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DI (FH) Christian Orthofer

Christian Orthofer made his way from the Institute of Energy, Transport and Environmental Management to business, working as an innovation manager for Energie Steiermark.
DI (FH) Christian Orthofer

Key data

Job description: Innovation Manager

Company: Energie Steiermark AG

I work in: Graz, Austria

I’ve worked here since: 2006

What I do:

  • Project management for E-CARE (development of a business logic in the innovative field of life energy)
  • Providing support for a start-up company as part of our NEXT Incubator Programme
  • Group-wide funding management for R&D projects

Why I love my job:

  • Opportunity to tackle new challenges
  • Creative leeway
  • Networking with people from industry, science and public administration

Important skills in my job:

  • Attention
  • Openness to change
  • Problem-solving skills

My biggest accomplishment so far:

  • Acquisition of an over 10 million euro EU research grant for a demonstration plant for renewable power generation
  • Development and implementation of two Active & Assisted Living pilot projects in 25 test households, a field new to Energie Steiermark

How I found my current job:

I applied for a job in the Steweag Steg sales department and then worked as a project manager in the Department of Technical Generation and Innovation (including the design of a highly efficient biomass CHP plant, Smart Cities, distributed generation). Since 2013 I’ve worked in the field of innovation management at Energie Steiermark.

What I learned for this job during my studies:

  • Joined-up thinking
  • Teamwork
  • Technical knowledge of energy engineering and management with a strong practical focus

Job prospects in my field:

There are many jobs available in the fields of energy services, renewable energy or energy efficiency. Degree theses also provide a promising opportunity to enter the world of work.

I am:

  • goal-oriented, keen to learn and organised

About my job:

I very much value the professional environment and the many chances my current position offers me. I’d like to emphasise the opportunity to become familiar with innovative business models and technologies and develop them further, to apply creative work techniques, to exchange ideas with inspiring personalities and, last but not least, to actively participate in shaping the innovative field of life energy.

I think that the key to professional success lies in a strong personal identification with your work, along with a supportive environment, sufficient leeway and a good work-life balance.

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