In the following interview Robert Kaltenbrunner, Head of Quality Management at voestalpine Rotec in Krieglach, talks about his time at the Montanuniversität Leoben and the career path which finally brought him to voestalpine.
Robert Kaltenbrunner graduated in Metallurgy, with a major in metallography from the Montanuniversität Leoben. Since 1994 he has worked for voestalpine Rotec GmbH in Krieglach where he is currently Head of Quality Management. However, Robert Kaltenbrunner first came into contact with voestalpine during his studies, working at voestalpine Tubulars in Kindberg in the summer months. Read more about his time as a student and his career path in the following interview:
As a student, when was the first time you came across voestalpine?
I first came into contact with voestalpine while doing vacation jobs. This gave me the chance to work at voestalpine Tubulars in Kindberg during the summer months. Here I worked in quality control.
Which degree and career path finally brought you to voestalpine?
After graduating from the Montanuniversität Leoben I started work with the former Veitscher Magnesitwerke at their headquarters in Vienna. The Veitscher Magnesitwerke produced refractory linings for various units for steel industry plants. This brought me into contact with voestalpine again as voestalpine was a customer at that time.
What is your current role at voestalpine and what aspects of your degree have you been able to use in your work?
Here at voestalpine Rotec GmbH in Krieglach I’m Head of Quality Management. The role covers both long tube production and processing for automotive applications. As we process unalloyed and low-alloy steels at voestalpine Rotec, I can use my knowledge about steel production, understanding of mechanical and technological tests, and non-destructive testing—precisely the subjects I had been taught at the Montanuniversität Leoben.
"Naturally, additional knowledge about forming materials should also be seen as an important element here because we are drawing tubes (cold forming) and manufacturing belt tensioners (bending and expanding)."
What advice would you give a Montanuniversität student or graduate about their professional future?
"It is important to gain practical experience, in addition to the studies."
What do you particularly appreciate about your employer voestalpine Rotec GmbH?
The company doesn’t rest on its laurels, instead it invests in products for which there will still be demand in the decades to come.