Innovation and talent
Less stress, more fun.
After playing competitive ice hockey for years, Marco Minder discovered that sport can also just be fun. He also traded the hectic pace of the city for the peace and quiet of Graubünden.
Marco Minder only knows one direction: forward. He is always thinking about the future, always asking questions. Could this solution be improved? What other options do we have? Where will this approach take us? “That’s part of an engineer’s job,” he says. “You always have to keep moving forward. What we did 10 years ago is outdated today. The past is almost irrelevant.” It’s an attitude that can also make it difficult to complete a project when engineers are involved: “About 80 per cent of the total time taken on any given project is spent completing the final 20 per cent of the work. I’m the same way. It’s really not a strength of engineers,” he says with a smile.
Hung up the stick
As a project manager, it’s certainly an issue he has to deal with. The electrical and software engineer works in the field of intelligent 3D sensor technology at CEDES. This technology is used in products ranging from electric doors to self-driving cars. Marco’s interest in the field developed after another interest came to an abrupt halt. The man from Zurich originally wanted to become a professional ice hockey player. Since the age of four, he had played and trained three to four times a week, dreaming of one day becoming a professional – but his plans were halted by a cruciate ligament rupture.
His life went in a new direction. After an apprenticeship as an electrician, he studied electrical engineering and then obtained a post-graduate degree in software engineering from the HSR University of Applied Sciences Rapperswil before starting his first job at CEDES. “Back then, 12 years ago, it was still a start-up atmosphere,” says Marco. “My department was on the attic floor of a fish shop. We had a conservatory and a huge terrace, which was pretty cool.” Today, CEDES is a global leader in elevator sensors employing around 400 people worldwide.
But love drew him back to the city, at least temporarily. And love was also a factor when he returned to Graubünden and CEDES almost a year ago. “We got married in 2017 and went on an ‘extreme honeymoon’ – we quit our jobs, gave up our apartment, shipped our camper van to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and travelled across Canada for 10 months. It was during this trip that we decided that we didn’t want to return to the stress of the city. We wanted more of the countryside, and less of the urban hustle and bustle. “Choosing Graubünden was a quick and easy decision."
“Returning to the city from snowboarding in the Graubünden Alps got more and more difficult.”
Today the Minders live in Davos, with the ski slopes right on their doorstep. After being forced to give up ice hockey, Marco discovered an aspect of sports that had previously eluded him when he took up snowboarding: plain old simple fun. “For me, ice hockey has always been about performing. Having fun meant playing well. And then I got on a snowboard and couldn’t do it at all, but I enjoyed it. It was quite a profound experience for me. Even today, I’m still not really any good at it.” He laughs. Perhaps this new relaxed attitude has something to do with the place he now calls home.