Stefan: Senior Project Manager with a creative streak

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Stefan is a Senior Project Manager at HSE. Discover how two events in his 20s inspired him to follow this path and how his talent for innovation was apparent at an early age.



What do you do at HSE?

I’m a Senior Project Manager and make sure that we deliver what the customer wants within scope and budget and on time. This covers the whole process from the proposal to the concept, through to development and completion – and I work together with colleagues from all disciplines.

I listen to the opinions and requirements, work out what is the most relevant decision criterion for the customer and then evaluate, analyse, and decide with the team what is important for the project’s success.



What’s your background?

I studied biology and chemistry and wanted, and still want, to understand how life works.

I worked for a large international diagnostics manufacturer for 10 years. And I also made a few interesting detours into the world of startups, including the development of artificial heart valves and organs-on-chips. My doctoral thesis focused on how to manipulate single cells more efficiently.

Coming from an application background, I realised that you need intelligent automation and the corresponding set of tools to get the necessary insights. What really inspired me when I was in my 20s was when the mouse genome was sequenced and then the human genome. I found this really exciting because it was only possible through massive automation.



What’s your motivation?

I want to understand things and I think constantly about how we can do things better and more efficiently!



Is the role all that you imagined it would be?

In terms of subject matter, it’s way better than I could have dreamed of and the projects, so far, have exceeded my anticipated level of excitement. I have a meaningful role at HSE where my contributions truly count.

You also have a very high degree of autonomy in your work and, at the same time, you are highly respected for what you do.



What do you like about HSE?

The people here are cool. They are all experts in their own fields. I have never experienced this in terms of the quality and extent before. Everyone is driven to make a difference.



What do most people not know about you?

My personal best time in a marathon is 3 hours 33 min. I also have a creative streak and, when I have time, I paint with acrylics at home. Plus, I once won the Swiss Jugend forscht (Youth in Science) competition with a robot.



What trends should we keep an eye on?
Computational engineering.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is just a statistical method that produces something that would be statistically possible. With computational engineering, you feed physical parameters into the system and the simulation software only operates within this space.
In contrast to AI, you can generate solutions that meet physical laws and requirements. I find this really exciting from an engineering perspective as it opens up many fundamentally new possibilities.



Michael Collasius

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