Mikhail Brychkov, once a student at Saint Petersburg Mining University, is now Regional Director at Zeppelin Russland, one of the world’s largest Caterpillar dealers for heavy machinery & equipment.
One of the most efficient ways to train engineers capable of operating and maintaining equipment is to ensure that university curricula include lectures and workshops on how to handle the machines. One can learn how to use and work with Caterpillar machinery at the training facility of Zeppelin Russland, which was established on Mining University’s premises. So far, it is the only Caterpillar’s training unit in Russia.
“The training center enriched the university’s already rich research and laboratory infrastructure. I am a graduate of Mining University myself, so I know about the quality of education it offers. And I do believe the university opened doors for me,” notes Mikhail.
“In my third year, I won the President of Russia Scholarship, which allows studying abroad. The next year I spent studying underground mining techniques and field-specific software at Freiberg University of Mining and Technology. As part of my studies, I also underwent a two-month-long internship in South Africa at De Beers. This international corporation specializes in diamond mining, exploitation and trading,” adds Mikhail.
The former Mining University’s student has been working at the Russian subsidiary of Zeppelin for eleven years already. He started as a sales representative for quarry machinery. Commerce did not initially interest Mikhail, but the company profile influenced his choice.
Zeppelin Russland offers various products – road-building machinery, power units, mining and quarrying equipment, and automatic control systems for roadmaking. Since mining is one of Russia’s leading sectors, Zeppelin Russland set up a separate mining department. When hiring new employees, its director intentionally prefers mining engineers over others.
“We have always had Mining University’s graduates among our employees. The department’s specialists conduct feasibility studies and comparisons, field tests; they also validate pre-production samples of equipment at enterprises,” elaborates Mikhail, the Regional Director of the Department of Construction and Road-Building Machinery for the Central Federal District.
“When placing an order, customers – chief engineers and heads of organizations – look for a partner, rather than a seller. They want to talk to a specialist who understands the purpose of using machinery, conditions of use, challenges of using it. It has to be someone who will help them select the machine they need. As the consumer decides between competitors, they compare more than just some basic technical parameters. It’s a technology battle that requires us being tech-savvy,” he explains.
Two years after joining Zeppelin Russland, Mikhail was appointed the Head of Projects. He became responsible for cooperation with key companies – LaFarge, Holcim, Sibelco, Heidelbergcement, Knauf, – all of which are present in Russia. Thereupon he moved to the Department of Construction and Road-Building Machinery for the Central Federal District, and in 2019 took the position of Regional Director. At this job, Mikhail coordinates supplies of machinery and technical assistance for equipment delivered to road-building companies and organizations involved in the extraction and realization of industrial materials.