Help us to move the world

Experienced professionals talk about their experiences at Festo 

Testimonials by experienced professionals at Festo

Festo provides you with an amazing opportunity to put your ideas into practice. Together, we keep the world moving. Find out the prospects that we can offer you and your professional development by reading this selection of testimonials by our employees.

Nadine Kärcher: Innovation Strategy and Processes

Nadine Kärcher with Robotic Suite, multi-award-winning programming software for the BionicCobot which she helped to develop.
Nadine Kärcher with Robotic Suite, multi-award-winning programming software for the BionicCobot which she helped to develop.

Nadine Kärcher has been with Festo since 2008. Her work has never been monotonous: after her integrated degree in applied computer science she started her professional life in the Bionic Learning Network. She then completed her master’s degree in business engineering part-time and with the support of Festo. Now, after spending time working in Shanghai, she works in research and innovation at Festo, where she is responsible for strategy and process issues.

A career start with annual highlights

Starting my career was a formative time – in the bionics team we think in annual cycles and the presentation of our latest projects at the Hannover Messe are always a real highlight and a clear milestone in our calendar. It is a nice feeling to work towards such a goal together as a team – with a lot of commitment and energy. If you then get direct feedback from fascinated visitors and media representatives on-site, it’s great motivation. A highlight of my work in the Bionic Team was the development of the BionicCobot, the first pneumatic seven-axis articulated robot. My task was to programme the user interface. The challenge was to create software that was intuitive. After all, for the futuristic field of human–robot collaboration, it is important to reduce people’s inhibitions about using robots, for example by making them easy to operate. Our pilot projects are now being taken up and the Cobot is being further developed by our robotics experts – I am very pleased about that.

The biggest adventure so far: a year in Shanghai

My work on the Cobot was also the trigger for my year abroad with Festo: I went to China to test the applications on-site with pilot customers. Together with my partner, who also works for Festo, I spent a year in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Shanghai – an impressive city. In addition to the many small adventures one experiences every day in a foreign culture, the work experience was incredibly enriching: the Chinese market is characterised by an experimental and flexible form of cooperation. I was particularly fascinated by the enthusiasm with which customers and colleagues approach new technologies. Presenting the Cobot to various customers and testing it in practice rounded off the project very well for me. We were able to achieve a lot in one year and I look back on this valuable experience fondly. Now I am looking forward to my new challenging task in Germany.

To the article "Programming a robot made child’s play".

Silvia Rummel: Head of Process Development Grinding Technologies

The link between development and the start of production: Silvia Rummel (right)
The link between development and the start of production: Silvia Rummel (right)

Silvia Rummel studied technology management with a focus on design technology at the University of Stuttgart. While she was studying, she was also able to gain practical experience and make some initial contacts at Festo. She then wrote her thesis as part of her funded project. She subsequently received a PhD on ‘Assessment-based capability testing of technological concepts in the development of technology’.

Practical insight in industry

‘During my degree I realised that I wanted to work in the industry. After I graduated, I got a chance to do my PhD with Festo. The practical slant was vital for me. Over this period I worked in the Research department as a technology management specialist.

Since then, I have received my PhD and am working in the area of Process and Technology Development, where I can best apply what I know about the production environment. I deal with the very latest processes and technology on a daily basis at the plant. In this respect, process development is the link between development projects and production start-up. There is an international context to most of my projects. Collaboration with our international plants is multifaceted in nature, both in terms of content and in the personal contact with our colleagues worldwide.

On an equal footing with colleagues

Due to my work I have fascinating insights into the whole of the company, and have a range of responsibilities and plenty of scope for my own tasks and decisions. At the same time, Festo offers me lots of opportunities to further develop, both professionally and personally. I work a lot with male colleagues. They tend to approach work in a very honest and straightforward way, which I really appreciate. I have never found myself not being taken seriously in this male-dominated profession; quite the opposite, in fact: I make my contribution, and I’m respected for it.

Effective cooperation

There’s no need for sharp-elbow tactics at Festo. We rely on cooperation within our team and between the different departments. From the very outset I’ve felt as though I’m part of a big family at Festo, and I’m proud of working here. In the meantime, I have taken over a small team in the field of process development – we carry out technological developments in order to transfer new processes into quantity production.

Eileen Kaluza: Development Human Machine Interaction PA

Eileen Kaluza (right) thinks that close teamwork is important
Eileen Kaluza (right) thinks that close teamwork is important

Eileen Kaluza has been working and learning at Festo since 2011. She began by completing an integrated degree (duales Studium) in information technology at DHBW, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Over this time, she has already had placements in several departments. Since 2014 she has been working as a software developer in process automation in Denkendorf.

Excellent development prospects

‘As I’m from Esslingen-Berkheim, Festo was my first choice for an integrated degree course due to its good reputation. Even during my studies, I was able to see for myself just how seriously Festo takes the vocational and advanced training and development of its employees. We were very well prepared for our future working life. Even now, as a software developer working in process automation, I’m able to take part in a whole range of internal and external development opportunities such as training, extra technology classes and language learning.

Developing embedded software for remote I/O

The information technology course comprises computer science and electrical engineering. After I had gone through a few departments at Festo, it became clear to me that I would like to work in product development. I enjoy working directly with a product and having something tangible in my hand at the end.

Programming also falls under my remit, of course, but even here the focus is always on the product. I work primarily on projects that relate to human–machine and machine–machine interaction. I also help to develop modules for our remote I/O. Ultimately, these have to be compatible with external products. As such, I make sure that our products are capable of being integrated into the automation systems used by different manufacturers.

My remit also includes competition analysis and regular tests on our products. This means that I have a lot of contact with other companies. But that’s not the only thing that brings variety to my job – I also have the range of different working environments to thank for that: I don’t just work at a PC, but can also be found in the laboratory, where I set up and conduct trials. In this capacity I work closely with the testing section.

Up until the point when a product reaches the market, a few things are of paramount importance: planning, technical approval, specifications and testing alongside the development process. Even though I might be working as part of a team, I’m responsible for my own tasks and their execution. This requires good time management and a structured approach.

Creativity and teamwork

Software development is a very dynamic area of the profession, and I’m able to use my own ideas in my work. Every project presents some sort of challenge. My work gives me the opportunity to really come into my own and develop further, not only as part of a team but also due to the wider sense of cooperation within the whole company. Overall, Festo really makes teamwork a top priority. This is apparent in the regular team-building initiatives, for instance. I now have development management responsibility in some projects.’

Daniel Ritter: Global operations project manager

As a project manager, Daniel Ritter (right) enjoys the combination of responsibility and appreciation
As a project manager, Daniel Ritter (right) enjoys the combination of responsibility and appreciation

Daniel Ritter obtained his master’s degree in industrial engineering, with a focus on mechanical engineering, before starting a traineeship in 2011 as an assistant to the plant management at what is today the Scharnhausen Technology Plant. He was then responsible for a wide range of topics as a project manager and, today, leads international production projects in Global Engineering.

Festo: still a leading name in engineering

‘It goes without saying that you hear a lot about Festo during your engineering course. But I only came into proper contact with the company when I was looking for a job. I was won over from my very first impression at interview: this was a place where the focus was on people.

Understanding the overall context of the company

As an assistant to the plant managers, I obtained a valuable insight into the overall context of the company. My projects involved lots of challenges and meant that I had a steep learning curve. Past work included coordinating cross-disciplinary project teams, overseeing and helping to shape strategy for the plant, and working on the production line.

After two years, I moved up to the next stage by making the transition to project management. In this role, I was able to take on responsibility for assembly optimisation, production and major plant projects. One particular highlight for me was taking part in the planning for the Scharnhausen Technology Plant.

After almost seven years at the plant, I am now working for international production projects in Global Engineering and am facing new and intercultural challenges.

Joining Festo was a real stroke of luck

My decision to join Festo was a real stroke of luck. The essential foundation for successful collaboration is interpersonal relationships, and this is a notable aspect of everyday work at Festo. Trust and appreciation foster a high level of motivation.’