Michael Hofmann

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  • 1. What made you want to get into engineering? And specifically, your specialization?
    As a kid, I was always picking up everything from the ground and tried to touch everything I was interested in. Now, I understand this intention way better, since I learn very well through my eyes and hands. I’m not as good by learning things when I read it. Driven by that and the fact that I can keep things in my mind that I’m interested in it, I was more focused on a career in engineering. I want to create things I can physically see and touch in the end which is satisfactory for me. Also, I like thinking logically and it is something I’m good at. I went to a school with a bigger focus on electric then on mechanics. I think that is because by dad was mainly working in this area. Over time and as I started my studies in mechatronics, I noticed felt more positive and I was more interested directing my focus on mechanics and designing. That provided a bigger value for me and made it more satisfactory. In my current role, I still deal with electric, but it’s not in such a detailed level compared to laying out PCP boards or so. Designing things which work in the end and see the product in millions of cars is the reason why I went into my specialization and because I’m good in the job I’m doing.

  • 2. What advice would you give freshly graduated engineers?
    Working for Littelfuse is different than working in a big company like Daimler, VW or Airbus. In these big companies, you have your garden where you are working in. You see what is left and what is right, but you don’t see the overall picture. In Littelfuse, you can see everything, meaning you deal with the customer on creating a good concept, designing and working towards prototypes, defining test and get them executed, going thru setbacks but look forward until the product went into serial production and supporting the MFG team to manufacture the part in the way it should be. This is somehow unique and serves a big overview about the whole business and keeps the job interesting. A new hire needs to understand this and want it, since it can be very hard to deal with the huge workload in certain stages. An engineer needs to be more proactive here compared to other companies, because he need to drive things and get the information he needs to do a good job/design. Not everybody wants this and therefore I think it is important for a new engineer to understand the Littelfuse culture to not be surprised in the end. Employees from Littelfuse have overall a high value for other companies as well, since the engineers know how the business work and not just know their own department. Also, having the opportunity to grow within the company is always a possibility if you provide good work and attitude. Usually you need to change the company to grow, but not at Littelfuse.

  • 3. What has been a project that you have worked on that you are proud of or that has been most interesting to you?
    Well, my biggest/interesting challenge/project so far is the MIDI 70V development, since we went a long way over almost 3 years now and we are one month away to kick off hard tooling. We went thru different concepts, multiple setbacks, re-scoping of the project and through very dynamic times. To see this product now in mass production with less scrap would be my biggest achievement. It has been my most interesting project with a lot of lessons learned. The development of Single Zcase was very interesting for me as well, since we developed a new product with new technologies and new material including a 3P event in Mexico.

  • 4. What is your favorite part about your job? Why?
    I like to lead my team to get better and provide good output. Also, making the products I’m responsible for better and more reliabeis satisfying to me, since I now have the role to implement my thoughts more easy and faster. I’m also not as much involved anymore in so many projects, which has freed up more time to work with my team and think about how to make things better and to work more towards standardization. Additionally, the bigger focus on executing company goals and to actually manage the work is something I like.