Dr. Fabian Westbrink

30. November 2023 JOEST Deutschland

Dr. Westbrink, tell us about yourself.

My introduction is brief, probably in part because my CV is not particularly long and rather straightforward. I am Fabian Westbrink, 33 years old, born in a suburb of Warendorf and have now been living in Münster for some time.

The foundation for my career path and my general interest in technology was laid in my early youth. Influenced by my family - half of my relatives are connected to electrical engineering in one way or another - I decided to do a technical apprenticeship as an electrical technician for industrial engineering. This was followed by a degree in electrical engineering at the Soest University of Applied Sciences, directly followed by a master's degree, including a semester abroad in England. Luckily, my supervising professor encouraged me to further deepen my scientific career. Not much later, I found myself as a PhD student in the Laboratory for Automation Technology in Soest. After some exciting, albeit challenging, years in research, I was able to successfully complete my PhD at the University of Duisburg-Essen two years ago. Already during my PhD, I started to look for exciting new challenges and so I have been working at JOEST for 3 years now.


 And outside of JOEST? 

Of course, there is also a life outside of JOEST, which I spend on extended vacations with my partner, or on the motorcycle or, more recently, on the gravel bike. Last year I also restored an old Simson Schwalbe and am currently still looking for like-minded people for laid-back tours together.


 How did you come to JOEST? 

After completing my scientific work during my doctorate and a few short intermediate stations in other areas, I took over the management of electrical engineering at JOEST. To be honest, I wasn't familiar with JOEST before, but I was convinced very quickly. I enjoy going to work every day. As an engineer, I am trained to solve problems, and this can be perfectly implemented here at JOEST. The combination of high-tech products and our special team spirit continuously motivate me to develop tailor-made solutions for our customers. In addition, state-of-the-art equipment helps us work efficiently and innovatively. Many people may not be aware of this, but there is currently a lot of investment into the company and into its employees. An office building including a new canteen and a large new workshop for stainless steel products will be completed soon.


 And what are your areas of responsibility? 

After joining JOEST as Head of Electrical Engineering, I have now been responsible for the entire technical department as Technical Director since the middle of last year. This includes mechanical design, electrical engineering, research and development as well as documentation. Of course, this combination also requires many interfaces with other areas, customers and suppliers. Fortunately, this position enables me to help shape the company and set the course at crucial points.




 That sounds like a lot of work. How do you manage it all? 

In fact, all this only works with the active support of our department- and team-leaders. The many years of experience and thus the expertise of our employees is also an important key factor. I am very grateful for the seamless cooperation, which makes my professional tasks much easier.

What are you working on at the moment? 

The question is more like: What we are currently not working on? Apart from standardization and new innovations, we are improving the cooperation between individual departments, driven by process optimizations, new technologies and the involvement of employees. The constant training of employees is also a major priority for us. The world seems to be turning faster and faster, constant updates, new systems and more agile working methods are largely changing the corporate world. This is where we are challenged to regularly update our employees to the latest state of the art. Another important aspect, also for me personally, is our commitment to the promotion of young talents by actively accompanying bachelor's and master's theses and promoting new talents.

 Are there any new developments that you are driving forward? 

Standing still always means decline, which is why we dedicate ourselves to permanently relevant topics and stand for our high level of innovation, both within the company and in the development of new technologies, machines and new target markets. However, especially as a company with more than a century of tradition, we must always ask ourselves where our products, that have been known and valued in the market for a long time, still meet the needs of our customers. As the market leader, which development can we bring forward to set new trends? In addition, we are currently working at full speed on the standardization of our machines to be able to offer tailor-made and cost-effective solutions.

 JOEST has been successfully operating in a wide variety of industries for many years. Automation technology, control, Industry 4.0 – all of this is becoming immensely important. What is JOEST doing to stay on top of this?  

That's where you find the core of my job and my vision for the JOEST group. Under the holistic curtain of Industry 4.0, we are evaluating current processes from engineering and production to optimize cooperation with the help of current technologies. On the other hand, we offer our customers considerable added value with tailor-made solutions from the field of automation technology. Since we are also increasingly acting as a system supplier and aggregating complex systems from machines across our entire product portfolio, intelligent networking of the individual system components is essential.

If we look a little bit into the future, predictive maintenance with the help of continuous condition monitoring will be the predominant topic for our customers. This is where we benefit greatly from our many years of experience in design and service, which allow us to reliably assess the condition of our machines. Now, we must combine this experience with our automation experts to create an intelligent product and make it accessible to our customers. Of course, the topic of artificial intelligence will also play a major role here.

 And where will the journey take us in the next few years?

The current challenges, such as supply chain disruptions, especially of electrical components, must be continuously addressed. The ongoing shortage of skilled workers in all areas also requires increased attention. Energy and sustainability have been in focus for some time but are becoming increasingly important due to changing global economic contexts and crises. In the future, we will always be able to offer our customers energy-saving systems and energy management systems. Incidentally, the new Energy Efficiency Act for energy-intensive industry means that the latter are not only an optional extra but will soon be mandatory.




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