Passionate about environmental issues, frisbee golf and Nordkalk – That’s Thomas Kurtén

Thomas Kurtén’s first encounter with Nordkalk was in 2014 when he participated in an excursion to Nordkalk as a masters student. That visit immediately ignited his interest for Nordkalk, Thomas says. Thomas is a 31-year-old process and systems engineer from Åbo Akademi.

“Environmental issues have always been a big part of my life. My master’s thesis consisted of optimising tall oil production. In my BSc thesis, I wrote about solar power; usage of solar power for preheating of water in family houses. It may come as no surprise to learn that I have built my own house in Pargas.”

What makes you you?

“I am the proud father of two small children. I’m called Kurre, which is a name that has been in my family since the late 19th century. My great-great grandfather wrote a love letter to my great-great grandmother signing it with your Kurre.”

A fun fact about you?

“I am “a little bit” obsessed with frisbee golf and I have even participated in the frisbee golf amateur European Championships.”

How did you end up at Nordkalk?

“I initially applied for a summer job at Nordkalk, and that is how I ended up working at the production in Pargas. I left to gain more work experience at an engineering company, and later ended up at a Volvo bus body manufacturer (Carrus Delta) in sales. However, I always wanted to return to Nordkalk.  A position for an application manager was open and I applied for it. The position is fully dedicated to the fossil free lime project.”

How long have you worked for Nordkalk and what do you do?

“I am back at Nordkalk since November 2021. I used to be an operator for the Parfill Production. I currently work as an application manager in the R&D team.”

What does an application manager do? Can you describe your regular work week?

“An application manager is responsible for product development at Nordkalk. We are 5 application managers in the R&D team and we all work on different segments and projects. My main goal is to reduce CO2 emissions at Nordkalk. Given my background and expertise, my focus lies in process development. “

If you didn’t work as an application manager what else cwould you do at Nordkalk?

“Reducing CO2 emissions  has long been a passion of mine, so I’m thrilled I get to do exactly that. However, I could work in sales where I would utilise my extensive minor in industrial economics combined with my strong background of having worked in sales. I also know the Parfill process by heart and have previously written some guidelines for Parfill.“

Why did you want to work for Nordkalk?

“I have always liked the values set by Nordkalk and the way of thinking in the company. The company has very clear values. Nordkalk is also integrated with the community, which I find important having moved to Pargas.”  

Do you find your work meaningful?

“Absolutely. I feel that in my day to day activities I can work towards a more sustainable future with lower CO2 emissions and lower usage of fossil fuels.

This is my way of fighting climate change. Reducing CO2 emissions is important, especially for our future generations. I think it is very meaningful to be able to provide a more sustainable future for my children and for the next generations to come.”

What is best about your job?

“I enjoy being able to work with a lot of talented people from different fields of knowledge for a common goal.”

What do you normally tell people about Nordkalk as a workplace?

“A lot of laymen don’t seem to know what lime is used for actually, so I often end up talking to people about the meaning of lime and calcium carbonate in their everyday lives. I love talking about lime stone, and my fiancée thinks I talk about lime far too much, actually. Many of my friends are also quite concerned about the environment and I can tell them with pride about our company’s road map towards a fossil free future.”

How do you tackle challenges of your job?

“I have a great boss that I can consult whenever I need to. I also work with a great team who are happy to help when needed. Likewise I’m always happy to help a colleague out.

I have variety of different colleagues, who I can consult as and when needed. I certainly feel supported by the R&D team. We also have team building days, which enhance our teamworking skills and help us get to know each other. Last time we had a pizza making competition.”

Do you think there is room for you to grow your career at Nordkalk?

“Absolutely. I’m looking forward to learning more about mergers and acquisitions, which is my next personal goal to achieve. I’m also considering doing a PhD if a suitable topic arises. I’m happy to work both in Finland, as well as abroad. Ultimately, one day I would like to be a technical director, and become an expert in the technical sector. I also hope to see the work I put in now materialize into a CO2 free future”.

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