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The freedom to think long term.

When experienced professionals enter well-deserved retirement, they also take their wealth of experience with them. Diehl Defence has found a way to keep this knowledge in the company.


Start-ups are popping up like mushrooms everywhere. But which technologies have a future and how can a large corporation learn from young companies?


People sit up to 18 hours in an aircraft. How can light contribute to the passengers' wellbeing? How can flying be made an experience?
“Thanks to the ‘EXPERTise’ program our new employees start their professional future with profound knowledge.”
Mrs. Tina Steimer
Personnel Specialist, Diehl Defence
“We are not looking for the legendary white unicorn among start-ups, but for long-term partners!”
Dr. Mathias Glasmacher
Head of Technology of the Diehl Group and Managing Director of Diehl Ventures
"When a passenger feels comfortable onboard an aircraft, he will come back-"
Dirk-Achim Schevardo
Business Development Manager for Cabin Systems

Keeping knowledge in the company – Valuing and using experience

The organization forcibly loses a wealth of knowledge and experience when an employee with long years of experience goes into well deserved retirement. A talented successor can usually match the full scope of this loss only after several years. The organization suffers due to this loss, while the retiree doesn’t feel appreciated and the successor possibly feels overtaxed. Therefore, Diehl Defence has developed a process that regulates the transfer of knowledge and experience from so-called senior experts to respective successors.

Tina Steimer, Personnel Specialist at Diehl Defence, is responsible for the transformation process EXPERTise at Diehl Defence: “This helps us secure and transfer knowhow in the organization on one hand, and manage a regulated transition between the generations of so-called babyboomers and wonder kids of the economy to the graduates and young professionals of Generation Y on the other.”

A so-called generation tandem is formed for this purpose, where both involved jointly create a structured job map with all important fields of knowledge with the support of an expert from the HR department and derive measures from it to transfer the knowledge in three to six months. Videos and podcasts are also used in this process.

Daniel Schmid and Günther Thurner are one such generation tandem. “It simply makes me happy, as a longstanding employee, that my  knowledge will continue to be useful to the company with Daniel Schmid. He will probably tackle many things differently, but “EXPERTise” is a good foundation.”, Günther Thurner affirmed. Daniel Schmid states the practical benefits: “I have taken a giant step forward through my training period in tandem. I can better understand the special processes in our business division due to the work with Mr.Thurner. The documents we developed give me the reassuring feeling that I can always access the knowhow of my predecessor.

Knowledge Transformation at Diehl Defence

“We undertake these efforts for three reasons”, explains Tina Steimer. “For one, the sustained transfer of strategic knowledge ensures the success of our organization in the long term. Secondly, we can visibly show our appreciation to our experienced experts. After all, it is their life’s work that they are handing over to the next generation. And lastly, we provide our newly appointed employees from generation Y the requisite strategic knowhow for their professional future thanks to EXPERTise.”

The EXPERTise project of Diehl Defence was awarded the 1st place in 2015 at theHR Excellence Awards in the category Knowledge Management.


  • Mrs. Tina SteimerPersonnel Specialist
    Phone +49 911 957-0
    Fax +49 911 957-2510
  • Fischbachstraße 16 90552 Röthenbach a. d. Pegnitz

Connecting fresh ideas with long years of experience

How does a group remain innovative in the long run? Long years of experience can also lead to operational blindness, making it difficult for unconventional ideas to thrive. True to the maxim: “We did try it once but fell flat on our faces.” But many ideas only need appropriate timing and the right team to get established successfully. However, many corporations are finding it difficult to adopt the right perception for this truth.

Technological experience and fresh ideas complement each other at Diehl Ventures.

Diehl relies on the development of own ideas as well as the innovative power of start-ups. The anchoring point for start-ups is Diehl Ventures GmbH, a company that is linked to the central technology of the Diehl Group. Experts, who work for this corporate venture capital company, search for technologies, products and business models matching our own and identify and evaluate the existing opportunities together with representatives of the business divisions.

“We are not looking for the legendary white unicorn among the start-ups, but for partners in a long term collaboration through which both the Diehl Group as well as the start-up can progress positively!”, this is how Dr. Mathias Glasmacher, Head of Technology of the Diehl Group and Managing Director of Diehl Ventures describes the task. “Both sides can learn optimally from each other while testing innovative approaches and technologies. And the start-up can develop positively with our investment, our access to the market and our know-how.”

Currently Diehl Ventures is looking specifically for start-ups with fields of activity that match the strategic targets of our business divisions. These especially include new approaches from the fields of metal processing, connectivity, security, aviation and meter data management.

Connecting innovation and experience.

  •  “Based on extensive experience, in-depth professional know-how and profound market knowledge of the employees of the Diehl Group, we are in a position to evaluate very well, whether and in what period of time new products and business models can become successful”

Rockethome is one example of collaboration between Diehl and a soaring start-up. This company from Cologne is being supported by Diehl Ventures since 2016 and has already received -for the second time in succession in the same year -the renowned Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Award.


  • Dr. Mathias GlasmacherHead of Technology
    Phone +49 911 947-2002
    Fax +49 911 947-3429
  • Stephanstraße 49 90478 Nürnberg

Light Verification Center

The Light Verification Center of Diehl Aviation has a floor space of more than 1000 sq m. It is the largest facility of its kind in Germany where the effect of light in aircraft cabins is tested. Passengers are to constantly feel comfortable during up to 18 hours of flight. "Cabin lighting is of great importance for a person's biological clock, and the service crew uses lighting to structure the flight phases. That means for us: every flight phase must have appropriate cabin lighting," Dirk-Achim Schevardo explains.

Depending on the respective cultural origin, light is perceived in different ways and so we adapt it to the airline’s wishes: "Scandinavian airlines like warm, bright light; in the Asian region, cooler, bluish light is preferred" Schevardo describes the different tastes. In this context, the surfaces reflecting the light are decisive. "We try to "paint by light": that means all surfaces should be illuminated evenly."

In top-of-the-range aircraft construction, designers use select materials and want to stage them appropriately. Dirk-Achim Schevardo remembers a customer who wanted to accentuate a particular kind of wood veneer: "However, dark wood absorbs a huge amount of light and thus requires a specially adjusted light source. We see ourselves as a link between engineers, designers, marketing experts and businessmen. This is of particular importance if the customer cannot describe his problem in detail."

Aircraft Projection System

  • Diehl Aviation regularly shows at exhibitions what is possible in aircraft cabins:  

Diehl Aviation is known as a supplier with highest quality standards. This is what matters in our sector: “It is important to us that lights can be replaced rapidly and our high quality standards ensure a low failure rate. Nevertheless, we want to sell the light effects in the cabin, not the technology as such or individual lamps. The amount of effort we spend on that guarantees the best results for our customers.” 

In order to show the multiple effects of light in the cabin, our employees check the customer's requirements in detail: "Light can make flying an experience again. We offer design workshops to show what is possible. In the cabin roof or in a light dome, we make emerge a starry sky, the airline's logo or duty-free products. 

The success of Diehl Aviation proves us right: “All Airbus aircraft and almost the entire Boeing aircraft family are equipped with Diehl lighting systems,” Dirk-Achim Schevardo proudly states.


  • Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Dirk-Achim SchevardoManager Business Development Cabin Systems
  • Diehl Aviation Donaustraße 120 90451 Nürnberg
Diehl Stiftung & Co. KG © 2018