The Aalberts management trainee program aims to attract and retain the talented graduates we need for long-term success. One of our recent trainees at advanced mechatronics came to us from another technology group within the company – Aalberts surface treatment. Tim Golitz joined surface treatment as a trainee late last year after finishing his master’s in mechanical engineering at Hochschule Niederrhein in Germany. His fourth trainee project took place at Lamers.
For Tim, joining Aalberts surface treatment was a natural choice. “I’ve been fascinated by surface technology ever since I started learning about it and it was the focus of my master’s program,” he says. “During my studies I got to know the surface technology industry very well. Of all the companies I learned about, I wanted to join Aalberts for two reasons: first, because they have one of the widest ranges of coating procedures in the industry, and second, because I had heard good things about how they support trainees.”
Surface treatment may have been a no brainer, but his project at Lamers was a less obvious fit. “This project was something completely new for me,” Tim says. “Lamers has nothing to do with surface technology. Everything they work with has to be assembled in a cleanroom in order to minimize contamination. My assignment was to bring the cleanroom to a higher level of cleanliness, but I’d never even seen a cleanroom before.”
Fortunately, Tim was up for the challenge. “I’m a typical mechanical engineer – my passion is to optimize things,” he says. After doing background research and learning about best practices from Mogema and an external auditor, Tim set to work analyzing the cleanroom in order to find weak points. He developed a system for measuring contamination, conducted extensive tests to determine the sources, and suggested several improvements.
His team was delighted with the results. “It was amazing to see how a trainee could become so knowledgeable in a matter as complex as cleanroom contamination in just three months,” says Jeen de Vries, Quality Manager at Lamers and one of Tim’s mentors. “Even though our current performance was alright, Tim showed us a great number of possible improvements that will definitely help us in the future.”
While Tim was very happy to solve several contamination mysteries, he also thoroughly enjoyed working with the team. “I was really surprised by how welcome I felt,” he says. “Whether it was my manager or the people in the cleanroom or even the cleaning staff, everyone was so helpful and I felt very appreciated. At every Aalberts location I’ve been to, I found similar ways of working and the same desire to share and to learn. That’s very impressive.”
Now that the project is completed, Tim feels one step closer to realizing his ambitions. “I would like to be a leader at Aalberts someday, and to do that I need to have an overview of the whole organization,” he says. “This program is perfect for that. I am getting to know so many different departments, so many different locations, so many different points of view, so many different cases, and so many different people.”
For now, he will move on to a new project, a completely new topic – and a new chance to find things to optimize.
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