Interview – A look at the Technology Center
Dr. Sebastian Becker works as an engineer for sensor technology. Jan-Niklas Nieland is a software engineer. They work together at the Rheinmetall Technology Center. In the following interview, you can find out how they came to work for Rheinmetall and what part of their work at the Technology Center they are most excited about.
Dr. Sebastian Becker: The tasks I perform at the Rheinmetall Technology Center cannot really be expressed in a kind of job description. Since it is an innovative and dynamic environment, what is required of each individual in the team changes constantly. At the moment, I would describe myself as a project manager, software developer and system architect rolled into one, and I am trying not only to develop innovative concepts and move them forward, but also to implement them in appropriate products. Despite each person having separate areas of responsibility, I can count on the support of the team and other Rheinmetall colleagues at any time. In addition, I contribute to creating the structural framework for working at the Rheinmetall Technology Center.
Jan-Niklas Nieland: In my role as software engineer at the Rheinmetall Technology Center, every day I work on a variety of projects and new technological developments from the areas of software development, artificial intelligence / machine learning, autonomous systems, communication technologies, encryption technologies and many more.
Dr. Sebastian Becker: Originally, I come from a technical area in which Rheinmetall is not active at all – medical technology. The exciting thing about medical technology is that it is a hugely dynamic environment in which the latest technologies are used – and the entire sphere is subject to the most stringent of safety requirements. After completing my master’s degree at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nuremberg in this area, I started work as a research fellow at the RWTH Aachen University. Besides a wide range of industrial projects and teaching activities, I completed my doctorate there, which focused on medical robotics and biomedical measurement technology.
Then I moved to a large consulting firm in Düsseldorf. There, I worked on projects in the area of the Internet of Things, cloud computing and automation, before joining Rheinmetall in mid-2020. The exciting thing about Rheinmetall is that the aspects of medical technology that I mentioned at the beginning are equally applicable here. Now, I see it as the perfect next step for me to be working within the framework of the Rheinmetall Technology Center and not only applying my previous experience with highly diverse technologies but also developing myself personally and professionally.
Jan-Niklas Nieland: I completed my studies in the areas of robotics and automation (B.Eng.) as well as embedded systems engineering (M.Eng.) in southern Germany, focusing on robotics, software development and control technology.
For a few years during and after my studies, I had a job at a medium-sized company working with mobile robotics in UGVs for research and industry. I came to work for Rheinmetall through its careers website, where I saw my current job advertised and felt like the interesting tasks and opportunities were cut out for me.
Dr. Sebastian Becker: Thanks to the dynamic environment, I have the opportunity to work on a variety of different topics and, in doing so, constantly incorporate my own ideas too. In addition, I am helping to build a new department from the ground up. Then there is the fantastic team that pulls together and simply creates a pleasant working atmosphere.
Jan-Niklas Nieland: The innovative process and ambition in our team to keep pace with new developments around the world and to feel like you have broadened your horizons every day.
Dr. Sebastian Becker: I have a high level of intrinsic motivation that I use to move the topics, and also the team itself, forward. I am somebody who is always enthusiastic about discussion among experts, but also has a sympathetic ear for personal topics and likes to help with tasks that do not necessarily always have to overlap with my own.
When we are working closely together, our projects always incorporate a variety of perspectives and opinions as well as wide-ranging technical expertise. That also creates a sense of unity that provides you with security, support and a pleasant atmosphere in your everyday work. Therefore, the team and its members are a crucial factor for me in whether or not the job is enjoyable.
Jan-Niklas Nieland: In our teamwork, I most highly value the technical discussions that enable you to consider circumstances from different perspectives. I think I am a good discussion partner and colleague, because I am always open to accepting and discussing other perspectives.
Dr. Sebastian Becker: Primarily, it is the people that make Rheinmetall the ideal employer. Furthermore, Rheinmetall is a global player with many exciting areas. I expect that there will be a lot of innovations and disruptive technologies coming our way in these areas in the next few years, and that at Rheinmetall, I will have the opportunity to play a significant role in helping to develop them.
In addition, I really appreciate the abundance of opportunities for professional and personal development.
Jan-Niklas Nieland: In my view, Rheinmetall is a very good employer because you can work with a very wide range of technologies here and your own ideas are actively promoted too.
Dr. Sebastian Becker: ...our contribution has driven forward the development of technological innovations, and these significantly improve the product portfolio and competitiveness of Rheinmetall and ultimately open up new business areas as part of the digital transformation of all areas of the company. A decisive secondary effect here is strengthening the concept of “One Rheinmetall” within the Group and creating synergies between the individual companies.