronics, gave me the chance to experience evaluating failures on circuit boards. Modern, present-day circuits are densely packed into one microchip. It has become common to place all important functions, such as power, signal processing, storage and more, on only one chip. In the early days, it took many microchips to accomplish what one of today's microchips is capable of.
Over the years, I witnessed the transition step-by-step whereby analog devices were transformed to digital devices.
Such a transition happens in this form only once in history. Therefore, I would like to underscore the importance of this hands-on experience with Philips during this special and distinct point on the timeline of technology history. My generation of trainees had the unique opportunity of witnessing a
shift in technology. Before, signal processing was exclusively analog, whereas today signal processing is digital. As technology was in the process of transition, my projects involved interaction between both components. A device chassis during the early 2000s contained analog and digital boards. Maintaining this interaction between both allowed me to truly understand the technologies involved.
In addition to my technical work, I also had the opportunity to actively participate on the business-side aspect of the organisation, such as interfacing with clients directly, estimating project efforts, and helping to manage both internal and external hardware resources for the spare parts supply chain.
The electronic spare parts industry is complex and interconnected worldwide. There are hundreds of thousands of different parts on the market that are produced by just a handful of manufacturers spread throughout the world. Therefore, distributors are used for logistics. At the vocation training with Philips, I had the opportunity to work across this worldwide network of organising equipment, spare parts, schematics and software
for maintaining devices. I experienced the market as a client and developed a sense for the electronic business. It is important for my future career as I am aiming for a position in the industry for an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). Additionally, it allows me to fully understand both sides of the table which will benefit handling customers as a vendor in the future.
The following curriculum was taught as practical part in the company:
● Analog technology - Analog signal processing
● Digital Technology – digital signal processing
● Software – IC - prom programming
● Power - power supply and power transforming
● Radio Frequency – Radio signal processing
● Communication devices – setting up and programming communication systems
● Software – updating or replacing operating systems on proms
Next to my hands-on training I learned the related theory in school.
The following classroom curriculum was held in Polytech Freiburg (Walter Rathenau Gewerbeschule):
● Electrical Engineering: Electrical voltage and electrical current, VDE standards
● Digital Technology: Logic circuits, flip-flops circuits, memory, multiplexers, bus
systems, microprocessors, data transmission
● Electronics: Ohm's law, inductors, capacitors, resistors, semiconductors
● Physics: Atomic model, electron pair bond, magnetism
● Telecommunications: Analog telephony (POTS), ISDN, VoIP
● Consumer Electronics: Analog technology, digital broadcast technology
● Information Technology: Wave theory, radio transmission, fibre optic technology
● Network Technology: Basics of network topologies, IPs
● Installation Technology: Generic wiring according to DIN EN 50173
● Technical Mathematics: Boolean Algebra, Binary and Hexadecimal numbers
● Software: Basics in Assembler and Java
● Fundamentals in Metalworking
● Economics and Ethics
Working hands-on in a firm in conjunction with experienced teaching professions from school has provided me a holistic knowledge of the electronics and Information Technology industry. The mixture between theory and practice helped me to truly understand the IT business.
C++, Telekommunikation / Netzwerke (allg.), Elektrotechnik, Mikrocontroller, Mikroelektronik, Analogtechnik / Analogelektronik, Digitaltechnik / Digitalelektronik, Funktechnik, Netzwerktechnik, Signalverarbeitung
(International Business and European Management)
(Industrial Engineer BSc. )
• Smart Metering
• Technical Mechanics
• Applied Mathematics, Physics, Statistics
• Material Science
• Electrical Engineering
• Information Management
• Technical Documentation and Communication
• Usability Engineering
• Project Management
• Technical Communication
• Applied Data Processing
• Production Techniques
• Printing Methods
• Information and Communication Technology
• Programming for web presence in PHP and HTML
• Maintaining SQL database
• Programming in Java
• DIV / WIV coding
• Digital Technology
• Analog Technology
• MCU Programming
• Consumer- and Communication Electronics
• Power components
• Bus Systems such as I2C Bus / MBus and more
• Sales Engineering
• Field Application Engineering
• Business Development
I obtained my Bachelor’s qualification in Business and Engineering from the University of Furtwangen in Germany. As an integral part of my curriculum, I completed an internship in software development that honed my skills in programming and management of software quality. I would like to underscore that before commencing my full time education in the field of engineering, I successfully completed a industrial training as an Electronics Technician in Information Technology, which enormously groomed my skills and prompted me to pursue my career in this domain. Subsequently, I acquired good working knowledge in engineering design and simulation of useful applications. I also gained experience in the semiconductor and smart metering industries.
By providing dedicated and outstanding support and developing practical solutions to business issues, I succeeded in rendering quality services to clients, which positively contributed to the credibility of my former employers.