Meet Luciano Ruggi, Training Analyst
Overseeing incredible and complex designs, Daniela Erdmann is in a position to make bold statements. But what’s just as important to her is being part of a high-performing and supportive work environment.
Over the course of her 17 years with the company, Daniela Erdmann has had a knack for picking up interesting assignments: “I’ve found my projects at AkzoNobel to be both fun and diverse,” she says.
Currently a global engineering project manager based at our Slough site in the UK, she finds herself in good company. “I enjoy the dedication, passion and professionalism of the people I’ve worked with,” says Daniela.
“From manufacturing asset owners; R&D, sales and marketing teams; internal and external engineers; and procurement, finance and legal experts – as a project manager, I can help us all work together to deliver on a common target.”
She continues: “My job is to make sure the right projects are initiated, planned and executed. AkzoNobel spends more than €200 million per year to improve and develop our assets, work which is often managed by local engineers and supported by the global engineering team. What we do helps the company retain a leading industry position and adhere to our core principles.”
Life on the shop floor
Daniela notes that working in a male-dominated field at AkzoNobel has never deterred her from finding her place on the shop floor.
“I feel I’ve always been treated the same as my male colleagues and relate to many successful women in other roles. Our Women Inspired Network provides an additional forum for us to connect, exchange our thoughts and promote equality.”
“Working as a German in the UK has, however, taken some adaptation,” Daniela continues. “The differences in culture, interactions and sharing your opinion take some getting used to.”
“Now after ten years in the UK, I can comfortably small talk about the weather – and when I go back to Germany, I’m shocked by how people push their way into the subway,” she laughs.
Broadening her horizon
If moving from Germany to the UK held a few surprises for Daniela, 2019 presented her a full-blown adventure. She was able to take a year of unpaid leave to travel throughout North and South America.
“I saw amazing landscapes and encountered many lovely people. I learned to adapt to new situations, sometimes go with the flow and enjoy all the facets of life – things I brought back to the UK with me.”
A bold and bright legacy
Daniela’s had many opportunities to make her mark at AkzoNobel – like being involved in designing and installing our most advanced and sustainable paint manufacturing site in Ashington. One particular story holds an extra special place in her heart.
Back in 2010, she was given free rein on a refurbishment project that required color advice for the silos at one of our sites. “It was an unconventional idea, but I thought we should consider a bold color scheme alongside the pastel options – we are, after all a company that’s known for brilliant colors,” Daniela says. “To my surprise, Stowmarket employees chose the bold one.”
“The new colors are even bolder and shinier than the mock-up, and we’ve received nothing but positive feedback from our team,” says Daniela. “It makes me smile when I see a photo of ‘my’ silos – my legacy is still very shiny, bold and brilliant.”