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Claus Nielsen

Facility Manager & Research Audiologist since 1987

 

What do you do at Eriksholm?

“I am a Research Operations Manager and Senior Research Audiologist. The primary aspect of my work lies within operations. That means I am responsible for facility management and financial supervision to assist our Senior Director, Uwe Hermann.”

And you have worked here for how long now?

"I applied 30 years ago, more or less. I applied because I wanted to work with people with hearing impairment in a clinical environment. At the time I was working in the public hearing system, but gradually became fed up with the limited amount of time we had to work with the people who came into our clinic. I wanted to work in a place where I had the time to talk to people and understand their predicament; at the time, that place was Eriksholm Research Centre."

What are some of the projects you have been involved with at Eriksholm Research Centre?

“I have been involved in many, many research projects, covering everything from acoustic transfer functions of in-the-ear instruments to behavioral science projects such as client-journey projects, when people realize their hearing impairment, and we work with them to map their journey to living well with their hearing loss. I have also initiated a number of projects and ideas, for example what we today know as occlusion problems. Occlusion problems describe how people perceive the sound of their own voice when they are wearing hearing aids. That was something that Eriksholm and Oticon later reaped a lot of praise for; we understood occlusion problems and made a great effort to tackle them. On top of all of that, I think it is fair to say you can refer to me as the company expert on hearing aid history, and the history of both the company and the Demant family. I run the Eriksholm Collection, our in-house museum, and can probably catalogue the past 100 years of hearing aids more or less by heart.”

What do you like the most about working at Eriksholm Research Centre?

“I would say what I like the most about working here is the freedom to operate that I am afforded. I am not a big fan of micro-management, and so I think it is really nice that I get to own my work, and do it in a way that I feel is an effective use of my time and resources.”

What are the three most important values in your life?

1. Trust – This comes back to me having the freedom to operate within my job. That freedom is the result of mutual trust between yourself and your manager, and it is something I value very much. For the same reason I aim at offering my employees the trust and independence they need to do their jobs comfortably.

2. Respect – My definition of respect in this case may differ a little from others’ definition of it. What I mean is I respect others by virtue of who they are. I do not judge people based on their religion, not their title, not where they are from, or what they like. In my eyes, the best thing we can do, is respect everyone equally.

3. Friendship – Throughout the past three or four years I have learned how important it is to have good friends you can trust. Friends you can be together with without having to say much, friends who know you well enough to ask “what is wrong?”

What do you hope Eriksholm will look like in five years?

“I really hope that – within the next five years – we have a new permanent building with offices and laboratories for our many employees. With the on-going expansion of Eriksholm Research Centre, I can imagine a moment in the not-so-distant future, where we simply do not have the space to accommodate our many employees. It is a very positive challenge that I hope we find a solution for within the next half decade. I also hope we grow our sphere of influence within technical audiology. It is something I see happening gradually now, but I would like that trend to continue. As my manager, Senior Director Uwe Hermann, once said, he would like people to be leaning over the fence at Eriksholm, trying to peer in and find out what we are doing here. I think that is a very noble goal.”

What do you do in your spare time?

“I enjoy, for one, geocaching, otherwise referred to as “GPS treasure hunting”. I have practiced geocaching for the past six years both in Denmark and around the world. On occasion, I have had the opportunity to travel just for geocaching, which is always an amazing experience, and I get to meet a lot of crazy people like myself, who enjoy this global treasure hunt. I also like to ride my old vintage motorcycle whenever the schedule and weather permits. I also love cooking; originally I actually wanted to work as a chef, but – fortunately for me, as I love my job now – I did not pursue those dreams. On a final note, I enjoy spending quality time with my family and loved ones.”