Pioneers on Two Fronts

INTERVIEW WITH KAI STRACKE, SYSTEMS ENGINEERING
AS AT 2019

As a member of the new Systems Engineering Department, Kai Stracke's role is positioned between the demands of the market and the developers. In addition to analysing the past, his day-to-day life is also focused on the future, which he finds very fulfilling.

TOPICS In THIS ARTICLE


Systems Engineering


Work and Family Life


Working Atmosphere and Corporate Culture

How has your career been up until now?

I actually took a relatively traditional approach. I passed my A-levels, then did my compulsory civilian service (non-military) and went on to study Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, specialising in Microelectronics and Semiconductor Technology. Since Germany had little to offer in this field, I refocused myself and began Electronics Development at the PCB level. Finally, I completed my doctorate at the Ruhr University in Bochum in the field of Electronic Measurement and Circuit Technology, where I worked closely with the automotive industry. After completing my doctorate, I started in the industry and worked for several years in the field of Industrial Measurement Technology, such as Sensor Development. Later, I switched to Consumer Electronics, where my role included managerial responsibilities, before I started at Gira.

Why did you choose Gira?

As a company, Gira is a well-known brand. I learned that Gira was looking to make changes and found it very interesting that a new Systems Engineering Department was being built. This convinced me that the company wanted to change and their focus offered something that other positions I had held in the past had lacked. It just really seemed to fit to what I was looking for, and that's why I'm here.

What exactly does your job entail, and what makes it special?

I joined the newly-established Systems Engineering Department at Gira. In this department, we examine how we can make future developments more efficient and sustainable by analysing old developments, monitoring current developments and, of course, looking to the future. We then seek to improve our strategic position and significantly accelerate development cycles. We make sure that we provide sustainability in development, i.e. make it possible to reuse certain things that we have already developed. This allows us to respond more quickly to market demands and launch good, stable and fully-developed products.

I really enjoy the fact that my role positions me between the market (the customer) and the developers. This means that we critically scrutinise market needs, examine the product visions that the product managers convey, and evaluate these concepts. In this way, you can unite two worlds and try to synchronise them in order to efficiently shape development.


"Of course, you have to have something to balance your work and everyday life. I've been making music since I was a kid. It has always been an integral part of my life."


Which project have you found particularly exciting?

An exciting project, which has now also been released to the market, is a new home station for door communication systems. I joined the team after the project had already begun. So, of course, I had to learn a lot about the system in a very short time. It was a real challenge. But in the end, the project was successfully completed and sales have now started - with a lot of positive feedback.

Are you proud of that?

Of course, such positive feedback gives you a sense of pride, because you contributed to that project. As I said, the feedback on the product is very positive, it was at times overwhelming.

How do you feel about your job and the working atmosphere?

I'm happier here than I've ever been before. There's a lot of work, a lot to do. The challenge is to commit yourself to fundamentally new concepts, some of which start from scratch, and you have to think about  the direction in which you want to go, what the market  wants to have, and how this can be achieved technically. All in all, this simply makes for an incredibly creative and, at the same time, challenging and very current field of work. It is not always easy to combine career and family, especially in today's challenging world, and this is managed very well by Gira. They allow me to work from home so I can support my family. This is a modern approach to understanding today's workplace and also helps to ensure that employees are satisfied. Of course, corporate culture and interaction with our co-workers are also essential parts of our work. When it comes to the sum of the individual parts, Gira is just really well set-up, and suits me at a personal level very well.



"We make sure that we provide sustainability in development, i.e. make it possible to reuse certain things that we have already developed. This allows us to respond more quickly to market demands and launch good, stable and fully-developed products."


How does music help you to balance your everyday life?

I've been making music since I was a kid. It has always been an integral part of my life. Of course, you have to have something to balance your work and everyday life. And it's just a lot fun. I know some of my band mates from school, so we are a closely-knit group, and it would be a shame not to keep it up. Time is a scarce commodity because we all work and have families. But at the end of the day, we thrive on playing gigs or recording in the studio, and we talk about these things time and again with real joy.

PROFILE OF KAI STRACKE


Born
1977

At Gira since
2017

Studied
Studied Electrical Engineering / doctorate in Vehicle Safety Engineering / worked in Electrical Metrology and Consumer Electronics

Career at Gira
Systems Engineer in the Systems Engineering Department

[As at 2019]


Further information

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