Industrial gas giant, The Linde Group, found one of its current managers, Francois Wolmarans, at the Shell Eco-marathon event, where he was originally involved in the competition as a participant.

The Linde Group is supporting this years’ Shell Eco-marathon (SEM) once again, marking its sixth consecutive sponsorship. The German-based business will exclusively supply fuel cell-powered participants with hydrogen (H2).

The event challenges students to design, build and drive the most energy-efficient vehicles, and is held annually in either the US, Europe and Asia. This year the event will be held in Detroit from 22nd-24th April.

The budding entrepreneur attended the Shell Eco-marathon event in Houston in 2014 as a member of an energy-efficient, solar vehicle design team, where he met someone from the Tier One company who gave him a golden ticket to carve out his future.

“I happened to speak with someone from the company and shared my resume,” Wolmarans explained. “She gave me her business card and it took off from there.”

Source: The Linde Group

Francois Wolmarans

His first role in the industrial gas corporation was as an application sales engineer in the Food and Beverages group, but his flair was recognised when he sold a tunnel freezer to a Mississippi seafood company. He enthused, “We developed a solution that kills a particularly virulent strain of bacteria found in oysters. Getting that first sale…Man, I was super excited.”

Talking about the company, he expressed his appreciation, “I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and Linde has really fostered it. I’m given the autonomy to be proactive, submit ideas, and take the lead. Now, several ideas I had for the technological team are under consideration. That’s pretty rewarding.”

Today, he’s a project manager for the Bulk Applications Group of Linde North America, where his primary role is the installation of contracted solutions.