“I was already enthusiastic about Brabender products during my studies”
Since October, Michael Stanko joined Brabender’s Plastics & Rubber department as Business Development Manager. A native of Dormagen (50 kilometers from Brabender’s headquarters in Duisburg), he previously studied mechanical engineering and worked for eight years as a research assistant in the engineering of plastics. At Brabender, he is now responsible for the strategic and operational development of new products in the plastics and rubber applications department. What his vision for the future of Brabender is and what he is most looking forward to in his new position, the father of two, reveals in an interview.
Brabender: Mr. Stanko, why did you decide to join Brabender?
Michael Stanko: I still know Brabender from my student days and worked with the Aquatrac-V moisture analyzer for plastics during my master’s thesis. Even during that time, I had the opinion that it was the best and most user-friendly method for the determination of residual moisture content on the market. Basically, I also preferred to work for a medium-sized company like Brabender, because they are often more flexible and agile. Especially when it comes to trend topics, such as recycling or bioplastics, smaller companies react more quickly. In addition, you are involved in several processes within the company and can make more of an impact yourself. In corporate groups, each employee is a link in the huge process chain and accordingly has only a limited area of responsibility. At Brabender, I can combine plastics processing and analytics and thus work in my core area of expertise.
Brabender: You spent a long time working in science at the Technical University of Dortmund. What did you gain from this time and why did you move into the business world?
Michael Stanko: During my time as a research assistant, I was able to improve my technical knowledge and increase my experience in different areas, such as extrusion or injection molding. This interdisciplinary knowledge now helps me when I visit customers at Brabender. I can understand customer needs better because I know the technical background and can provide the customer better solutions. It was clear to me quite early on that I didn’t want to stay in academia for my entire career. During my time as a research assistant, I always worked on application-oriented research and development projects with partners from industry, but working in a business context is what interests me more.
Brabender: How did you decide to work in plastics technology? What excites you about it?
Michael Stanko: I started specializing in plastics technology during my mechanical engineering studies. The main thing that fascinates me about plastics technology is its variety. Plastics surround us everywhere in our daily lives and will stay that way. Being able to contribute to the further development of plastics technology motivates me a lot. The complexity of the issues in plastics technology is and will stay exciting and many aspects are still unknown or unexplored.
Brabender: What experience and skills do you bring with you and how would you like to use them for Brabender?
Michael Stanko: I always had a close affinity to industry and I find it easy to combine the fields of science and industrial application. So when I develop new processes or measuring methods, I always have market needs in mind as well. In addition, I also have a wide range of technical background knowledge from my time as a research assistant.
Brabender: What do you associate with Brabender products?
Michael Stanko: Brabender uses its devices to monitor many process variables and offers the user the possibility of making a lot of measurement information usable. Compared to other companies, Brabender has many years of experience in the application and has everything in its own hands with its laboratories and its own software. This makes the company flexible, customer-oriented and also offers customers customized special solutions.
Brabender: What are you most looking forward to in your new position?
Michael Stanko: I’m looking forward to the diverse tasks and the fact that I have a lot of contact with the different departments in Business Development. This allows me to have a look at the work of other colleagues. In addition, after my academic career, I can now improve my skills with business skills.
Brabender: What is your vision for the future of Brabender?
Michael Stanko: My vision is that Brabender will continue to operate successfully for another one hundred years and even beyond. In the future, we want to continue to be customer-oriented in developing new processes and products and to provide our customers with the tools they need to meet future challenges, for example in the area of recyclate and bioplastic processing.