April 17, 2013

Career Spotlight: Harald Stütz

Harald Stütz

Today in conversation with: DI (FH) Harald Stütz, MSc (Lead Engineer - Design Battery Systems, AVL List GmbH), Alumnus MSc "Renewable Energy in Central & Eastern Europe" Class 2005-2007

You already have had education and training at the College for Automotive Engineering in Steyr (Austria) and your first academic degree in „Mechanical Engineering“ at the University of Applied Sciences in Mittweida (Germany). Both of them are technology-orientated programs. Why did you decide on another program with a technical focus? What did you expect from the MSc program „Renewable Energy in Central & Eastern Europe“?
Regarding renewable energy I have always been interested in the technical realization and in the detail of solutions. Consequently my expectation from the MSc program was to get a complete overview on technical approaches in the use of renewable energy sources, in order to understand the systems. It was important to me as an engineer to be able to spot potential for optimization or to integrate existing solutions into new systems.

You have written your master´s thesis in the work scope of an R&D project at AVL List, your employer. How did the master program influence your professional life?
Even though I am still working for the same company, my positions has changed completely. AVL List is an engineering partner for automotive OEMs in the development of powertrain systems. After designing internal combustion engines for more than 13 years, today I am exclusively working on the development of the electrified powertrain. I am leading a team which is specialized in the design of battery systems for electric vehicles. This has a lot to do with renewable energy. In my opinion, the only way to run a car on renewable energy in a sustainable way is electrically. The recently achieved grid parity of photovoltaic systems is the most important argument for the electric car.

How did you benefit from the program personally?
On one hand the MSc program offers access to very valuable contacts coming from many different business sectors. On the other hand, due to the program, my initial interest in renewable energy has developed to a consolidated determination to commit myself  to these technologies in a professional way. As a result of that very good possibilities have emerged for myself, in my case even without changing the employer.

Your graduation dates back several years. What comes to your mind when you think about the program? What were the highlights?
I have always enjoyed attending the courses, not only because I was very interested in the content. Beside a lot of stimulating discussions among colleagues with entirely different professional background, above all we had one thing: a lot of fun. In addition, it wasn’t a bad thing to be regularly pulled out a little bit from the daily working routine.

What private plans do you have for the next 3-5 years?
My plans are primarily focused on my family. Our children’s development and well-being are most important for me and my wife.
Beyond that I want to contribute as much as possible, so that comprehensive mobility solutions can arise, which are free from emissions and can be supplied with energy in a decentralized and sustainable way. I think we are currently witnessing an exciting period of substantial change.

What are your hobbies?
I spend my spare time with my little children. Apart from that my most favorite sport is skiing. And, even though that doesn’t really fit to renewable energy, I enjoy kart racing.

(Interview dtd. Apr 08, 2013)

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