Behind the Layers with Anja Nieratschker

July 10, 2018

Additive Manufacturing Engineer, Customer Experience Center - Munich, GE Additive

How long have you been in your current position, and could you provide a brief overview of what you do?
I’ve been in this position for almost a year and was one of the first people working at our Customer Experience Center here in Munich, which officially opened last December.  I joined GE Global Research in 2015, first as an intern then moving over to GE Additive as a permanent employee.

How did you end up in this position? Did you always want to work in Additive Manufacturing?
I started off my career in automation of composite manufacturing after studying mechanical engineering at the TUM. But during my studies, I already tried to get into the field of additive manufacturing which at that time wasn’t a big focus at our university. 

So, I was more than happy when the opportunity opened up for me to move into additive. Since then I have been learning on the job every single day and I really enjoy being involved in this technology from the beginning.

What motivates or inspires you at work?
Every customer or partner from across the world that visits us at CEC is on a journey when it comes to additive – some are just getting started, others are well on their way and some are flying high.  

It’s my job to answer questions and demystify any concerns or preconceptions.  I get motivated by helping people understand the potential of additive and overcome their fear of the unknown. It’s great to be at the forefront of innovation and being part of a team that are doing things first in the industry.

What has been a lesson you’ve learned that has served you well at GE?
I learned that when you trust in teamwork, almost anything can be achieved. I’ve always been a team player, but the last year has shown me that if you have a good team to rely upon, you can set up a well-functioning Customer Experience Center from scratch. 

Our team at the CEC in Munich is comprised of divergent thinkers from multiple backgrounds and different points of view. That can sometimes make working together challenging, but at the same time, it also opens up a huge amount of opportunity.

What does a normal day look like?
There is no typical day at the CEC. It is diverse and often defined by the type of visitor or the customer interaction I have on the day. Every customer comes with their own perspectives and a specific set of challenges that they’re trying to overcome with additive – it makes every day different. Therefore, my tasks vary between basic training sessions to detailed technical discussions around how to print parts to the setup of factory layouts. 

What is a surprising aspect or passion that people may not know about you?
I’m passionate about encouraging young women to start a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  We recently hosted a workshop for local schools and there was just one girl taking part – so, we still have some way to go. Important is showing students what are the possible paths from school into the world of work.

Also, I do competitive gymnastics which is amazing, because it is really challenging and helps me grow stronger and better each day, in the same way I do in additive manufacturing.