We.OHB. - Career as a space pioneer

Wanted! Front fighters for space projects

A career in space does not have to be omly a dream. OHB is constantly looking for new pioneers around the entire would and in all corporate segments.

Once a month on Wednesday OHB employees describe their own personal impressions of their “dream job” in space in our “We.OHB” series and under the hashtag #WeOHBWednesday.   

Part 6 with Jean Lorenz, Team Leader E-AIT: Wanted! Front fighters for space projects

Jean Lorenz is looking for around 30 E-AIT specialists for his team

“Wanted: Front fighters for space projects!” This is how OHB engineer Jean Lorenz formulated his call for the E-AIT specialists he was looking for on behalf of the space group to work jointly on satellite projects. Jean Lorenz is team leader for E-AIT (Electrical Assembly Integration & Test) and in charge of an almost 50-strong team at OHB – one of the largest within the Group. Test engineers for AIT work directly on the flight hardware of a satellite. “From the moment the flight hardware arrives at the satellite hall, my team steps in,” says Lorenz. An AIT specialist then supervises the overall integration of the satellite up until the very last plug is connected at the Kourou spaceport. “So we spend the whole day talking to the satellite,” Lorenz says, laughing. Since “talking” to the satellite takes up about 75 percent of an AIT engineer’s working time, the uniform is clear: a hood, a smock and ESD (electro static discharge) shoes. For the remaining 25 percent of working hours, the smock can be swapped for normal clothing because the engineer returns to the desk to develop test procedures, for example. “As AIT engineers, we have a tight schedule, as we naturally want and indeed have to observe the customer’s time budget. If we don’t deliver in time, we face a hefty fine. So we have very great financial responsibility. We’re the front fighters." The most expensive platform Jean Lorenz has ever worked on was the proto flight model of the MTG weather satellite with hardware worth EUR 50 million. Some of the new recruits at OHB had considerable misgivings about working on the satellite given its value according to Lorenz, who adds: “My job is also to encourage new colleagues to work on such an asset worth millions of euros. Responsibility is fun.”

Experience, diligence and perseverance as a secret to success

The example of Jean Lorenz illustrates once again how steep career paths can be at the OHB space group. Although he does not have a degree in engineering, the 43-year-old can look back on a solid 26 years of professional experience. After training as a communications electronics technician with the German Federal Armed Forces, he qualified as a physical-technical assistant before entering the space industry. “I’ve been in the space business for 15 years now, including eight and a half at OHB.” His career advance to team leader came in 2018, when the position was advertised at OHB. Lorenz successfully passed the demanding selection procedure and got the job. “I’m a classic case of working your way up the ladder.” The secret to my success is experience, diligence and perseverance.

As a manager, he is now looking for around 30 new, motivated employees as his team is expected to grow to around 80 by the end of the year. What is the greatest art of leadership? “Remaining calm and collected as I am the go-to person for my employees’ concerns - both professional and private.”

Jean Lorenz is looking for motivated space pioneers for his team. More jobs in the area AIT. 


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