28.04.2021: Meet Axel Brüggemann - Employee interview
Tell us your story- how did your path lead you to Nanion Technologies?
I started out studying chemistry at the Ruhr University Bochum and finally changed to the Universities of Kassel and Trier to take up an interdisciplinary study of art history/art science, general history as well as economic and social geography and European studies. The subject of my master's thesis was “The UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Field of View of Cultural Criticism”, including the preservation of monuments, environmental protection, tourism, media and communication studies, as well as law and political science. During a subsequent short study at the Istituto Europeo in Florence, my interest in UNESCO and the various styles of architecture deepened.
Regarding Nanion, it all started in 2004 when I moved from northern Hamburg to southern Munich. In Hamburg I worked for the shipping companies Hapag Lloyd Cruises and Sea Cloud Cruises in the marketing department. This also included lectures for these companies at road shows throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as talks as a lecturer on cruise ships about regional studies, geography, architecture and history. I started writing the catalog texts for Marco Polo, Studiosus and Magic Life for an agency in Munich as an editor and author.
In between all of this, I visited my sister, Andrea Brüggemann, at Nanion. At that time the young company was still in the premises of the Ludwig Maximilians University: I was impressed by the innovative strength and inventive spirit of this formerly small company. I've always been fascinated by bringing the humanities and natural sciences together in my life. Back then we were less than two handfuls of colleagues and each of us had several tasks in the company. With pleasure, I quickly took over the cell culture, the production of electrophysiological solutions, manufactured and tested chips, chased after the first Gigaseal for the Port-a-Patch, calibrated the APC system and also installed it at customers' sites. I trained many new colleagues and customers on the first systems and was involved in the catalog production. Today, after almost 17 years, I manage the laboratories at Nanion with my great team as Lab Manger HQ. And as the Product Manager Reagents, I am responsible for the production and the global sales for our premium product, Nanion´s Buffer Solutions. It was and still is an exciting time working at the great company Nanion.
When Axel is not busy as Lab & Product Manager, he likes to spend time in his publishing house and takes care of publications. For more than 20 years he has been sailing the seven seas as a cruise lecturer, giving talks on cultural history to small and large audiences.
Knowing what you know now, what 3 pieces of advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
1. It's okay if the life you want is different from what others want and/or if they don't understand your dreams.
2. It's okay if some people think you're a little crazy at times. Because at the end of your journey, only you can decide whether your life was “ok” or whether you can say: “I'm excited!”
3. If you ask others new questions, you will also get other new answers, and then you have other new experiences. Life is remarkable and colorful.
One Last Question- what’s the coolest thing about your job?
For me, the coolest thing about Nanion - besides the great colleagues - is the versatility in my job and the flexibility of Nanion. I have always been able to develop myself further. For Nanion itself as well as for my other projects. So it was possible for me to found the company Kreuzfahrtlektor® and continue to go to sea to give lectures on cultural history on cruise ships; in the meantime I give 250 different talks on different topics. And from January 2020 I was able to work for my new, young Weltkultur Verlag® (publishing house) 1-2 days a week in order to enable other, especially young people, an easy introduction to culture. Because culture is the nourishment a civilization needs; it means diversity instead of simplicity and historically has always been an anchor in difficult times. I am very pleased that there are always opportunities at Nanion to bring many paths together.