'Second home' is written on a sign on the door to Anton Brumer’s workshop. The sign is a gift from his colleagues, and it hits the nail on the head. "I’m in here every day," says the 64-year-old. He loves working with wood, alone and in peace, but also enjoys supporting students and professors on various projects. Anton Brumer is a technical employee in woodworking at the Department of Forestry, and has been for 21 years.
The Hallertau native has always loved working with wood. After finishing school, he completed training in both carpentry and agriculture, but the world of planks, saws and planers ultimately won him over. After 17 years as a carpenter, Anton Brumer spent some time working in vegetable cultivation at TUM before finally moving to HSWT, because: "I prefer carpentry – that’s my thing."
His work at HSWT goes beyond carpentry, though. He supports wood science classes, for example, by preparing the various types of wood required for the students’ identification exercises. When students undertake practical exercises in the forest, Brumer manages the machines and does a lot in the background. During these exercises, as well as when managing the university’s energy forest, for which he is responsible, Brumer is required to carry out some challenging tasks – such as tree felling, which requires a great deal of professional skill. "Of course, we receive the appropriate training. It never gets boring," he says, and that is precisely what he loves about his job. Plus the fact that he is mostly his own boss and is able to get on with his work in peace, but still has a friendly bunch of colleagues around him and great department management. "We make a fantastic team; I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else. I really enjoy interacting with my colleagues and the students," Anton Brumer says. And, also very important: "My work is appreciated."
Another important aspect for him is that he gets to be involved in the practical implementation of research projects, and sometimes these projects would not even be possible without his wooden creations. "For example, I built the woodpecker cavities for Prof. Zahner’s research project on the black woodpecker and helped with the installation of camera traps. It is exciting to see which other animals are captured in this set-up. I like that I am always kept informed on the outcome of the projects as well."
A few years ago, Anton Brumer helped a student to build a wooden bicycle as part of his bachelor’s thesis. "It gave me the opportunity to use my expertise; he really depended on me," he recalls. "The bike actually worked well too."
The workshop – his 'second home' – has been set up according to his professional judgement. "When I started at HSWT, I was able to set up the workshop in the way that seemed most sensible to me. It has been modernised as necessary since then. I am very happy with it." After work, Brumer heads home to yet more projects but in a slightly smaller workshop. "It has almost the same equipment," Anton Brumer says with a chuckle. So what does he do to unwind from work? That is the wrong question in this case. Anton Brumer is one of those people who has made his passion into a career – without losing the joy he gets from it. "I love creating things with my hands. I’m currently making Swiss stone pine beds for my nephews and nieces," explains the father of two adult daughters. He recently also acquired an e-bike, which competes with the workshop for his attention when he gets home from work – with varying degrees of success.
When it comes to the prospect of stopping, Anton Brumer does not give the idea much thought. "Retirement actually awaits – but it can’t tempt me away from here. I don’t have any big plans for when I finish working, unlike my wife," he says, smiling. "I just want to stay at HSWT for as long as possible."