Karsten Mühlenfeld: the new face driving AneCom AeroTest’s renewed vision
Following a successful career at Rolls-Royce, Berlin- Brandenburg Airport and Ryanair DAC, Dr. Karsten Mühlenfeld has recently joined AneCom as the company’s new Managing Director in May, 2021. His arrival follows the retirement and departure of Edmund Ahlers, who led and grew AneCom for nearly 19 years into the industry leader it is today. Karsten brings a wealth of international leadership expertise, and extensive experience running large and complex high-technology engineering organizations. In this Q&A, he shares with us some of his thoughts on what the future holds for AneCom.
What motivated you to become Managing Director of AneCom?
Being a part of and leading big companies like Rolls-Royce and Ryanair as an Engineering Director, I developed great enthusiasm for running a company not only from a technical point of view, but also through a holistic lens. AneCom offered such an opportunity, as well as the opportunity to take on some fast-moving and exciting work. The role presents unique challenges – and nothing is better than taking on a big challenge!
How would you describe your management style and objectives?
I like to involve my team in a collaborative way that allows everybody to contribute to the success of the company. Based on that, my management style is hands-on with an open door for anybody who is compelled to contribute towards AneCom’s success. I put the success of the company first and encourage my employees to do the same as we work together in a team environment free of a hierarchical atmosphere.
My priority is to get AneCom back on track after the COVID pandemic, and to continue its successful legacy while supporting our vision as the “home of rotating machinery components validation and testing”.
How would you define AneCom’s mission?
Our mission is to be the preferred partner for all OEMs worldwide for the testing, validation, and development of rotating machinery components – and, in doing so, to make our vision come true: to become the “home of rotating machinery and validation testing”. I think we can be successful in achieving this by leveraging our operational excellence, showcasing our organisational agility, and continuing to focus on customer needs in a way that no other company does.
How do you see the company evolving in the next years?
We need to expand our existing customer base beyond aero engines and gas turbines, even though that will remain as our core offering for new customers. We have a renewed focus on technical, service and product innovations, which will provide our customers outstanding benefits.
What do you do outside of work?
Work does not stop at the doorsteps of the company. I like taking challenges home with me and keeping my mind busy. However, for relaxation, I do quite a lot of running, work on projects in the house and gardening, reading crime novels, and playing my guitar – in that order. And of course, as one gets older, time with family becomes more important.
Finally, how do you like to start your day?
I really like to start every day with a good old-fashioned cup of fresh coffee, reading the news and checking my emails, during my 30 minutes distraction-free time.
Dr. Karsten Mühlenfeld has held various engineering positions in Rolls-Royce Germany and within the Rolls-Royce Group between 1993 and 2015, most recently as Managing Director Engineering for civil small and medium engines and Rolls-Royce Deutschland. After a three-year interlude as CEO of the Berlin- Brandenburg Airport, in April of 2018 he took the role of Director Maintenance & Engineering at Ryanair DAC in Dublin.