“It is fascinating to experience how we are putting together the puzzle.”

Benedikt Grüter, Modelling, Simulation, and Analysis Lead @ERC

“It is fascinating to experience how we are putting together the puzzle.”

Benedikt Grüter, Modelling, Simulation, and Analysis Lead @ERC

Each of our valued team members enriches our project of building an eVTOL from scratch. To realize such a challenging goal, you need people who can think outside the box, are very knowledgeable in their field, but who also keep an eye on the big picture.

In this Employee Story, we introduce our colleague Benedikt Grüter, the Modelling, Simulation and Analysis Lead is working hard with his team to make a valuable contribution to the progress of many different departments in our company.

Thank you, Benedikt, for taking the time for this interview! First, please tell us about your career. What did you do before you became part of the ERC team?

Before joining ERC, I worked as a research associate at the Institute of Flight System Dynamics at the Technical University of Munich. The goal of my research was to find the optimal means of operation of various types of vehicles, from minimizing the environmental impact of landing operations at large commercial airports to maximizing the performance of unmanned gliders (and even finding the fastest path for cars around a race track). To obtain these results, one requires an understanding of physical systems, but also mathematical methods of modelling, simulation, and optimization and even some programming skills – in short, a lot of things that are now very helpful in my daily work at ERC.

So you have a very broad range of skills, which are of course very useful for our company. What exactly is your task at ERC and what does it include?

I am leading the team working in the field we call “Modelling, Simulation, and Analysis”. As you can see, it’s kind of “back to the roots” for me here, meaning I get to apply many of the things I learned in my previous job and even when I was a university student. In short, we integrate data and models from the other technical teams to learn about the behavior and performance of the overall system – with a special focus on the flight dynamics of the aircraft. This includes the development of a flight simulator, which should give the pilot and crew a realistic sense of what flying the actual aircraft will feel like. All of this is important to ensure that we have meaningful requirements and a design that fulfills them so that it can ultimately serve the right market and be certified for its intended use.

You have chosen our company for your first job outside the university. Why did you decide to work for ERC?

I joined the team at a very early stage of the company foundation about two and a half years ago (before it actually existed). Initially, I was involved in evaluating commercial applications of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. I already knew many of my colleagues from my previous job, so I immediately had a lot of confidence in the team. At the same time, I recognized the awesome opportunity of being part of such a project right from the start. The work environment naturally developed into an increasingly familiar or even friendly one. The social integration has been exemplary from the beginning, and the onboarding process runs smoothly across all departments.

We would like to give our audience some insights into what working for ERC is like. So what does your daily working life at ERC look like?

That is hard to answer because each day is different – and that’s exactly what I love about this job. I spend quite a bit of time coordinating with my colleagues, other teams, and external suppliers. On the one hand, we are constantly extending and improving our models in close cooperation with the technical teams. On the other hand, we are supporting the other teams by providing insight into the behavior of their components within the overall system. For example, we validate the interaction of a propulsion unit or the flight control software, or even a cockpit concept, with connected systems or the crew. Finally, I always try to stay involved in the development and implementation of our models and methods to maintain a clear view of challenges and opportunities.

One of the things I enjoy most about our company is that we are very diverse…

It seems pretty clear that you are a technician through and through. Can you please tell us what can you learn at ERC besides the purely technical stuff?

At ERC you really have the opportunity to learn something new every single day. We are a tech company, so naturally, technology takes up a lot of my day. However, in a young company, there are many topics that must be addressed, including many things that are not directly related to technical work, such as planning, recruiting, and business considerations (such as exploring potential markets). However, one of the things I enjoy most about our company is that we are very diverse. Even though our team is not huge yet, it is very easy to get to know many different cultures – sometimes it almost feels like traveling without even leaving the office.

Things probably do not always run smoothly and as planned. What was your biggest challenge since working in the team at ERC?

Developing an aircraft is generally very difficult, but fortunately, we have a great team that is up to the task. I think one of our biggest challenges is deciding what to do next. Realizing this kind of project is a lot of work, and as a young company we have a limited number of colleagues, so it is very important for us to make every hour count. I try to be honest with myself and embrace feedback from my colleagues to constantly answer the question: “Am I doing the right thing right now?”

It is fascinating to experience every day how we are putting together the pieces of the puzzle and learn from each other…

ERC’s goal is to develop something that is #BiggerThanUs. What does this mean for you specifically?

Building an eVTOL is not a one-man show. I don’t think there is one person in the world who could solve this by themselves – the only way to get there is by leveraging all the skills that the entire team brings to the table. It is fascinating to experience every day how we are putting together the pieces of the puzzle and learn from each other in the process – it’s an amazing feeling, and I wish that everyone could have this experience in their professional career.

Your skillset would also be beneficial in the automotive industry or other fields, but you chose aviation. When did your passion for aeronautics begin?

My passion for aircraft was sparked by a German children’s show called “Die Sendung mit der Maus”, which aired a documentary about the production of a commercial jet when I was about ten years old. While watching, I switched my dream profession from firefighter to aircraft engineer (as I called it back then) and I stuck with it ever since. By the way, the plane from the show is still in service – I hope it has many more happy landings.

We certainly do too. Thanks Benedikt for giving us these detailed insights into your work! We really appreciate your contribution to our project that is #BiggerThanUs.

If you too have a passion for engineering and want to be part of our great project to revolutionize the future of manned flight, then take a look at our career page. We’re hiring!

About eRC-System GmbH

eRC-System GmbH develops a manned electrical vertical takeoff and landing vehicle, having all aspects of certified aerospace products in mind, right from the start. The company is closely cooperating with suppliers, partners and authorities in order to realize sustainable solutions for technical, operational, and infrastructural challenges.

ERC was founded in 2020 by a team of aerospace engineers that already has gained experience in this field for many years. Being pioneers in the development of new technologies that will last beyond a human and that will have impact on the daily lives of millions, requires ERC’s “Passioneering spirit” – the combination of passion and know-how.

Being well-funded, the initial team already grew a full-featured company around the topic that is still prospering fast and highly dynamic.