Interview with Manfred, deputy technical manager of the business unit railway technology at EQOS Energie
In Austrian catenary construction, Manfred (67) from St. Valentin is a genuine institution and one of the best in the industry. Even though he could enjoy his well-earned retirement, he still chooses to pass on his knowledge instead. It is specifically the next generation in catenary lines at EQOS Energie that benefits from his wealth of experience.
Manfred, among others, you are training the next generation of construction managers. What is the one thing you always convey to the young technicians?
Occupational safety is a key aspect for us. I always put that fact center stage with our young technicians. Our work harbors risks, but they can be calculated. Occupational health and safety mainly also depend on good project planning. There must be no sloppiness in our profession. If the work is done right, there is not much that can happen. Other than that, common sense is important. I always equally appeal to the young technicians to exhibit that.
Your two sons also work for the company. What is it like for you to directly work with one of the two?
In our area, all of us have a good relationship and camaraderie. Some of the railway technicians at EQOS Energie even live in the same town. Every once in a while we also meet on weekends, so my son is no exception. However, as a senior fitter he is more out in the field than I am. But the collaboration is the same as with all other fitters: If something is wrong and they don’t know what to do, they call me. I make no distinctions.
» I think if the company is doing well, so do I. «
If you wanted to, you could be retired, Manfred. Why do you enjoy your job so much that EQOS Energie gets to keep you on staff?
Technically, I could have retired regularly in July 2012. However, there were some staff changes, so I didn’t hesitate a moment and offered to stay another year in order to keep supporting our young team. It is fun to work with them and to share my knowledge with all of them. I think if the company is doing well, so do I. And one additional year has turned into four. On the other hand, I extended my employment for the last time now. Then I will call it quits – well, for now …