My active and eventful time at IKV came to an end 14 years ago, but before I actually started at IKV, I had to master the challenges of the mechanical engineering course, where I specialised in aerospace engineering. I joined IKV as a newcomer to plastics and, fascinated by lightweight construction and fibre-reinforced plastics, I remained true to the Institute, from my first study paper to my appointment as head of the demonstration centre for fibre-reinforced plastics (now the Composites department). I started my career with Volkswagen AG, but the growing demand by the aviation industry for managers with good specialist knowledge of CRP took me to Airbus in 2005. Here, the decision had been taken to develop the A350XWB. As the Program Manager responsible for the Stade site, my team was tasked with designing the aircraft and subsequently overseeing the expansion of the plant. I was then given responsibility for the manufacture of the giant CRP parts. In 2013, I became head of a team in BMW Group, charged with enabling the large-series production of CRP. With the introduction of the all-electric BMW i3, which has a carbon body structure, an important first step was successfully taken at the end of 2013.
One of the most important aspects of my career to date has been that I have always been given the necessary freedom to work creatively and independently. I was able to learn the necessary presentation, organisation and management skills at IKV, where I also made many friendships for life.