Katrin Betz is the only female engineer in the phs production unit of voestalpine Automotive Components Schwäbisch Gmünd GmbH & Co. KG. She is passionate about her job and enjoys working in a team.
Katrin Betz stood in front of the camera as part of the new image campaign – a completely new experience for her, since the process engineer can usually be found sitting in front of her PC or in meetings with her colleagues in Schwäbisch Gmünd. Or she is busy analyzing and dealing with a technological challenge directly at one of the five phs lines at the site.
The variety makes it fun
There is no shortage of challenges in her job: often there’s a new component about to go into pre-series or series production – a sill, a roof frame, a side member, an A- or B-pillar – or an upcoming process optimization or new development. voestalpine Automotive Components Schwäbisch Gmünd GmbH & Co. KG is considered the hot forming competence center in the Metal Forming Division. “There are new tasks all the time and it is this variety that makes it fun,” says Katrin Betz. She also is constantly dealing with the various departments in Schwäbisch Gmünd – with Technology, Quality, Logistics, Sales and Maintenance, as well as others. As a process engineer, you have to wear many hats – or work helmets. To help her keep a cool head while doing so, Katrin Betz relaxes from time to time with yoga. She also enjoys spending her free time with her dog Halie, goes horseback riding and enjoys time with her husband Fabio, of course.
"There are new tasks all the time and it is this variety that makes it fun."
Women in engineering? Naturally!
How is she doing as a woman in the male-dominated world of engineering? Katrin Betz has never asked herself this question because it has never been a problem for her. Perhaps it was an issue at first for some of her older colleagues, but that quickly resolved once they saw what their young colleague was capable of. And Katrin Betz is capable of quite a lot, since she has been there almost from the beginning. The first phs line was established in Schwäbisch Gmünd in 2008 and she came on board in 2009. She gained her initial experience with phs technology in 2011 and has been working as a process engineer since 2012. “I wouldn’t describe myself as a midwife here – more of a kindergarten teacher, if you will,” laughs Katrin Betz. In any case, she studied mechanical engineering at the Heidenheim University of Applied Sciences while working in phs production, and she also dedicated her bachelor’s thesis to the topic of phs.
Teamwork brings success
The team that Katrin Betz works with has contributed significantly to voestalpine’s success in indirect and direct press hardening. “The team spirit here is good,” says the process engineer. That spirit has had an impact: working in cooperation with other companies in the Metal Forming and Steel Divisions, the international triumph of the technologies phs-ultraform and phs-directform was launched from Schwäbisch Gmünd. For Katrin Betz, that’s no excuse to rest on their laurels:
"We in the team are happy about the successes we’ve had, of course. It was also a difficult task. But we still have a long way to go to reach our goal, and the next process optimization is already right around the corner.We in the team are happy about the successes we’ve had, of course. It was also a difficult task. But we still have a long way to go to reach our goal, and the next process optimization is already right around the corner."