As a new Sales Engineer, Michael Hering has proved himself to be a valuable member of the Solmax team since February 2023. In this interview he talks about his enthusiasm for customer-oriented solutions and the power of innovation in the geosynthetics industry. 

Michael Hering is an engineer with a degree in land culture and environmental protection. He has 20 years of experience as a sales engineer in the segment of drainage solutions, landfill construction and erosion control. As a Sales Engineer at Solmax, since February 2023, he provides customers with the best technical solutions to their problems. 

Interview with Michael Hering 

Our products are built in or covered with other products. Therefore, the potential for geosynthetic materials to create microplastics is nonexistent to extremely marginal.

Michael Hering, Sales Engineer 

What are the responsibilities and main tasks that characterize your position as Sales Engineer at Solmax? 

One of Solmax´ business areas is waterproofed sealing with geosynthetics. The largest area of application is landfill construction: To ensure that the stored waste materials will not have a negative impact on the soil and groundwater, landfills are sealed at the base and on the surface. If this was not done, cost-intensive cleaning would be necessary on an ongoing basis.

My job is to provide technical advice to engineering firms and clients in this landfill construction segment, so that our products can be used in a beneficial way. 

To what extent has your previous professional experience prepared you for success in your current job at Solmax?  

I have been working in the geosynthetics industry since the very start of my career. Having dealt with similar products and applications before joining Solmax, I am very familiar with landfill construction. I am well connected within the industry due to my experience. The contacts and contractors in my current job are people I have known for 20 years. 

For me it is a new, exciting and enriching experience that we at Solmax offer the entire package as a full-service provider including installation at the construction site. We provide our customers with significant added value. 

I have also gained professional experience with drainage solutions such as geotextile tubes (e.g. Geotube®) and drainage mats for civil engineering and erosion control. 

What do you find most exciting about your work?  

Basically, what excites me is the mixture of standard applications – with standardized and regulated construction methods according to the state of the art – and special issues for which there is no ready-made solution and for which individual implementations are necessary. This demands detailed planning with colleagues, building owners and engineering professionals and makes the job particularly interesting for me.  

In general, I appreciate the variety of my daily work, the contact with different types of people and professions – from construction workers to professors – as well as meeting and communicating with people previously unknown to me. I enjoy wooing new customers.  

What current developments are you observing in your business segment?  

Environmentally relevant aspects are becoming increasingly important, demands for biodegradable products and the lowest possible environmental impact are coming more into focus. This also affects the geosynthetics industry, where – among other issues – the discussion around the dangers of microplastics is omnipresent. 

However, I see it in a more differentiated way: Our products are always incorporated or covered with other products. Therefore, the potential for microplastics to be created by geosynthetic materials is nonexistent or extremely marginal. 

Apart from that, there is a strong pressure to innovate in the industry. I recognize a strong desire for better products, manufacturers and less CO2 pollution within our target group. What matters is a lower carbon footprint. These challenges currently exist in many other industries. Especially as the largest manufacturer, it remains exciting for us. That’s why I expect to see new innovative solutions in the years to come – such as Geotube® products made from renewable raw materials as a more ecological option. 

What are your short-term and long-term goals in your new position? 

I feel very comfortable with my current role at Solmax and would like to take up this new challenge for many years to come. 

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Michael Hering, Sales Engineer