29.09.2017 | Jörg Kottmann, Head Asset Management Grids in an interview with Bilanz

" Beyond technology"

In the area of engineering (rank 42), IT (rank 79) and science (rank 37), Axpo is among the top 100 employers in Switzerland. In comparison to recent years, Axpo was able to improve its ranking by several positions. For Jörg Kottmann, Head of Asset Management Grids, it's clear: The future of the energy sector rests on inter-disciplinary cooperation. To achieve this, he looks for creative talents that can offer more than pure, technical knowledge.

Jörg Kottmann was interviewed by the magazine the "Top 100" by Bilanz . The edition presents the most attractive employers in Switzerland.

Mr Kottmann, you're a physicist with a master's degree in management. What type of know-how helps you the most in your function as Head Asset Management Grids? 
My job really doesn't have much to do with physics. However, the skills I acquired during my studies still help me today, for example to quickly familiarise myself with new topics and to recognise essentials. Economic thinking on the other hand is also important in a technical environment, for example to make sound investment decisions. And for any topic I can count on my competent colleagues in house to share their knowledge with me. That way we can jointly make the right decisions.

How important is a networked way of thinking and working?
Extremely important! The energy sector is undergoing radical change; the political and legal framework conditions are also changing. In the future, power production will take place on a smaller, decentralised scale. As a result new solutions are needed and our tasks will become more diverse. We have to get even closer to the customers in order to understand their needs and to offer innovative solutions.

What role does digitalisation play here?
It has markedly changed our work. Today everything is connected and information is available to all employees at all times. For example in the Grids division, our maintenance staff work with tablets and store their observations directly into our systems. We have immediate access to the data, can analyse the situation, and know exactly where we need to improve the infrastructure. This simplifies our work enormously. To mention another example, we are working on offering IoT solutions for our customers.

What types of talents are you seeking for the future energy sector?
A general technical background is advantageous. However, in order to be successful, one must be able to look beyond the technical side of things. We are looking for people who can contribute new ideas and implement these pragmatically. They have to be able to listen to customers and understand their needs. They must be able to generate creative ideas in an interdisciplinary team.

Do you have a tip for engineering graduates?
They should do something they enjoy and learn from others so they can expand their knowledge. They should have initiative and be able to convince others of their ideas. With these qualities nothing stands in the way of their careers!

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