With an already impressive CV at just 25, Francois Wolmarans would be deserving of any of the following labels: a go-getter, a problem-solver, an embodiment of the Linde spirit. In actual fact, he is all of those things and has the evidence to prove it. It is his entrepreneurial passion that set the young engineer on a fascinating path – one that has recently crossed with The Linde Group’s.
Francois focused on the job
YOUNG ENGINEERING TALENT AT LINDE FOOD & BEVERAGES
- Fluent in English, Afrikaans, French and Mandarin Chinese
- Winner of a research award at the 2014 Nanotechnology for Defense research conference
- Successfully reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and the Holy Mountain of Hua Shan
Did you find Linde or did Linde find you?
It happened at the Shell Eco Marathon! It’s a competition to design the most energy efficient solar vehicle. Linde sponsors the event. I was part of a team who had entered and I got talking to someone from Linde. I gave her my resume and she gave me a business card. That’s how it all began!
If you had to summarise your background…
I grew up in Johannesburg, my mother is German and my father is South African. We moved to Florida in 2003. Funnily enough though, while I can speak a few languages, German isn’t one of them!
One of the languages you speak is Chinese?
Yes. At Florida State University, I studied industrial & manufacturing engineering as well as Chinese language and culture. I’m fascinated by both!
Three personal achievements before joining Linde…
In 2008 I created and sold automation scripts for an online game which I used to procure virtual currency. In 2012 I started a business in Beijing for facilitating exchange between China and US. In 2014 our research team at Florida State won an award for our work on nanotube technology.
Describe your Linde induction...
I started as an Application Sales Engineer with Food and Beverages. It was an amazing experience! I got to travel the country visiting existing and potential client factories to do R&D, resolve issues and sell new solutions. I visited something like 23 states over eight months. I loved seeing all the ingenious innovation at work and very quickly was given the autonomy to go out and sell solutions myself.
»Getting that first sale, that was fantastic. Man, I was super excited!«
Francois with a Linde Engineering Manager
Your proudest moment so far?
That has to be landing my first sale. After only five months I was able to bring business to Linde. I sold a tunnel freezer to a seafood company in Mississippi. They freeze fresh oysters and ship them all around the country. We came up with a solution that used CO2, which kills Vibrio – a particularly virulent strain of bacteria found on oysters. Getting that first sale, that was fantastic. Man, I was super excited!
What’s your current role?
I’m working as a project manager for the Bulk Applications group. Once a contract is signed, we are responsible for the installation. It’s ongoing as part of Linde’s full service provision too so it’s pretty demanding but extremely enjoyable.
What’s the best thing about working at Linde?
I would have to say the people. They are amazing. It’s like one big family that helps each other out if needed, but you also get the autonomy to be proactive, submit ideas and take the lead. I recently submitted a few ideas as part of the technological team here and some of those are currently being implemented. That’s pretty rewarding!
Your life outside Linde?
I’m into anything outdoors, especially mountain climbing. I’ve climbed Kilimanjaro as well as a few of the Holy Mountains in China, like Hua Shan.