What is a “grown up”?

program51 was founded in Berlin in 2018 by two seasoned project managers from the field of large infrastructure projects.
Dr. Christoph Thiel led the power line and grid connection projects at TenneT TSO covering an area from as far as the North Sea to ­southern Germany, with wide success and recognition over nine years.
Harald Lohrenscheit organised, planned and executed the ­building of pipelines, mobile and fibre optic networks as well as HVDC ­transmission lines in Europe and Asia for over thirty years.
Bringing their extensive combined knowledge in complementary fields and experience into the start-up at its foundation inspired a friend to label the start-up a “grown up”.

The impetus

The two founders, independently successful in their respective activities, met in the SuedLink project, where they jointly developed the concept of a Central Service Provider (Zentraler Dienstleister, ZDL) as a programme management model for SuedLink, to execute a large and complex infrastructure project. SuedLink is the largest land-based HVDC underground cable project worldwide with a cable route extending over 700 km. Inspired by Anglo-Saxon models for organising large projects and programmes, these models and their modus operandi were adapted to the requirements of German transmission system operators. Both the clients of SuedLink and the market reacted positively to the “ZDL” model. This encouraged the two founders to convince other customers in equipping projects and programmes with tailor-made concepts to implement them successfully.

Specialised, focused, organised

Our goal is to always deliver the best performance. Our network of lawyers for approval procedures, public relations specialists, schedulers, mathematicians for big data analysis, risk management experts and cost and controlling professionals helps us achieve our level of excellence.

Founders and managing directors

Dr. Christoph Thiel
Christoph is a physicist and received his doctorate in theoretical quantum optics. During his studies, he also worked in the field of public relations. From 2010 to 2013, Christoph was active as a project manager for the transmission system operator TenneT TSO GmbH where he managed organisational and grid connection projects for the development of offshore wind farms in the North Sea. From 2013 onwards, he led the SuedLink project team, for which his work was awarded with the Project Excellence Award by the German association for project management (Gesellschaft für Projektmanagement, GPM) in 2015. He is a member of GPM and a Level B certified project manager of the international project management ­association (IPMA).

Harald Lohren­scheit
Harald trained in gardening before receiving his Diploma in surveying engineering. He started his career in 1987 in planning and management of pipeline and mobile network development projects. From 1997 onwards, he worked as budget-controller and in the operations group of the world exhibition, Expo 2000, in Hannover. Harald then developed urban fibre optic networks in Cologne and Dusseldorf as regional manager and completed the German Ring project, a fibre optic backbone as the project manager for an American fibre optics corporation. Since 2001, he has been active as an independent consulting engineer and project manager with his own consultancy, for a multitude of international infrastructure projects in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Albania, Switzerland, Kyrgyzstan, Iran and Pakistan.