He doesn’t cook much at home – he’s not a hobby cook, explains the multi-talented Daniel Christen. However, if he had the opportunity to fit a FullFlex hob in his home, things might be a bit different. “To use an appliance in your own home that you’ve helped to design yourself, that would be quite something,” declares Daniel, who is Group Leader in Electronics Hardware Development. Although he doesn’t cook every day, his enthusiasm for hobs is immense.
After finishing his studies at ETH Zurich, the ambitious electronics engineer originally wanted to work at V-ZUG as an oven developer. “But at my first interview, they asked me if I would be interested in developing a hob,” he recalls. And he was immediately hooked. “To be involved in a project like that straight from university is something many electronics students dream of.”
The young ETH graduate was initially involved in intensive research work for the development of the FullFlex hob. The idea of a full-surface induction hob was there – it was then a question of drawing up the design and reaching compromises between requirements and implementation options. Starting from scratch was a challenge, but it made the work even more exciting for Daniel: “I was motivated by the thought that I was developing a product for our customers that would help them in their everyday lives and offer them an unforgettable cooking experience.”
For him, a product’s meaningfulness also lies at the heart of a good development. It was for this reason that Daniel Christen felt at ease with us right from the start: “We develop and produce appliances that can really help users in their everyday lives. Everyone has a washing machine at home, and everyone cooks.” With a grin, he adds: “Even if not everyone enjoys conjuring up exotic menus – they still need a hob to cook good pasta.” The everyday benefits are what motivate Daniel Christen each day at work.
He also gets motivation from his team: “Developing a good product is always a team effort,” he explains. As an individual, it wouldn’t be possible to get to grips with all the interfaces and project management tasks as well as developing a good product. Together with his team members, he has succeeded: “We wanted to develop the best full-surface induction hob ever – a hob with so much flexibility that you can celebrate cooking on it,” explains Daniel Christen. The result of this passionate work is a hob on which up to six pans can be positioned with no restrictions. “That is true cooking freedom,” he declares.
However, the route to this freedom was not always without its obstacles: “During development, the challenge lies in constantly finding the optimum solution for new tasks and problems. Once this solution is found, product development is complete and the appliance is ready for production,” says Daniel, who was born in the Basel region. As is often the case in projects, you achieve the first 80 % relatively quickly – “It’s the last 20% that’s tricky and can only be overcome with lots of commitment and a team that possesses extensive expertise,” he reveals.
This is also the reason he enjoys going to work so much and has taken on quite a long commute: “I grew up near Basel and my roots are still very much in that area.” In order to work at V-ZUG, he has relocated to the mid-point between Basel and Zug. Living in Erlinsbach, he has ended up in a place where he can reconcile his work and his private life with each other. “I really like the atmosphere and the working climate, and people are open to new ideas,” enthuses the ambitious developer. Two years ago, Daniel Christen took on the role of group leader, which is motivating him even more to produce outstanding results, although this demands a lot of him.
To keep a clear head for new developments, the 30-year-old group leader enjoys pursuing outdoor sporting activities: from mountain biking, jogging, hiking and mountaineering through to sport climbing on indoor climbing walls, nothing is too strenuous for him. He enjoys the challenge and the contrast with his everyday work. Daniel also finds his inner balance by travelling to distant continents with his girlfriend: “I like Asia a lot. When I’m there, I always notice that here at home we’ve got everything, and sometimes we get bogged down in trivia.”
When he returns from his travels, he also sees things at home more clearly. And Daniel does enjoy coming home, because for him, home is “where you feel good, where your family is – that’s all you really need”. He sees domestic appliances that make our everyday life easier as helpers in his oasis of wellbeing: “When appliances help me out at home, I can spend more valuable time with my nearest and dearest.” Especially in digitization, Daniel Christen sees great potential for developing features that will make our everyday lives even easier. He looks to the future enthusiastically and full of dynamism: “Networking holds much in store for us and the world of household appliances.”
An unparalleled cooking experience with FullFlex
Thanks to its 48 state-of-the-art inductors, it is able to automatically detect the position and size of the cookware used. As a result, you can place up to six pans anywhere you like on the glass ceramic plate.
Further Expert discussions: