This is Antonio Pavesi, Manager Wind Tunnel Facility at TMG. Italian Antonio has come a long way since joining TMG back in 2001. He has embraced working life in Cologne, learning a brand new language and raising a family alongside his commitment to the many projects in which he’s involved in the company. He has also found a new passion for conducting garage tours at Le Mans and showing off TMG’s engineering expertise to guests!
Name: Antonio Pavesi
Working at TMG since September 2001
Antonio, what is your role at TMG?
I am currently manager of the wind tunnel facilities. I am also responsible for the model shop. At the beginning, it was a purely technical job, mechanical engineering for models and all that is related to the wind tunnel and the wind tunnel model. Now it is more mixed; the technical part is obviously still very important, but there is a lot of organisation behind it. We are quite a big group now and we are managing many different projects and customers.
How would you describe your work in three words?
Two words are enough I think; never boring. It’s a varied job, especially in the last year, we’ve had so many different projects and customers. So many things happen, especially with the races and so on. It’s an exciting job.
What does engineering mean to you?
Engineering has different meanings for me. At the beginning, for example, when I arrived here at TMG, engineering was for me design. So I was responsible for designing new equipment for the model or for the wind tunnel. In the position I am now, engineering is more about coordinating different areas. We have electronic engineers working in the group, we have software engineers, and there is still a lot of mechanical design, so we must put them all together. For me, what is nice is that we have a complete system that is working together.
What projects are your most proud of at TMG?
My proudest achievement here at TMG is probably from the end of 2009 into the start of 2010, when TMG stopped the Formula 1 project and decided to swap from purely a Formula 1 orientated facility to a customer-orientated facility. We had a lot of work to convert our facilities from a hardware and software point of view - and the building too - to be able to handle different projects and customers at the same time. It was not easy. We were used to working on one project, our Formula 1 car, after so many years it was standard project for us, almost routine. When we switched we had a lot to deal with: different questions and requests. At that time we were a very small group of people, just nine in the wind tunnel facility group, now we are more than 20 people. We were able to develop the facility, keep it state-of-the-art and now after five years we are still a very attractive facility for our customers. We are doing well with our internal project for Le Mans and other projects, so I think this conversion between a Formula 1-orientated facility to a customer and multi-project facility was a big achievement for the entire group, not just me.
What’s the most exciting part of working at TMG?
I don’t normally go to races even though I love to watch them. Last year I had the chance to go to Le Mans to support our marketing team. I went there to act as the guide for the garage tours. I was bringing guests inside the garage and showing them how everything operates in the garage, what the mechanics were doing, the equipment and the engineers. I really enjoyed it a lot because I think the 24 hours of Le Mans is a unique experience. I had some free time in between one garage tour and another so I could listen to the radio and hear the communication with the engineers and the drivers in the car. To have the chance to be there was really nice, very exciting - and to see that our car was the fastest on track was really great.
How does your private life help your career at TMG?
I think engineering is a consequence of my hobby. Since I was a child, I liked cars, I liked motorbikes, so I wanted to study mechanical engineering and then I had the chance to work for motorsport. When I am at home, I try to switch off. I have a family and I try to relax and enjoy my time with them.
How has your career at TMG affected your private life?
Coming to TMG was the first experience for me outside of Italy. When I arrived at TMG, I was not able to speak one word of German, literally nothing! Luckily the official language was and still is English but I wanted to learn German. TMG offered German courses for beginners, so I did it immediately. I had several training sessions with TMG and then I met my wife, who is German, which was one more reason to learn the language. I now speak German with my wife and Italian with my children - I have two daughters, so after 14 years I think I am quite well integrated in Cologne and the job, and life.