Head of Additive Manufacturing
Sven Hicken was named head of Oerlikon’s additive manufacturing business in October 2018. He is responsible for Oerlikon’s growing global additive manufacturing business, which employs about 300 people and comprises seven production facilities in three countries: Germany, the US and China.
Prior to joining Oerlikon, Sven spent most of his career in the automotive industry, bringing with him key insights into the challenges faced by Oerlikon customers and vast experience in managing global teams. Sven spent more than 20 years at BMW, Munich, in a variety of roles. Beginning with various project and R&D managerial roles, he was named Vice President, Strategy, Finance, Logistics and Quality Painted Body in 2005. He went on to hold vice president roles in production and product strategy, culminating in his final position as Vice President, Purchasing Quality Body, responsible for the worldwide purchasing and quality of body components for BMW.
Sven holds a degree in mechanical engineering from Technical University Munich, where his focus was on manufacturing technologies. He earned his PhD at RWTH Aachen, with a dissertation on spot welding aluminum. He is active in the ACOD, Automotive Cluster of Eastern Germany, which seeks to advance the automobile industry in the eastern part of the country.
Sven is married and has two children. An avid football fan, especially Bayern München, he also enjoys participating in many sports, especially biking.
General Manager of AM Services, Europe
Hendrik Alfter is General Manager of Oerlikon AM Europe. He is located in Barleben, Germany, where he also oversees the business unit’s primary European production facility. He is responsible for Oerlikon AM’s European operations and for the coordination of activities with other Oerlikon businesses in Europe, as well as between AM’s six sites globally.
Prior to joining AM in September 2019, Hendrik served as the Managing Director of Oerlikon Balzers, Germany, for five years, where he led the overall tools business in that country. He successfully led several reorganization and streamlining efforts at Balzers during his tenure. Hendrik spent 15 years at Schott AG in Mainz, Germany, in roles with progressive responsibility, culminating in the Head of Lean Transformation, a post he held for 4 years. He also led a business for Schott in the UK for three years.
Hendrik studied mechanical engineering at the Technical University of Aachen (RWTH) and holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Applied Science in Aachen.
HR Business Partner, AM
Nicole is the HR Business Partner for the Oerlikon AM Business Unit. She is located in Munich (Feldkirchen), Germany, and is responsible for overseeing all human resource issues for the business unit worldwide. She also serves as Head of HR for AM in Germany.
Prior to joining Oerlikon AM in November 2019, Nicole served as the HR business partner for Denso Automotive Deutschland’s Thermal Europe Business Unit for Center North Europe for four years. She spent 13 years at Denso in a variety of leading HR positions before being named business partner. The earlier part of Nicole’s career was spent in HR positions at BDW Technologies, Otto Sauer Achsenfabrik (axle manufacturer), Deutsche Eisenbahn Consulting (German railway) and sustainable mobility firm ALSTOM Anlagen-und Automatisierungstechnik.
Nicole holds a Master of Business Administration from the IHK in Frankfurt, Germany, where she also studied business with a specialization in human resources.
“I love working with people! Every day brings something new and seeing the development of both people and business gives me joy and energy. The ‘H’ in HR was and is always the driver for me.”
Nicole loves to spend her time in nature, in the mountains with her family for skiing and hiking and enjoys scuba diving and swimming at the seaside.
Head of AM R&D
Mikkel Pedersen is Head of Oerlikon AM’s R&D team. His team of 12 scientists and engineers provides development support to the Oerlikon AM production sites and conducts research for the additive manufacturing industry.
Our goal is to enable new products developed for AM and understand the gaps with existing materials to enable the development of future alloys. I´m proud to lead a team of innovators and new knowledge generators who are not afraid to challenge the limits of the current AM technologies.
Mikkel has worked in additive manufacturing his whole career, first joining Oerlikon AM in 2017, where he focused on projects for the aerospace, defense and space industries.
Previously Mikkel worked as a Design & Analysis Engineer for additive manufacturing for GKN Aerospace Services Ltd. In the UK, where he designed components for Electron Beam Melting (EBM) and Laser Powder Bed (LPB) machines.
Mikkel holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Production and a Master of Science in Design of Mechanical Systems, both from Aalborg University in Aalborg, Denmark.
Head of AM Marketing and Communications
Anja is responsible for the development and execution of marketing and communications strategy for the AM Business Unit. With the help of a team based in Germany and the US, she oversees everything from brand management and messaging, to marketing campaigns and events to media and public relations. She also manages internal and external communications and coordinates communications between the Oerlikon Group and other Oerlikon businesses.