5 questions for Benno Speer, Johann Maier GmbH & Co. KG

Portraits - Pioneers from the aerospace industry and political decision-makers give personal insights and provide their assessment of current industry trends.

1    Do you have a special memory at ILA Berlin Airshow (Respectively: It’s your first ILA Berlin Airshow…) and what are your personal expectations for #ILA22?

The ILA Berlin was my first fair as a professional in the aerospace industry. I was amazed by the energy of this special industry. All these motivated people of the aerospace family as well as the impressing machines (planes, helicopters, etc.) and of course the sound of the flight show convinced me I was right to choose a job in this industry. Moreover, when I changed my employer (in the industry), I was given a warm send-off at an event on the ISC joint stand. I am not exaggerating when I say that ILA will always have a special place in my heart because of this event.

2    For you personally, do you see a most important trend in aerospace at the very moment? 

On the one hand we are working on the Ariane 6 Program, which will dramatically increase the level of industrialisation and serialisation in the space industry. Of course, this represents a great opportunity and promises immense changes.. We aim to keep the quality high and increase the number of units without falling behind. On the other hand, we have to observe what is happening in the defence sector, where the German government is investing additional money to modernise the Bundeswehr in view of the current geopolitical situation. The maxim is: if you stop getting better, you will stop being good.

3    What do you enjoy most about your job and why did you choose aerospace?

The best decision I made in my professional career was to join the aerospace industry. My advice is easy: just do it! The aerospace industry is motivating and fascinating, and you will find your place there no matter which skills you posses.

4    If you could meet one famous aerospace personality – living or from history: Who would it be and why? 

Oh, there a many… But I guess I would choose Juri Alexejewitsch Gagarin. I would like to ask him how it feels to be the first person to sit in a space rocket and to be the first person to reach space without knowing beforehand what it will feel like to be there and whether he will return alive. And of course, how it felt to see what he saw in space (the Earth, etc.), it must be overwhelming to see the size of space.

5    From the perspective of your company, how does it contribute to sustainability / innovation / new technologies in a concrete way? 

As a manufacturer of hardware (screws, etc.), we partner with companies all along the supply chain and enable all the great technologies that are being built and sent into space. We are literally the screw that holds all the pieces together. It's necessary for the hardware and software to work well, and in the end we can ensure that the benefits of the technology as a great whole can exist in the first place. Our individual components may be small, but their effect is huge.