Innovation and talent
Move over, Edison.
Hungry for more – Christine Brütsch started her career as an engineer at Gritec. Now she designs and builds custom-ordered machines that make the world a little simpler.
Christine Brütsch isn’t someone who seeks out the limelight. Talking about her career while someone records the conversation isn’t something she’s familiar with. She comes across as someone who is happiest when she’s completely absorbed in her work, coming up with innovative solutions to challenging problems.
The baby is born
The current problem the young mechanical engineer is working on involves a complex assembly and testing system. Something for the medical sector, something that was previously done by hand. Christine can’t divulge too much information as the machines manufactured here at Gritec in Grüsch are custom-made and the designs are highly confidential.
“It makes me feel like I’m doing something useful.”
This project is Christine’s first at Gritec. She has been working on it since she joined the company last November and switched on her computer with its two big monitors and all sorts of programs for creating technical drawings for the first time. Now, in just a few days’ time, the thing that she conceived, drafted and designed will finally be assembled. And that, understandably, makes her a little nervous. But it is precisely this – the opportunity to see a project through from start to finish – that brought her here, to the tranquil region of Prättigau, with the cows grazing right next to the modern industrial building overlooking the small ski resort.
The holiday becomes a residence
Originally, the 29-year-old from southern Germany trained as a technical product designer. But after three years as an apprentice and six months working in the field, she uttered the words that are so typical for the engineers you meet in the Rhine Valley: “Actually, I want to do a little bit more.” She wanted to develop things herself, “because that’s where you can be the most creative.”
It was this desire that led her to study mechanical engineering in Constance for four years, and ultimately to her job building machines in Graubünden. “I have a bit of a history with Switzerland – and with Graubünden, with its stunning landscape. We used to go skiing here.” She is delighted that her job has brought her back. She appreciates the structure, the concentration, the efficiency with which people work here. And of course she loves the view, in summer and in winter.
Things could have turned out very differently for Christine. She spent a semester as an intern in Belgium and went to the US for an internship with a large packaging manufacturer. She chose Gritec and thus Grüsch largely because of the variety her current job offers. Each project is unique. When the machine she is currently working on is finished, she will probably be working on something completely different. A new customer, a new problem. If she could choose, she says, it would probably be something in the field of medical technology or pharmaceuticals. “It makes me feel like I’m doing something useful.”
In her spare time, she regularly goes to Zumba or modern dance classes, and she spends her weekends exploring the Graubünden Alps with her better half. “We take it easy. Go up in a gondola somewhere, walk around a bit, enjoy the view and then have a bite to eat.”
In the assembly hall, which is located just below the open-plan office where the engineers and Gritec’s administration are located, a number of parts for Christine’s automation system are already finished. She picks up a gripper arm, checks the production quality and then puts it back, clearly satisfied. It seems as if her design works.