At just 32 years of age, Florian M., a welding coordinator at the voestalpine Krems site, has been named the best in his field in Europe.
Thanks to his talent and enthusiasm for all things technical, mechanical engineer Florian M. has already achieved a great deal at voestalpine Krems in just six years. The highlight to date is receiving the award for the Best European Welding Coordinator. Florian was the first Austrian and the youngest person to receive this award.
Determined and talented
Other notable achievements include the fact that Florian M. completed his degree at the Vienna University of Technology in the minimum possible time and with distinction. Since he wrote his master’s thesis at voestalpine in Krems, that was the obvious place for the graduate to start his professional career six years ago. He worked in research and development for two years before being appointed Head of Research, Development, and Welding and Testing Technology and also the company’s welding coordinator.
“The law states that every steel, shipbuilding, and aircraft construction company has to have such a coordinator,” points out Florian. “A welding coordinator is responsible for coordination and ultimately for coordinating all welding activities. For all intents and purposes, I’m pretty much the general manager for the welding area.”
3,000 pages on welded joints
The task did not simply fall into Florian’s lap. In order to be considered for the position as the new Krems Welding Coordinator, he had to complete the relevant training outside work. Being an extremely ambitious engineer, he decided to go for the highest possible level and become an International Welding Engineer. First at the SZA (Schweißtechnische Zentralanstalt) in Vienna and then at WIFI WIEN when the SZA unexpectedly closed down. “If you do this part-time, you have to plan for it to take about a year,” Florian now knows from his own experience. “The scripts on welded joints alone take up 3,000 pages, and there are also a few hundred pages on the standards landscape.” Florian had no problem working his way through the mountain of information relevant to the exam because he has always been driven by a thirst for knowledge: “It makes me uncomfortable when I don’t understand everything I’m working on.”
Good with people
But excellent technical knowledge is not enough for his job as the top Krems welding authority: “I have to work with about 500 people at all levels, from production to the office to management. This also requires social skills and management skills. A huge topic is the training and education of our employees—you need to be good with people.”
On his own, Florian M. would not have thought of putting himself up for the annual European Welding Federation’s (EWF) Award for the Best European Welding Coordinator. But he was expressly urged to do so by Austria’s EWF representative and so he obtained the required letter of recommendation from his managing director and wrote the obligatory nomination letter.
Team spirit at voestalpine: one for all
“I applied for the first time last year but didn’t win because I was so young, but this year I did win,” he says, pleased with his success. But in no way does he claim the success for himself: “At the award ceremony I emphasized that I am accepting the prize on behalf of all my colleagues—because this award belongs to all of us together.”