Anton Brumer
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Anton Brumer

"Actually, retirement is waiting - but I'm not drawn away from here".

A sign on the door to Anton Brumer's workshop reads "Second home". Colleagues gave it to him and it hits the nail on the head. "I like coming here every day," says the 64-year-old. He enjoys working with wood alone and in peace, but he also likes supporting students and professors in various projects. Anton Brumer is a technical staff member in the woodworking department at the Department of Forestry, and has been for 21 years.

Born in Hallertau, he has always enjoyed working with wood. After school, he completed both carpentry and agriculture training, but boards, saws and planes ultimately kept the upper hand. After 17 years as a carpenter, Anton Brumer worked for a while at TUM in vegetable production, from where he finally switched to HSWT, because: "I like carpentry better, it's my thing."

"My work is valued"

However, his tasks at the HSWT go beyond that. For example, he assists in wood science teaching by preparing the different types of wood for the students' identification exercises. During practical exercises in the forest, the Freisinger by choice guides the machines and takes care of much of the background work. In doing so, as well as in looking after the university's own energy forest, which is his responsibility, he sometimes has to deal with challenging assignments such as tree felling work, where a lot of professional skill is required. "We get the appropriate training, of course. It never gets boring," he says, and that is exactly what he likes about his job. Just like the fact that he is largely his own boss and has peace and quiet when working, but at the same time has a friendly circle of colleagues and a great faculty management. "We are all an excellent team here, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I really appreciate the interaction with my colleagues and the students," emphasises Anton Brumer. And, also very important: "My work is valued."

Another enriching aspect for him is being involved in the practical implementation of research projects; in some cases, his wood creations make the projects possible in the first place. "For example, I built the woodpecker cavities for Prof. Zahner's research project on the black woodpecker and assisted with the installation of the photo traps. It's exciting to see what other animals are photographed there. I like the fact that I'm always kept up to date on what's happening with the projects, too."

A few years ago, Anton Brumer helped a student build a wooden bicycle as part of a bachelor's thesis. "I was able to contribute my expertise, he relied heavily on me," he recalls. "The bicycle then also worked well."

First the joy, then the pleasure

The workshop – his "second home" – is furnished according to his professional discretion. "When I started at HSWT, I was able to equip the workshop as I saw fit. Since then, it has been modernised where necessary. I am very satisfied." After work, things continue at home in a slightly smaller workshop. "It's almost as good," laughs Anton Brumer. Compensation for the job? Is the wrong question in this case. Because Anton Brumer is one of those people who have actually turned their passion into a profession - without losing it in the process. "My hobby is handicrafts. At the moment, I provide my nieces and nephews with Swiss stone pine beds," says the father of two grown-up daughters. Recently, there is also an e-bike that tries to compete with the workshop after work, sometimes with more, sometimes with less success.

In any case, Anton Brumer is not thinking about quitting for a long time yet. "Actually, retirement is waiting, but I'm not moving away from here. I don't have any big plans for retirement, unlike my wife," he says with a smile. "I just want to stay at HSWT as long as possible."