The e-magazine for KNX home & building control

Women in KNX: Kornelia Katzenmeier on bringing love into KNX

Kornelia Katzenmeier, founding member of Women in KNX and Manager of Futurasmus GmbH KNX Group shares her experience as a woman in leadership, encouraging women to follow their dreams.

KNXtoday: What was your introduction to KNX and your journey to becoming the Manager of Futurasmus GmbH KNX Group?

KK: In 1996, while I was working as an assistant manager in an electrical engineering company, they introduced the KNX (then EIB) building automation system, which was way ahead of its time. I was impressed by the enthusiasm of the system integrators and the optimistic spirit of the electrical engineering market.

The company had close relationships with the players in the KNX market, and in 2009, my husband and I visited Futurasmus SL in Alicante, Spain. They presented us with a fantastic multi-featured website and a comprehensive KNX portfolio in three languages. We were so excited that I said, “This is so great, we should definitely offer it in Germany.” As it made no sense for Germans to order from Spain, the idea of founding a German subsidiary company was born. I returned to Germany with a new challenge, namely to become the managing director of Futurasmus GmbH KNX Group. In November 2009 we launched Futurasmus GmbH, with Stephan Erasmus and me as joint managing directors.

KNXtoday: Did you have any significant female leaders who inspired or supported your journey?

KK: As this industry is dominated by men, there were no female managers to support me. However, the manager of Futurasmus SL, Ana-Blanca Jimenez, put her full trust in me and gave me free rein to set up Futurasmus GmbH in Germany.

KNXtoday: What challenges did you face and overcome as a woman working in KNX/the trades?

KK: After the founding of the Futurasmus GmbH KNX Group, I realised that as a woman in my position in the industry, I would have to do the KNX Partner Course. Having successfully completed this in Alicante at the beginning of 2010, I became a certified KNX partner. As a result, our customers knew that I was not just a businesswoman – I knew what I was talking about and could offer the right products for the job.

KNXtoday: What qualities do you feel women bring to the trades/ KNX?

KK: In my opinion, women possess greater vision. They are usually better diplomats and can deal with conflicts more effectively and have very high expectations of themselves, especially in this industry.

However, you have to differentiate between the areas you are working in. There is a huge difference between being a manager or a systems integrator. The tone of communication on the construction site is certainly different to that on the management floor.

Kornelia Katzenmeier demonstrating the Futurasmus GmbH KNX website.

KNXtoday: What role did you play in the founding of Women in KNX, what do you hope can be achieved and what is your advice to other women considering leadership roles?

KK: I have been a member of KNX Professionals Deutschland eV since 2010 and served as treasurer on the board for four years. Since 2022 I have been an advisory board member of KNX Deutschland eV.

When Katja Schuster had the idea of empowering women in KNX, I was immediately keen to support her. Throughout my time in the industry, I had noticed that too little was being done for women. It is very important to have a community where women can support each other and exchange ideas.

I would advise women looking at management roles to seize opportunities, grow with the work and don’t give up on your dreams. Life circumstances will change, priorities will shift, but you always have the opportunity to achieve your goals. Your profession is also your vocation.

KNXtoday: How can male allies support women’s leadership?

KK: Men should meet women on equal terms, treat them equally and acknowledge female potential positively.

KNXtoday: You helped create the hashtag #loveKNX at the Light + Building Show 2024. What role do you feel language can play in effecting change in a male-dominated workplace?

KK: In the past, KNX focussed on the functions and extensive possibilities of KNX, but these days technology alone is no longer enough today. Emotions have to be conveyed, feelings have to be addressed and love is probably the strongest feeling. Love is connected to understanding, empathy and community, and these qualities are essential in the workplace.

KNXtoday: How can people connect with you?

KK: You can find me via Futurasmus GmbH KNX Group and Women in KNX.

Kornelia Katzenmeier is CEO of Futurasmus GmbH KNX Group, a multi-functional service partner, wholesaler, training centre and test lab. She is also a founding member of Women in KNX

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JUNG area / line coupler

JUNG area / line coupler
The JUNG area / line coupler connects two KNX lines while retaining electrical isolation. Across publicly accessible areas, such as corridors ...