Thomas Sebald is an internationally known expert on electrostatics, measurement of electrostatic charges, and particle-induced problems. He has more than 30 years of experience in the field, starting working with ionizers and cleanroom technology while still enrolled at university. His entire career is focused on solving particle-induced problems or damages caused by electrostatic charges – be it as a consultant or a product developer.
His first encounter with the field of electrostatics was at a startup in Berlin, working to finance his studies. Here he was tasked with a research study on the effectiveness of ionizers in the microchip production for a manufacturer of cleanroom technology. His results showed that ionizers – a fairly new development at the time – were useful and needed to protect the sensitive microchips against electrostatic charges and thereby enhance the yield of a production factory.
However, back then ionizers compatible with cleanroom environments were not available. After receiving his degree in physics and chemistry from the TU Berlin in 1985, Sebald was hired by the abovementioned startup to develop such an ionizer. After successfully completing the development he busied himself as a product manager selling the cleanroom ionizer. Through the direct contact with his customers – sales pitches usually happened in the factories – Sebald got to know their problems and needs with regards to the production processes. Additionally he intensified his knowledge on cleanroom technology and gained practical experience in the field.
All of this served him in good stead when he decided to start his own company in 1990. Inelio (short for Industrial Consultancy Firm for Electrostatics and Ionization) started with consulting on electrostatic and particle related problems but soon moved on to the development and production of cleanroom technology. Employing 30 people at two locations in Germany the company overreached and had to declare bankruptcy in 1999.
Having established himself as an expert by then, Thomas Sebald was able to found his second company Estion Technologies KG that same year. He concentrated again on services and consulting and ran the company as a “one man show” for several years. Aided by his previous experience Sebald was able to sustainably grow Estion over the last 17 years.