The chief divisional engineer's broad responsibilities

Mads Kofod joined Aarsleff in 1993

– My position as chief divisional engineer means that my daily work involves a good mixture of administrative tasks, management tasks and classical engineer tasks. I am responsible for the division’s budgets, I make sure that the employees are satisfied, and I also regularly work as a site manager. Also, I participate in development projects where I contribute to incorporating and selling Aarsleff’s expertise.

As a chief divisional engineer my overall responsibility is to finish our projects on time, within the economic framework and in Aarsleff’s high quality. It takes a broad, general knowledge and the ability to choose the right qualifications for the right projects – so I must stay in close dialogue with my skilled employees and coordinate the work with them. It can sometimes be quite a puzzle, but exciting too.

I have participated in many projects in Aarsleff, and I have always found my colleagues across the organisation very helpful. Everyone has a fantastic will to support each other and find the best possible solution to the projects. I think the great commitment is due to the fact that you never stop learning at Aarsleff. We have the freedom to influence our own working life, so we take a great joint responsibility. The good teamwork is definitely the reason why I am so happy with my work. 

Building operative with a background as unskilled worker

Ronny Steen Kjærgaard joined Aarsleff in 1998

– My job is to lay sewer pipes and in other ways, assist with the establishment of sewers. I do that manually and by means of machines such as mini excavators and rollers. It is good to have an eye for detail – especially when we are to level out the bottom of a sewer where even small irregularities can make it difficult to fit in the pipes.  

Even though most of my work is earthwork, I am also involved in many concrete projects. So, it is important to have a broad knowledge of your work and know when to use one tool instead of another. If we need a new tool, we often get it already the day after, without discussion. I find that really positive.

I am part of a team of unskilled workers, building operatives and operators. We are posted, meaning that we live close to the construction site four days a week and work long hours. In return, we have extended weekends. We spend a lot of time together, and our good teamwork makes working life so good at Aarsleff.

After some years as an unskilled worker, I took a degree as a building operator in the autumn of 2012. It was my manager's idea and today, I am very happy that I accepted the offer. Actually, I think it is very characteristic of Aarsleff to give the employees the opportunity of developing professionally.   

The site manager is always thinking ten steps ahead

Cecilie Iller Wærsted has been employed since 2013

As a site manager, my job is to ensure that the projects are progressing according to plan. It takes a strong talent for planning and a good overview. My workday is a good mixture of financial and legal work as well as practical challenges, so a lot of skills are in play when I keep track of the schedule and the budgets. It is almost like playing chess because I always have to think ten steps ahead and know how one change in the plan may influence the entire project. 

My job is very varied: One day I prepare schedules and reports at the office in Copenhagen, and the next I walk around in safety boots at the construction site in Jutland. There are always new projects, new colleagues and new customers – and plenty of opportunities to get involved in a lot of exciting projects.

The good relationship with my colleagues is really an advantage. I enjoy being around people, and it is fantastic that there are so many different types here. The tone is very informal, and we are good at helping each other if there are challenges. My working relationship with Aarsleff departments is also good – and there are no "us and them” discussions. At the end of the day we are one company, so it is all about drawing on each other’s expertise, keeping focus and finding solutions together.

Generally, I think my workplace is very attentive, and I get to influence my job tasks. If I want to work on a specific project, I can always ask. It might not always be possible, however, there are always many good opportunities to develop professionally and show what you can do.  

Head of section wears more hats

Christoph Valentin Olsen joined Aarsleff in 2007

– Actually, I wear two hats in Aarsleff. In my position as head of section, I have the overall responsibility for the staff and the machines in my section. I am responsible that the staff always know what to do, and for implementing our projects on time and with the best quality. Also, I am responsible for a number of project management assignments because I have great experience with project management of small and large projects in Aarsleff.

A common feature of all my assignments is that they require that you are on top of things and that you have a structured approach to the work.  As a head of section and project manager, it is important to pass on a project in the best possible way, and also, you must be able to look back and make sure that all assignments have been taken care of. Besides having a degree in engineering, it is necessary to have an understanding of management, economy and communication to make it all come together.

I have grown a lot since I first came to Aarsleff – as a trainee from Germany. From day 1, I found out that Aarsleff is a workplace with independent planning and execution of the work but which also offers the necessary support from everywhere in the organisation.  Actually, I think that the most characteristic features of Aarsleff as a workplace are: freedom with responsibility and the will to support the professional development of the employees.