The next generation comes with an innovation guarantee
A new recruitment program aims to combine theory and practice to optimum effect at ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe. Three young engineers explain the innovative projects they have already been involved with.
How does a company succeed in integrating young engineers as soon as they join the company? Or provide them with the theoretical knowledge and above all practical skills they need for their future positions? And at the same time expand the company’s innovation potential? The magic formula is the “TIS recruitment and transfer program”. Twelve young engineers from different disciplines are currently completing the trainee program developed two years ago by Corporate Technology & Innovation (TIS) at ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe. “This is how we ensure that new employees work on solutions to concrete problems while picking up and building on TIS know-how”, says Corporate Department head Hans Ferkel.
The 29-year-old mechanical engineer from Koblenz is currently involved in several major undertakings at tinplate manufacturer ThyssenKrupp Rasselstein – his future workplace. “I am working on three projects focused on improvements to the continuous annealing furnace. That’s where cold-rolled sheet is heated and recrystallized for further processing. One project is aimed at optimizing the shield gas infeed to the continuous annealing furnace to speed up restarting after shutdowns.”
For optimum results, Adams is working with the TIS process modeling department. “The big advantage is that we can simulate and analyze the process flow on the computer. My colleagues also have many years’ experience in process design.” Another project is all about innovative treatment of tinplate in the continuous annealing furnace: “We have even filed for a patent for the technical solution we developed.” Depending on the project phase, Adams lives in either Duisburg or Koblenz. “The transfer program offers an excellent platform for establishing a “network of knowledge” and working on a project with the best possible know-how. I enjoy combining and utilizing the experiences and approaches of the continuous annealing furnace and process modeling teams.”
The 28-year-old mechanical engineer has been at ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe since 2012. She is currently working in application technology in the application concepts department and learning about the many facets of steel as a material for use in the automotive industry. “I am concentrating on projects to reduce weight and costs in auto construction,” says the German-Ukrainian engineer.
Next year, Semlanoj will move to the sales department, her new permanent position where she aims to remain long-term. “Naturally, I already know my future colleagues and often pop into the sales department. It will be a smooth transition from application technology to sales.” The advantage: Her detailed knowledge of technical matters will make advising customers easier. “With the knowledge I have gained at TIS, I feel extremely well-prepared for the tasks ahead of me.”
“I will soon be starting work at the heavy plate unit in Duisburg-Hüttenheim. Together with many colleagues from other areas, I am currently working in the TIS product measurement technology unit on the development of a special surface inspection system. This highly complex system will help identify surface defects on the heavy plate and reduce the number of claims. To date, the inspection has been carried out manually – which is very time-consuming and expensive.”
The 29-year-old electrical and IT engineer who majored in automation technology is excited about the opportunities offered by the transfer program: “In the relatively short time I have been at the company, I have met a lot of important people and am proud to be allowed to work on such a major project. I’ve been given a lot of support and am learning something new every day – project management, everything about steel and above all networking across department boundaries. It’s really good preparation for taking responsibility.” The young engineer from Gelsenkirchen is looking forward to being responsible for the system currently being planned in Hüttenheim once the transfer program is complete.