Interviews // 02.03.2023 // DECTRIS

“For me, being an engineer is not a title. It is an inner attitude”

Rolf Bachmann, Electrical Engineer, Hardware Design

A 7-minute read

Engineers are the backbone behind the performance of our detectors. They find solutions every day during the development, manufacturing, and commissioning of our detectors with one objective: serve present and future generations in mastering society’s most important challenges by enabling scientific and technological breakthroughs.


At DECTRIS, we have more than ten engineering specializations across the whole product life cycle. Over 50 highly specialized and skilled engineers are actively involved in the process to develop software, electronic circuits, mechanical and IT solutions, to bring in expertise during the production, and finally to commission our detectors in research facilities worldwide. This corresponds to more than a third of our total number of employees at DECTRIS.

As a Swiss high-tech company manufacturing X-rays and electron detectors for synchrotron radiation facilities and laboratories, we have included sustainable development in our vision: be a sustainable, independent, and trusting company that anticipates the needs of scientists and engineers around the world.

We interviewed Rolf Bachmann, Electrical Engineer, for whom being an engineer is more than a title, it is an inner attitude and a real commitment to make the world better. 

Rolf is part of the biggest team at DECTRIS: the Electrical Engineers. The hardware and the associated firmware are the backbone of our detectors: by designing the best possible circuits and source code that fit the specific application, electrical engineers enable the hardware in our detectors to guarantee the best-in-class performance, which in turn will allow scientists to obtain the best possible results.

What Rolf Bachmann, Electrical Engineer, Hardware Design, thinks 

"For me, being an engineer is not a title but an inner attitude. I learn about myself and the world every day, and I use this knowledge and skill to make myself and the world a better place. My contribution to a better world is better products that move us forward as humanity. 

Working as a development engineer is something very creative for me. I create electronic circuits and thus bring products to life. This is also where I get my energy for my work: I see how something (a product) grows through my work until it comes to life and fulfills a task in the world.

I live this professionally and privately. Wherever I am, I try to understand the things I know and have at my disposal, to connect them and combine them in such a way that they become better, and the next step becomes possible. Actually, it doesn't matter if it is a friendship, a mountain tour, or an electronic circuit. The principle remains the same for me. 

That's why, for me, the word engineer describes less what I am and more who I am.”


Engineering at DECTRIS: Over Ten Specializations Across the Product Life Cycle

At DECTRIS, we have twelve engineering specializations which represent almost a third of our employees.

  • In Research and Development, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, software engineers and ICT System engineers work respectively on electronic circuits and application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs); on the mechanical assembly and housing; develop softwares and IT infrastructure required for running our detector systems; maintain the entire IT infrastructure.
  • In Operations, the production engineers and process engineers develop, maintain, and optimize all processes and machines necessary to reliably manufacture our detectors. Our two integration engineers are positioned between Development and Operations: they have the overview of the product's integration, from sales to delivery. Our equipment engineers are responsible for providing media and equipment for the production and for the building infrastructure.
  • In Marketing and Sales, our field system engineers are specialists in commissioning detectors in the research facilities, synchrotron radiation facilities, or laboratories. They support customers with repairs and troubleshooting. Product engineers take care of the product families throughout the entire life cycle, initiate efficiency and operation-saving adjustments and implement product changes.

About the World Engineer Day for Sustainable Development

The World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development celebrates engineers and engineering worldwide. It takes place every year on March 4th since 2020. Proclaimed by the UNESCO - the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization - this day is an opportunity to highlight the achievements of our engineers. It makes the general public more aware of the importance of technologies and engineering in our modern world.

was proclaimed by UNESCO at its 40th General Conference in 2019. It is celebrated worldwide on 4th March of each year since 2020 as a UNESCO international day of celebration of engineers and engineering. 

The day offers an opportunity to highlight engineers and engineering’s achievements in our modern world and improve public understanding of how engineering and technology are central to modern life and for sustainable development.

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