SNAPSHOT: Catharina Fechter
Meet our new Technical Product Manager for Bioproducts
Name: Catharina Fechter
Responsible for: Technical Product Manager for Bioproducts, including dissolving pulp and OnceMore®
Born: 1975, Buxtehude / Germany
Education and expertise: Master of Wood Science and Technology from Hamburg University, ongoing PhD-studies within chemistry at Jena University to be finalised soon
Lives: Benestad, a Bullerby*-village in the countryside close to Växjö, with husband, two daughters, two horses and two cats
Likes: Horse riding, kayaking, being the kids’ horse groomer
Moving into Bioproducts felt like a natural move for me as I had spent the last 15 years working for Södra Innovation and was heavily involved on the technical side of our dissolving pulp. My PhD-thesis which is about to be finished is still being overseen by the R&D Dept and deals with alkalization of dissolving pulp. Over the years I have worked on numerous projects from tissue to timber so having a full understanding of the forest and what it can do is very useful now.
It has been a challenging start, since Covid-19 has meant we cannot travel to see our customers or develop relationships with potential ones, and I’m looking forward to being out there as soon as we can. Pulp is the core business for Södra Cell but we hope to develop the liquid bioproducts and initiatives such as OnceMore® in parallel, and the ambition is to become an important player in the quest to find sustainable solutions for the future. We have the tools in place now. The time is right, both for Södra and for our customers; take the EU’s Green Deal targets which make clear we need new ideas to tackle climate change.
What I like about my job is that I get the opportunity to see reality from both sites – our customers’ perspective and Södra´s production units. The chance of two days being the same in this job is small. I could be answering a very specific question for a customer if something is not right with their dissolving pulp, or I could be looking for new markets for new products. Even parts of Södra’s online-services are within my responsibility and I like to help get quality data for our products up and running even when national firewalls block access for a customer – there will always be a way.
I enjoy the feeling that I have something to share when it comes to my specialist knowledge of fibre and pulp. I am German with a degree centred on wood industry and forestry – Södra was a perfect fit for my first job – and here I still am! When I moved to Sweden, my husband was already here. He is a German wood specialist too and works for Ikea. It’s great to have dual nationality and maybe one day we will return to Germany. But in the meantime, we are firm fans of the Swedish forest and what it can do for a more sustainable future.
*Bullerbyn is the typical Swedish village of Astrid Lindgren’s books set in Småland.
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