EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT – Hermann Fischer, 32 years as a Mechanical Engineer at ESTEC
This week we have had the chance to meet Hermann FISCHER – Mechanical Engineer at ESA (European Space Agency) on behalf of ATG Europe. Hermann has been at ATG since 1989 witnessing and gathering an amazing experience that he tried to convey for us in this interview.
Thank you for taking the time Hermann – could you tell us more about yourself, your background and how you came to work for us at ATG?
Well as some of you may know, I am from southern Germany in a place located between the Black Forest and Lake Constance (Bodensee), Tuttlingen.
I grew up there as a passionate and competitive Tech kid. I loved speed and sailing. This all led me to study Mechanical engineering in Munich writing a thesis on the early stages of our modern-day helicopters. Munich is also where I spent a bit of time at MBB (Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm), or what is now called Airbus. A company that back then, used to produce the world’s first jet-powered fighter aircraft during World War II, the Messerschmitt Me 262.
Mechanical Engineer at ESA (ESTEC) on behalf of ATG Europe
Google Images – The Messerschmitt Me 262 (1943)
After that, I left for two years to Japan when I was 26 years old. It was a wonderful experience. Then returned to Europe overland across Asia and Europe, in the mid 80’s, looking for a job. I hunted it old school style, by written letters and applied to over 10 companies. I ended up getting many interviews, it was a completely different time.
On a side note, this led me to notice the Young Graduate Trainee scheme at ESA (European Space Agency); 6 pages to fill asking for a photo with a simple letter attached to it.
I’m sure we are all very interested in you answer, what does innovation mean to you today, having witness such progress?
On the ESA side, I feel it’s quite slow. On a more general term, efficiency in terms of technology and processes is key.
Structures of spacecrafts for example did not change that much from what we had in the past. The performance is similar, but the real innovation lies in the processes, the tools and the communication between the teams involved.
Hermann, also an avid sailor
What’s a fun fact about you?
Well, many things, an important one maybe is how sustainable and environmentally active I try to be. To me, a solar panel on a house is like a window in a house: would you ever think of building a house without windows? I do my part as much as I can.
Also, I love to talk about my passions, work, and exchange with people from different nationalities. I enjoy sports (“water based” like sailing, skiing, and swimming) and keeping active despite my busy schedule. A positive by-product of Covid is that I bought a gravel bike, of course (partially) CFRP-based and lightweight.
If you weren’t doing what you are passionately doing today, what else would it be?
I always thought I would be a creative, like an architect designer, something combining technology and art. I’ve always had this tech savvy side of me, and lately I’m trying to reach out to my inner creative side.
We would like to thank Hermann for taking the time to answer these questions which fully reflect the everlasting dedication and passion that ATG Europe has been holding dear across generations.