Experienced Professionals

Trend topic

Florian Fuest

Head of Sales/After Sales

Trends in focus.

Florian Fuest is involved with all the trending topics in mobility: digitalisation, networking, autonomous driving and above all e-mobility. What fascinates him, among other things, is the paradigm shift that has taken place in mobility development in the past few years and which will drive on innovation in the future. His motto, suitably, runs as follows: “Change – constant change – is an important step to take to avoid the possibility of stasis or regression.” The head of department for distribution, after-sales and procurement is an essential factor in the reorientation of mobility taking place at Bertrandt.

Because of his stewardship of his department, he feels more like an entrepreneur within the enterprise, bearing his responsibilities with great scope for decision making and a high level of own initiative. These start with strategic planning, continue through customer acquisition and customer retention management and run all the way to personnel management and development. “These varied tasks, in a team consisting practically entirely of makers,” he says, “where everyone has the greatest drive towards quality, makes each day a whole new enjoyable experience.” In addition, at Bertrandt, all the tasks undertaken are forward-looking and serve the greater good of society.

Even if the daily roster of tasks is very demanding, motivation is extremely high. “This is partly because, in my department, we get along and work extremely well together. But it is also because of the good cooperation we have across hierarchies and company locations.” Exactly this was one of the reasons why Florian Fuest started his career at Bertrandt in January 2014. “Many different projects from attractive clients, all sorts of possibilities for personal development and, of course, Bertrandt itself, a modern and innovative employer – all this appealed to me right from the start.”

Florian Fuest doesn’t neglect sport as a counterweight to his work. In his free time, he likes to stay on the ball, whether at football or tennis, and is intensely dedicated to mobility – including his own, whether using a mountain or racing bike. And this makes him totally on trend.

Alexander Huth

Team Leader Climatic and Fuel Systems

Great climate. In two senses.  

One of the central topics in Alexander Huth’s professional life is the climate. And in more ways than one. Because, on the one hand, as a team leader in the structural engineering department, he is responsible for the air conditioning and fuel supply systems field. And, on the other, the climate within his place of work and in his daily interactions with colleagues is very important to him. “The way we treat each other at Bertrandt already impressed me on my first day of work some ten years ago,” he says. “It creates a sense of well-being that gives you greater motivation when you come to work.”

Whoever you talk to and wherever you ask: nearly everyone will mention the special atmosphere and collegiate feeling that are typical to Bertrandt and influence all our work. Alexander Huth, for example, was given the best possible welcome when making his first steps in the company; today, as a team leader, he also ensures that the working climate is just right. “It is particularly important to me that we can always talk on the level, openly and frankly, about any topic.” And that doesn’t just mean specialist subjects, the team leader explains: “Starting out with a little small talk over the first coffee of the day ensures everyone goes to work with motivation. And in our team, we also go further: we help each other, whether professionally or privately.”

He himself has always profited from a good relationship with colleagues. Already when developing towards his current position he was supported by the company and his boss. “Of course I also took care myself of my own further training, but my team leader at the time had exactly the same ideas when drawing up my personal development plan.” After a careful potential analysis, internal training and assessments, he became that team leader’s successor.

Just as Alexander Huth is excited by the extensive opportunities for further education and development, he is also enthusiastic about the community, which he considers an important platform to promote specialist and interpersonal exchange among the around 13,000 employees. He also values the opportunities for mobile work, which ensure a better work-life balance.

Linda Helber

Personnel Officer

Straight up.

Straight up, vertically, it is more than four metres. And getting up there needs a lot of application, strength and skill. There are no aids: no rope, no net – just your own muscles and the steep wall with a few misshapen holds sticking out in different colours. The yellow ones are easier than the green. And the red ones more difficult. It doesn’t matter, because this is not about relaxation, but a new trend: bouldering. Or scrambling. And we’re also talking about Linda Helber, who, as an HR employee, knows how and where each person can best make it to the top.

If you are a personnel officer like Linda Helber in a company as big as Bertrandt, you know a lot about making an ascent: the routes and qualities you need to safely reach a high-up goal.

After all, every career is like a project that is never quite finished. You are always learning more, developing further, gaining experience. In bouldering, a sport that Linda Helber discovered for herself some time ago, there are many parallels with work. It is helpful not to let the route and the goal out of sight and to take on every challenge.

Personnel plays an important role in shaping the future of a company, because the new employees are the ones who are going to make their mark on the firm. That is why the task of personnel acquisition is the resolute and goal-oriented implementation of recruitment measures. “It starts in personnel marketing, at universities, for example, or at applicant days, includes applicant selection through personal interviews in conjunction with the specialist areas and runs all the way to induction events for new employees.”

The most important things for Linda Helber in all this are the opportunity to work independently and responsibly, team harmony and the good general working atmosphere in general at the company. “Taking on the tasks of a personnel officer at Bertrandt is the logical step into the future for me. And I am certain that we, as a team, are capable of mastering every challenge.”

Cyndu Cyndu

Employee diagnosis

Making a name at Bertrandt.

In Indonesia, where Cyndu Cyndu comes from, it can happen that people don’t have surnames. This electronics development engineer soon found out, however, that things are different in Germany. When he came here five years ago, he was called simply Cyndu. This was difficult to explain to the German authorities: which is why Mr Cyndu from Jakarta was in urgent need of a surname. He had the choice of “Mr Unknown” and “Mr Cyndu”. Hand on heart – who would have chosen Mr Unknown? Neither would Cyndu – and that's why he is now called Cyndu (first name) Cyndu (surname). Perhaps a little unusual: but for all that, he is well on the way towards making a good name for himself at Bertrandt.

That he would travel from Indonesia to Germany was almost a certainty from the get-go. “I’m a massive car fan – of course the German cars appealed to me,” says Cyndu. “So it was clear that I would want to study vehicle technology here.” After graduating, he came by chance across Bertrandt as a potential employer. A good friend of Cyndu’s, who is also employed at Bertrandt, suggested he should apply and put him in contact with the company. In the end, this friend even became his mentor for the initial period at Bertrandt. “This Mentoring Programm is extremely useful and definitely makes starting out easier,” says Cyndu.

The car lover has never regretted coming to Bertrandt: “What I work on – for example, data integration in vehicle diagnosis – is as diverting as it is varied. I learn a huge amount more every day.” But that’s not all: there are also countless opportunities for continuing education and personal development. “The managers help thoroughly with this, and as a rule, such measures are quickly approved.”

An example of a highlight from Cyndu’s working day is carrying out software tests on the vehicles being developed, where he is able to get an intense experience of the products he is working on. “I have nothing against my e-bike or my Golf, which I have also ‘developed’ a little,” says Cyndu with a smile, “but this here is a whole different number.”

There’s no question that he likes to step on the gas – both at work and at home.

Thomas Rath

Employee in the Controlling Department

Growth controller.

What more can be said about a controller than that their company has become extremely successful with their help and is continually growing? Thomas, from the finance department, works in central controlling in Mönsheim and will celebrate 20 years at the firm this year. This alone is already impressive. Yet more impressive is the continuous development that Bertrandt has achieved in this period: from approx. 1,600 employees to over 13,000 now.

Continuity is certainly one of the most important words describing Bertrandt’s and Thomas’ years of success. Perhaps this is typical for someone who has been engaged so long with the numbers, data and facts of the firm, but it is not something you meet every day.

The controller’s team easily bring together over 50 years’ loyalty to the firm. “This has the advantage of ensuring everyone knows all of the department’s tasks back to front and can rely utterly on their colleagues. Whether for support or delegation, for example,” says our colleague, Thomas. “It also makes it easier for us to implement our own wishes and ideas here. For me personally, that includes mobile work – the other team members also make use of the exemplary flexibility options.”

It goes without saying that he describes the work environment and team spirit as nearly perfect. This also supports the task of ensuring controlling works closely and amicably together with the management, profiting daily from flat hierarchies and short decision paths.

Surrounded by so many developers and inventors who are engaging with the future, Thomas also likes to make his own small contribution to the mobility of the future: “For many years I have come to work almost every day by e-bike. This is certainly also a step in the right direction.”

In the summer holidays he takes to the road for longer trips with his wife. And to do so he uses an old VW bus, registered longer ago than his first day at Bertrandt – almost 30 years. With this he flees the bad weather, heading south, for example, to the beautiful beaches of southern France.

Sabine Dittrich

Team Leader in Testing - Environmental Simulation and Vehicle Safety

We are only strong when we are a team.

Sabine Dittrich is something of a model team player. And not only because, as a team leader, she is responsible for two teams, but also because she knows how valuable and essential a good team can be for every success. She has always recognised this in life: starting in the team sport of football, in which she reached the regional level, all the way to her career and daily work at Bertrandt. “As a manager, you must never forget that you would be nothing and achieve nothing without your colleagues and without teamwork,” she emphasises.

And this is even more important because scarcely a single day can be planned or goes by without a surprise or a new challenge. “We have a very wide-ranging set of tasks with the most varied demands. It starts theoretically, at the drawing-board, and goes on to laboratory implementation, in the climate chamber or crash testing.” That is why both her teams, displaying a colourful range of skills and talents, nationalities and experiences, ages and perspectives, are perfectly suited to the task. “I am constantly amazed that such a heterogeneous group can achieve such positive results together.”

This is the case for both teams of 15 to 18 workers each that are led by Sabine Dittrich: one of them focused on the climate and environment, the other on the safety of passengers and other road users. In both, her long years of experience with technical tasks at Bertrandt show through. She came to Bertrandt in 2006 as a test engineer after completing a work-study programme in mechanical engineering – testing had always interested her more than construction.

Alongside the broad range of professional challenges, she particularly values the almost limitless possibilities for personal and specialist development in the firm. “Naturally you have to get out there and raise your hand: but after that you have many opportunities to realise your ideas, help shape new topics and drive them forwards. It works here – despite the size of the company – exceptionally well, across all locations and subsidiaries.”

Both Sabine Dittrich’s team organisation and her network make it clear that she is very conscious of the value of the people she interacts with. So it’s no surprise that she likes to go out with friends after work: to the cinema, concerts or just for a simple get-together. And sometimes she also has time for sport, jogging or bouldering – this time, for a change, without a large team alongside her.

Steffen Hafner

Lead Engineer in Electronics Protection

Manual and mental work.

It’s easy to develop things – but the essential thing is that they have to function. You could also apply this realisation to the work of Steffen Hafner, lead engineer in electronics safety at Bertrandt. Here, for example, the comfort features of vehicles are tested to the limit. This includes vehicle seats with electrical adjustment, heating, ventilation and massage. Unlike in development, the functions of the control systems are tested here in conditions simulating actual operation on the road and in interplay with the overall vehicle electronics.

“Naturally, we are only responsible for a small part of the future of mobility,” says Steffen Hafner. “But, nevertheless, we are always right on trend in the sector, for example, where vehicle-driver networking is involved.” In this field, development is finally really getting going. So, for example, the physical and mental status of the driver and passengers could be measured via smart watch – pulse, temperature and humidity of the skin could be taken and transmitted to the comfort-controls of the vehicle. These would then suggest a suitable programme to optimise the comfort or performance of the driver: such as power napping, carefully chosen music or massage. “It is exciting, and will certainly become more important in the future.”

It is inconceivable that he and his team could lose touch with such innovative development. “On the one hand, we get along really well and are always there for our colleagues when they need us; on the other, we are extremely dynamic and motivated.” The rapid growth of the department and the team, as well as the mixture of graduates and practical technicians with their very different talents, also contribute to keeping them ahead of the curve. The work environment also leaves little to be desired. “Offices, laboratories, machinery – there is a very comfortable atmosphere here, and we are also completely up to date as regards technology.”

So no question that Steffen Hafner has felt good about working at Bertrandt since his first day, a good five years ago. But he also admits getting “the wrong end of the stick” occasionally – or should that be block? “After work, I run a small woodworking business, partly making butcher’s blocks and partly wooden gentlemen’s accessories like bow ties and cufflinks.” After the mental strain of the day, manual work evens out the balance.

Daniel Schoch

Lead Engineer in Electronics Development

Speed in all fields.

A sedate tempo is not really his preferred gear: he likes to get to it quickly. And this goes both when playing the drums at home in his basement and when working as lead engineer in his team in the electronics development department at Bertrandt. Daniel Schoch and his colleagues work directly at a large client’s on steering device safeguards for one of the top trends in the automotive sector: autonomous driving. And in this field particularly, the hefty competition requires a rapid rate of development.

“The requirements are as varied as they are challenging,” Daniel Schoch declares. “And without my super team, it would scarcely be possible to help shaping part of the future.” As a band leader, he is in charge of twelve people, all of them excellent soloists and also team players. “We are extremely agile, dynamic and flexible. It sounds like a cliché, but it’s true,” the young engineer confirms.

The team itself has grown rapidly in recent times. And as so often at Bertrandt, many young graduates have also been brought in, who can develop quickly and realise their own visions. “At Bertrandt, even graduates are given a chance to work in places where other firms would require five to ten years’ experience. That is of course a huge opportunity for everyone.” Especially in such a forward-looking field as autonomous driving. “Here, we often tread new ground and work on many exciting things that are top secret today and will ensure more safety, traffic flow and comfort on the streets tomorrow.”

The variety of topics and interesting content were important reasons why, in 2014, Daniel Schoch decided to come and work at Bertrandt. After studying electrical technologies, he was able to get started immediately at Bertrandt developing vehicle systems and safeguards, becoming lead engineer already in 2017. This is the typical rapid speed for this father and hobby model-builder, who simply finds fast rock at 160 bpm more exciting than the 70 of chillout music.

Vanessa Schelshorn

Assistance in Electronics Protection

The team player.

Although Vanessa Schelshorn is only in a part-time position in the electronics department at the moment, this department assistant is more than 100% on the job. And not only because you can always rely on complete engagement from Bertrandt’s employees, but also because she is particularly well able to involve her personal abilities in her field of work. As a trained banking clerk, controlling, billing and organisation are in her DNA. But the thing she values highest are the daily challenges in looking after the team. “It’s just my thing – what I enjoy.”

This is why she sees herself as the glue that binds her colleagues, always trying to find new solutions when questions or difficulties arise. She says the atmosphere and collegiate spirit in the team are extremely positive, so she is glad to come to work each day. “We are something of a mad bunch. Creative and yet goal-oriented, helpful and fair in interacting with each other.”

This positive mood is carefully maintained. Thus, each year a large-scale team event is organised – a barbecue or canoeing trip, for example. Schelshorn noticed the good working climate already in 2008, at her first interview. “Personal interactions were noticeably easy-going and collegiate, and were particularly attractive to me, alongside the working spaces.”

She started out as a department assistant in trials and ended up in the HR department after her parental leave, returning after a second short period of time away once again as a department assistant. Having a nine-year-old daughter, she values highly the company’s offers of mobile working. “In this way I am always on the ball, even when my daughter is ill or something else keeps me from coming in.”

She keeps herself fit with sports in her free time – Zumba, for example. Here too, you have the best fun when in a team.

Marc Heizmann

Facility Manager

A man for all seasons.

Marc Heizmann does not develop new technologies for cars or aeroplanes. However, he offers crucial support for the successful work of his colleagues in practically all areas of the company. That is because he is responsible for ensuring that everyone at Bertrandt has a roof over their head, that everything runs smoothly and that the employees can work in safety.

As the specialist in charge of facility management, he and his colleagues look after the buildings in Leonberg, Mönsheim, Weissach, Rutesheim and Hemmingen, taking care of “anything that comes up”. This includes, for example, coordinating workers from both external companies and internal departments. And you can be sure from his almost 20 years of work for the firm that nobody knows their way around it better.

When Marc Heizmann first arrived at Betrandt in 2000, he started in Ludwigsburg-Tamm in model construction, moving to Ehningen shortly after. “There, alongside big tasks in every sense of the word, like making a mock-up of the Airbus A380 for a fair, I had every opportunity to work independently and develop myself constantly.” This was how he ended up in Facility Management in 2006. Alongside his “super-colleagues”, the thing he singles out for praise at Bertrandt are the typical flat hierarchies. “I practically know everyone here – even up to the executive board. And a little small talk is part of the ordinary daily programme.”

Sociability and friendliness – alongside family, of course – are among this Bertrandt bedrock’s professional and private priorities. For several years he has been the Bertrandt biker, making a big trip every year with other motorbike fans. After last year’s tours of the Dolomites and Moselle, 2019’s destination is the Black Forest. Perhaps he will also take his guitar with him, an instrument that has accompanied him for 15 years. “My musical performances always have a certain amount of room to improve,” he happily admits, “but it’s great fun, nevertheless.”

As a family, with his grandchildren, on his bike, playing the guitar and in the workplace: Marc Heizmann is fully committed, wherever he is.

Alfred Mühlrath

Lead Engineer in the field of Vehicle Safety

The safety of the future.

Our colleague Alfred, lead engineer in vehicle safety, has a clear preference for openness in every situation. That goes, on the one hand, for his interactions with his colleagues and fellow human beings, and on the other, for his great passion: an open-topped old-timer he uses for those special moments on the road.

In 1955, Porsche wrote in a prospectus about the 356 Speedster: “It holds the road so perfectly that even at top speed you never lose the sense of safety.” The standard adhered to by those Zuffenhausen sports car manufacturers is also a guiding principle in Alfred’s career. The fact that, even while multiplying performance and speed and ensuring the greatest possible driving pleasure and mobility, the safety of vehicle and other transport users cannot be forgotten, is now this test engineer’s daily work. Work that, despite the great challenges involved in helping to shape the mobility of the future, is almost as enjoyable as the time he spends behind the wheel of his 356.

“The particular appeal is that I was already part of the Bertrandt team when we developed the test centres of today and so feel particularly responsible for the faultless functioning of the systems and measurement technology. Naturally also because the efficiency of the entire team depends on the technology,” says Alfred, who as a keen paintballer is an “expert” team player. “And luckily, all my colleagues make a decisive contribution to making it a joy to work at Bertrandt.”

Collegiate spirit and respectful communication at eye level with all employees are part of the package with everyone at Bertrandt. Neither is celebrating together outside of work left out of the picture. “Familial – yes, that is a fitting description for the work environment in our team.”

No surprise, then, that Alfred has never regretted for a second deciding to come to Bertrandt. It was his father already, also active in the automotive industry, who advised him to do so, pointing out that Bertrandt is a successful company with a promising future. After training to become a mechatronics engineer and during his subsequent study in Pforzheim, he began his career as a working student and then as a test engineer.

Alfred sees his occupational goal as making mobility safer for everyone. And in private? He likes to take time out to go walking with his wife and the dogs, and to put a few extra miles on the clock of his 356 Speedster.

Daniel Binder

Head of Department in the field of Complete Vehicles, Workshops and Test Field

Living mobility.

Daniel B, who works at Bertrandt in Mönsheim as head of the overall vehicle trials department, often lives out this job description – literally – in his free time and on his own wheels.

Alongside the trending automotive themes of autonomous driving, digitalisation, networking and e-mobility, cycling is a hot topic: and it is also one of the great passions for Daniel B., alongside his family and running. “Of course, I could bear a little more of all of them,” he says, laughing. “But my job also gives me extreme levels of variety, which is greatly enjoyable for me and makes me happy.”

Like, for example, his work with almost 140 employees in six outstanding teams. “With such great employees, the head of department only really needs to prepare the way to make services run as efficiently as possible, both internally and externally. Also, at Bertrandt, everyone has the opportunity to bring themselves and their specialist knowledge optimally to bear.” As many crash barriers as you need and as much freedom as possible – this is what the department of overall vehicle trials, workshops and test facilities requires.

The goal is that, at Bertrandt, not only the future of mobility will be developed, but also that of every employee. What helps here is a corporate culture that supports networking over all branches and locations, and an exemplary and extensive training system.

Thus, it is not surprising that this is the second time that Daniel B. has joined the company. The first time, shortly before the millennium, he was enticed by being able to offer homologation as a Bertrandt service, in order to round out the entire process of vehicle development. After a short time away from Bertrandt, the prospect of appealing challenges in the commercial vehicles sector brought him back in 2012; then, two years later, he switched to the department of overall vehicle trials, workshops and test facilities, which he heads.

Whether on two or four wheels, Daniel B. lives mobility. And we wish him and his team a great journey.

David Maisenbacher

Team Leader Light and Vision

Entrepreneurs in the enterprise.  

It seems that David Maisenbacher can do something quite unusual for an engineer. He can walk a tightrope. But we’re not talking about acrobatics, but about everyday work. For what he values most about his work is the variety of daily, mutually conflicting challenges: “On the one hand, as team leader, I am the general dogsbody, and on the other hand, I am monarch of all I survey.” Because, at Bertrandt, he is given a lot of free space, something that appeals to him as a freedom-loving person. 

It appears that he has used this free space in the best possible way. David Maisenbacher has developed thoroughly in the years since he joined the company: from a working student to the team leader of “light and vision” in Mönsheim and even to head of the Center of Competence for this field. Already as a student he began to discover and continuously explore his love of light. “Development in this topic is nowhere near finished. Right now, in the field of autonomous driving, there are always new challenges and valuable solutions.”

And his career at Bertrandt has by no means reached its peak. It is impossible to stop developing, whether in a specialist area or in a leadership role. “When I became a team leader, I was still a little green behind the ears, having only three years’ professional experience,” he admits, “but my superior at the time trusted me. What is better than learning by doing? And naturally the training process also helped.” In the future, he is also looking forward to further managerial training sessions to help him in his personal interactions.

This doesn’t seem to be totally necessary at the moment, because David’s team, according to him is “just perfect” – not only with regard to competence and passion, but also in the way they treat each other. For example, they are always meeting up in their free time to do things together. “We have almost become something like a friendship group. And fortunately, I am always invited – so apparently I’m not that bad a team leader,” says David Maisenbacher, laughing. At any rate, he sees himself more as a part of the team than its boss: another balancing act that this karate practitioner and amateur musician seems to have mastered.