Under the Spotlight: Michael Schwertner

Under the spotlight this week is our latest German import... Dr Michael Schwertner is our new optical expert in the R+D Department. A highly knowledgable scientist, and one of the driving forces behind our innovative team of designers, he works on developments to improve our products whilst helping to create new ones. We look forward to telling you about his projects in the next few months.


How long have you worked at Linkam?

Since March 18th, 2013. I continue to learn new things about the products we make and the company.

What’s the best part of working at Linkam?

Definitely it is the variety of work. I am involved in the development of new products, in particular the optical components and accessories. Most of our customers require microscopy and imaging techniques. Regularly I also discuss new applications and research with our partners in universities and industry. It is very enjoyable to see the many ways Linkam instruments are used in research.

Tell us about your studies and work experience. What were you doing before Linkam?

Before Linkam I studied Physics in Germany and did a DPhil in Engineering Science at the University of Oxford. My interest has always been in optics, microscopy, image processing and related topics. For my research I spent time in Australia, Japan and California. After working for Zeiss I started my own company related to optical surface metrology in Jena, Germany (Confovis GmbH). In 2013 I moved back to the UK to live here with my wife, who I met here while at university.

Why did you choose a scientific career?

I enjoy problem solving and like to see how ideas turn into reality.

What makes you passionate about science/engineering?

It is the impact that products or knowledge can make to people's lives. Our products help to enable and speed up research and quality control.

What do your parents do?

My father studied precision mechanics and information processing. Later he worked as an engineer and introduced me to microscopy. My mother studied chemistry and went on to work for the University of Jena.

How would you describe your average day at Linkam?

No day is the same. Typically I work on new concepts and prototypes. It is fun to work with colleagues from many different disciplines. We are a good team and everyone is very helpful and approachable. I forgot one thing that repeats: the tea breaks - of course.

Has the company changed much since you started working here?

Although projects are moving fast, there is only moderate change in the company. Construction work is under way and will lead to new offices.

What are your hobbies?

I like cycling and jogging, travelling to less touristic countries and photography.

Where do you want to be in ten years?

Within ten years I would like to have a small family and be head of an R&D department. 

And lastly, where did you go on your last holiday?

I just returned from a relaxing week in Denmark. We stayed in a house near Ebeltoft / Aarhus together with friends. Its a very nice spot!


Thanks Michael. We hope you are enjoying the snap-shot of the lives of the people who play a part in creating your Linkam stage.

By Caroline Feltham