What do the Lord of the Rings and an ALBIS Head of Laboratory Hamburg have in common? Quite a bit, as far as Marco Philip Schürings is concerned: without Gandalf, Frodo, and the rest of the Tolkien gang, he’d never have ended up at ALBIS.
“I always wanted to study chemistry,” the 37-year-old says. “But the question was, how can I afford it?”
Schürings and two friends came up with an interesting solution: they went into business for themselves, manufacturing Lord of the Rings merchandise and selling it throughout Germany. Exciting times, Schürings says. “I learned that, if you’re passionate about a product and you have a certain amount of open-mindedness and stamina, you can achieve a lot.”
And now that the Aachener’s finished his doctorate in polymer chemistry at RWTH Aachen, those qualities will serve him well here at ALBIS. Schürings manages the Laboratory Hamburg, and he and his team are in charge of making sure everything runs like clockwork. “The minute they switch a machine on in Hamburg, we’re there, making sure everything goes as planned right up until the end user receives the final product.”
It’s a lot of responsibility, but the 28-person team is more than up to the task. “In areas like the automotive, medical, or electronics industries—all core industries for ALBIS—the requirements on technical plastics are very diverse and highly sophisticated,” Schürings says. “We’re successful because we’re able to offer our customers a uniformly high degree of quality.”
One thing he likes about his job is that no two days are alike: “We work with team members from all over the company—development, process technology, operations, business line, you name it. So every day brings new and different technical challenges, and occasionally interpersonal ones as well.”
He also enjoys the management and staff development aspects of the job: “Our people work really well together. They’re all open and down-to-earth. The better the team, the better the product.”
He doesn’t check his curiosity and love of exciting new challenges at the door when he goes home, either: besides being a karate fan and an avid hiker, Schürings loves travel, loves discovering new countries and cultures. “My next destination is Bilbo’s house in the Shire,” he winks. “Which is in New Zealand, of course—that’s where Peter Jackson shot the movie.”
Helping his team members, solving technical problems, making sure quality requirements are met... Marco’s on the go a lot. His notepad and cell phone are never far away.
A memento of his self-employed years: a ring inscribed in Elvish from Marco’s old product range.
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