People
Published: February 18, 2021
People
Published: February 18, 2021

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'Piloting' New Technologies and Cross-Cultural Understanding

Before becoming a part of our EMEA coil coatings team, Martin Lobert had been working for over 25 years in the coatings business and brought experience from all over the world to his role. He also picked up some very interesting skills from his “other job”. If we said that he is the perfect person to lead pilot projects, you will probably end up agreeing in more ways than one!

Colonel Martin Lobert Reporting For Duty

Martin joined us in 2017 and is part of the EMEA Coil Coatings team, based in Milan, Italy.  But before discovering his passion for coating technologies, he had already fallen for sailplanes and flying!

Back when Martin was 14, he took his first flight in a sailplane… and has been hooked ever since. He is fascinated by the use of solar and wind energy for flying several hours and hundreds of kilometers without an engine.

By 1984, he had become a flight instructor, meeting the woman who was to become his wife on the airfield as one of his first Italian students.

It is so satisfying to watch your students grow and to accompany them on their first solo flights.

Now, almost every year, he serves as backup at the Air Operations Command of the German Air Force in the rank of Colonel (General Staff), covering active officers’ vacations and serving as ambassador between the military and society.

“Everything You Are Going to Build Needs Solid Foundations”

During his work days on the ground, Martin is responsible for our European key account ArcelorMittal as well as for our German, Austrian and Italian customers.

Leading the team and making it happen through international cooperation are challenging and rewarding. The team is always more than the algebraic sum of its members.

The course of Martin’s career flight path took off during his university studies in chemistry, culminating in a PhD in physical chemistry in Germany.

After graduating, he immediately got the position of head of Research & Development labs at a producer of innovative coatings technologies. He then moved into a position where he was managing business development projects in the USA and Brazil, and later supervising the German affiliate of an Italian paint manufacturer.

 As a German, having lived for over 20 years in Italy, working alongside his compatriots, Martin has often found himself in the position of ambassador between the two very different mindsets.

It’s a great experience to see my country of origin from the outside.

He finds that connecting with colleagues with different experiences and roles and from different cultures makes you “incredibly strong”.

There are always different ways to achieve the same objective, and every culture provides best practices worth copying.

Passionate for Coil Coatings

As a true campaigner for his company and products, Martin is passionate about coil coating because, according to him, “it is the most efficient painting process in the world!”

Coating the steel or aluminum in a roll-to-roll process before the cutting and assembly process of the metal parts, it removes the complexity of painting. It achieves this in industries like domestic appliances, trailer truck construction, as well as building elements (e.g., claddings, roofs) by generating 200 square meters of pre-painted metal per minute. On top of that, coil coating guarantees the durability of the surfaces for 20 years or longer.

What’s more, Martin adds, coil coating is one of the best available techniques when it comes to environmentally friendly surface treatments.

There is still a lot of space for the development of coil coating in other market segments.

Just As Happy on the Ground as in the Air

Martin’s other interest is in defense and security policy and he is a board member of the German Society for Security Policy (GSP), responsible for social media communication.

Of course, he also loves to discover new places and to travel for customer meetings. While the COVID-19 situation will likely affect travel for a while to come, Martin can see the positive side of being grounded:

It will provide a lot of family-valued time at home – and I enjoy that.