Mr. Katzenberger, you studied energy and environmental technology at the TUHH. What memories do you associate with your studies at the Hamburg University of Technology?
Studying at the TUHH was an interesting experience for me. I gained many interesting insights along with some unpleasant experiences. What I was taught enriched me in general terms and taught me about engineering as a profession, but the B.Sc. was very general in content. The study programs were, in part, rigid and students were subjected to a relatively high level of pressure. That was why, after graduating with a B.Sc., I decided to start by getting a job.
What tasks do you face in your current job as Climate Protection Manager for the city of Hürth?
Climate Protection Manager is an appointment subsidized by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) that in cities or local government areas performs cross-sectional tasks in connection with climate protection and energy. On the basis of a (partial) climate protection concept drawn up for a city or local government area the Climate Protection Manager is responsible for implementation. The main focus in Hürth is on the city’s municipal real estate and thus cover all areas, ranging from simple energy controlling (documenting, analyzing and optimizing consumption) and facility management (prioritization of measures, implementation of the necessary energy-saving renovation work) to user training, such as energy-saving projects in schools or with employees.
Are the knowledge and skills you acquired during your studies a help in your work?
The basic understanding of technology such as in the use of renewables or in construction work is a great help in enabling me to follow discussions with technicians and to make plans jointly with them. But the skills that are required of me as a Climate Protection Manager tend more to involve analytics and energy management, and I have acquired them step by step, on my own initiative, and out of interest.
Straight-line studies and resumé, first-rate grades and a head full of knowledge… What is important in later, career life?
None of the above. My TUHH degree grade was nothing special and my career has been anything but straightforward. What has counted for much more than any resumé, no matter how interesting it might be, is the self-assurance of knowing what I want to achieve and what I am capable of achieving. Don’t let yourselves be thrown off track, see the bigger picture, expand your horizons and stay true to yourselves. Demand for specialists is increasing constantly and your average graduate with no vision at all has long ceased to be of interest to companies.