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Imagine an actuary working at ZEISS Microscopy…

Dr Marc Busse is actuary. He is working as Image Processing Solutions Manager at ZEISS Microscopy which is a quite unusual path for an actuary. Hence he hasn’t met any colleague in this field yet. In our interview he talks about his career and how he ended up in his current position.
Written on 10/04/21
Dr Busse, You are Solutions Manager at ZEISS Microscopy. What do you have to do in this position? 

I’m creating a new team (ZEISS Solutions Lab) that will provide our customers with fully-automated and customised microscopy solutions including image analysis, for example, to recognise defects in electronic components, to measure the fibres in Covid-19 masks or for routine forensic analysis.

You started your professional career in the reinsurance industry. What made you move from a more conventional field for actuaries to ZEISS? And how did you end up in your current position?

In reinsurance I worked a lot with data science methods. A few years ago this topic began to trend and many companies were suddenly looking for a data scientist. Because I had always had a love of optical instruments, I was tempted to switch industries.

To create my current position, I first of all had to convince the Management of the idea of a Solutions Lab and then actually do what I had promised I would do.
At first glance it seems a little unusual for an actuary to be working at a manufacturer of microscopy systems. Is it actually unusual? 

Granted, I haven’t met any other actuaries in my field yet. Nevertheless I’ve already been able to use my actuarial knowledge, particularly the many statistical methods and ways to handle data, on many occasions. 

How does your work differ from the work in a classic actuarial environment in the insurance industry?

We work directly with hardware. That means you sometimes even have to reach for a screwdriver. When it comes to data analysis we work a lot with image files and less with relational data. Otherwise there is not much difference.

Finally one personal question if I may: what do you do in your spare time to strike a balance to your professional life?

We do a lot of stand-up paddleboarding on the Bavarian lakes.