Olaf discovered his passion for lab automation while working for a small Biotech startup in the foothills of the Alps in southern Bavaria. In his next role he helped automate high-throughput fungicide and herbicide spray booths for a large German chemical company, based on the Packard MultiProbe 2. After a stint at Packard headquarters near Chicago he took over as head of the applications group at newly acquired Carl Creative Systems turned CCS Packard in Torrance, California. Some of the PlateTrak machines he programmed were used in the late-stage Human Genome Project at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Mass. Out of this emerged Agencourt Bioscience, the first commercial outfit offering Sequencing-as-a-Service, aside from bead-based cleanup kits. Olaf joined Agencourt in 2001 to build the automated sequencing pipeline and quickly homed in on the Beckman Biomek FX platform. After Beckman bought Agencourt in 2005, Olaf started Alpaqua in 2006 as an automation consultant for Biomek robots. Soon the focus shifted towards automation accessories, specifically the highly successful magnet plate product line. Today, Alpaqua magnet plates are trusted by all major Liquid Handling companies and recommended in many reagent kits.
Olaf holds a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg, Germany.
About Our Name
The name Alpaqua was originally chosen for a potential product, a bulk reagent dispenser for the liquid handler deck. “ALP” is an acronym in the Biomek world, meaning Automated Labware Positioner, and Aqua of course is water. The product never came to be, but the name stuck.