Matthias Laubenstein, CONTRACT DIRECTOR PORTALS & RAMPS AND LANDWORKS
Matthias and the tunnel home
As an engineer, I’ve been involved in building tunnels in a number of places around the world – for instance in China, Germany and Austria. I come from Germany, and the thought of working in Denmark has always fascinated me. I’ve always spent my holidays in Scandinavia – especially in Jutland. It’s no secret that I’m delighted to be part of the team that will connect Denmark and Germany through an 18 km tunnel on the seabed.
I’ve been working on the project for nine years. Based in Copenhagen, I’ve been responsible for the German plan approval work, and it’s been extremely exciting, challenging and, at times, great fun. I’ve dealt with plan hierarchies, enjoyed a lot of freedom and support from colleagues and my boss. I’m currently responsible for the portals and ramps – i.e. where cars and trains enter and exit the tunnel. This is a new and challenging assignment.
You might think that the Danish and German approaches to the work are rather similar, but the way engineers operate is very different. While German engineers will often stick closely to the rules, Danish engineers work innovatively, look out into the world to find state-of-the-art solutions and then deploy them. I can be a little envious of that. I would love to have all that mental freedom, but of course, I have a German mindset and every now and then, I step on the brakes when my Danish colleagues rush forward with ideas. In this way, we complement each other very well. We try to understand each other and, through mutual respect, look to find the best solution.
To me, it’s not the tunnel itself that I’m most proud of, it’s everything that the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel will mean to so many people. A completely new region will be created with a new and common understanding of the Danish and German culture.
I’m also looking forward to the tunnel from a personal viewpoint. To be able to return home to my family more quickly and easily. Once a week, I drive to and from Copenhagen and East Holstein. With the tunnel, I’ll be home in two hours, which will give me more time for my family, friends and other interests.
I’M DELIGHTED TO BE PART OF THE TEAM THAT WILL CONNECT DENMARK AND GERMANY THROUGH AN 18 KM TUNNEL