As a technology company, AXIS is driven by the curiosity and dedication of its engineers. One of the engineers who has been with us the longest is Thomas Hörhan, who joined AXIS back in its “garage” days and hasn’t looked back since. Never one to call a lot of attention to himself, he is nevertheless one of the key people at AXIS. We talked to him about his work.
How did you get into aviation?
As a small child I loved the “Great Big Air Book” by Richard Scarry. It sparked my interest in aviation. Growing up I became increasingly fascinated by computers, technology in general and aerospace in particular, and so I decided to follow my passion and become an aviation professional.
My career with AXIS started with a lucky coincidence. While I was studying Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences in Graz, Austria, I volunteered to help at a local trade show, where I met one of the future founders of AXIS. When AXIS was founded a few years later, I joined full-time.
How has your career progressed?
Initially I was responsible for aircraft systems simulation, focusing on flight guidance systems. From there I found my way into simulating other systems, as well as testing, validation and qualification of devices, while heading a growing team of aviation engineers. After several years of fascinating engineering challenges, I joined management as Chief Operating Officer, assisting the CEO in establishing and maintaining smooth, seamless operation across all development and production branches. Two years later, I was selected to bring Project & Quality Management to the next level. And that’s where I am now.
What’s a typical day like?
Teams at AXIS are involved in a broad range of project phases, from early design stages to final customer acceptance and qualification. During my entire time at the company, there has never been such a thing as a typical day. That’s one of the things that makes it so rewarding to work here.
What else do you like about your job?
I love engineering. At heart I’m still that kid who has to take everything apart to see how it works, and I actually read the Instruction Manual when I get a new appliance. I enjoy the process of transforming problems into challenges into solutions.
I’ve also always been interested in travel, so a global business like ours is perfect for me. As a people person, working in teams here at home and with people all over the world is also something I enjoy about my job.
The variety of technologies that go into simulation is a big part of my fascination here. It’s not just software, or electronics, or mechanics, or any single field – a sim combines many different technologies, and I really love the process of working with and getting in-depth insights into different fields of engineering.
What do you enjoy outside of work?
As a father of 3-year-old twins, family plays a big role in my life. Besides that, I enjoy travel, nature, photography, playing music, good food – ideally all together. I have a private pilot license and enjoy flying. My engineer’s curiosity doesn’t switch off when I leave work, so I also like to keep up with developments in many technology fields, like mobility and energy.