We are ATH.
Norman Kirst

We are KROENERT, COATEMA, DRYTEC and ZAE. We are the companies of the ATH Group would like to introduce ourselves in more detail through our team.

Norman Kirst

Head of Development at DRYTEC

Mr Kirst, why don't you start by telling us something about yourself?

My name is Norman Kirst and I’m 30 years old. I came to Hamburg to do a degree in mechanical engineering in 2010. Since I feel very much at home in this city and I’m a very keen member of the volunteer fire brigade, it’s still my adopted home. Besides the fire brigade, I like to do sports and meet friends.

What did you do before you started working at DRYTEC?

During my studies, I became of aware of KROENERT during an internship. Following on from this, I was also able to write my bachelor’s thesis at the company and was offered a design engineer position in spring 2014. After only a short time, I expanded my field of responsibility in the company as a technical project manager and took on this new challenge.

How did you become aware of DRYTEC?

I became aware of DRYTEC because it’s also part of the ATH Group. Since the dryers by DRYTEC are an integral part of the KROENERT machines, cooperation between the two companies is very close.

What attracted you to DRYTEC?

I was attracted to DRYTEC by the opportunity to develop professionally, take on more responsibility and take on new tasks. All this definitely applies in my current position as Head of Construction. I also like the company’s fast decision-making processes and family-like atmosphere.

What goals do you pursue in your field of work?

In my field of work, I attach great importance to a balanced team and transparent communication. What is more, further development of our products is important to me in order to remain innovative on the market. One key element here is the professional consultation we provide for our customers and their satisfaction with our products.

What exactly do you mean by that?

In order to manage my team in the best possible way, I delegate the tasks that come up and get involved to provide support. Regular meetings in the department enable internal dialogue between my colleagues and myself. We also like employees to visit customers so as to establish direct contact and respond to individual preferences as best we can.

What do you think makes a good employee in your field of work?

In my opinion, a good employee is capable of solving problems constructively, thinking for himself and driving the work of the company forward. Other points include structured work, the ability to work in a team and a sense of determination. For me personally, the willingness to constantly learn new things and continue my education are equally important.

What keeps you going on a day-to-day basis?

It motivates me to see a good work outcome at the end of each day and successfully completed tasks that are relevant. What I constantly strive for is to learn new things and solve problems. The team spirit in the volunteer fire brigade is very special to me, too – it is a very powerful factor in my day-to-day life.

What is your motto in life?

The early bird catches the worm.

What was the most exciting project at DRYTEC?

The two most exciting projects were machine retrofits. This involves much more than just the drying part – a lot has to be coordinated with the customer. Several visits to the site are necessary and you’re happy to see the machine up and running again when it's all over.

How much freedom do you need at work?

The scope I currently have in my work is very generous. There's a lot you can decide for yourself, and mistakes can be made from time to time, too. It's important to allow that to happen – after all, that's the best way to learn. That’s certainly something I need space for.

The buzzwords digitalization and Industry 4.0 are on everyone’s lips, and they’re key issues at ZAE, too.
What was your first encounter with the digital age?
Dial-up to the internet with the 32K modem, hoping it’ll work. Unfortunately, this was not always the case. ICQ.

Power failure – what do you do now?

Read a magazine.

Favourite gadget?

Smartphone.

How do you get to work in the morning – bike, car or train/local transport?
Car – the connection by bus and train would take 1.5 hours one way. I also need my car at work, as I work for the volunteer fire brigade and sometimes have to go on duty during the day. Having a car at the ready is the only way to ensure this.

Just woken up – what happens next?
Breakfast.

Your tip for Hamburg:
Speicherstadt.

You’re a bottle of Beck’s. Where do you want to be opened?
On the beach with my girlfriend.

The app that changed my life:
Geocaching.

I’ll start on it tomorrow:
Get up in a good mood.