Meet the Team
November 25, 2021


In our people story, Jennifer shares how she combines her personal passion, triathlon, with her everyday work life, what project she is most proud of at Evonik and why Birmingham is special to her.

Healthcare solutions at Evonik contribute to improving lives. What solutions are you most passionate about? 

Evonik’s Parenteral Drug Delivery Services (PDS) team is working on a project to help cure cancer! It’s incredible! I am so proud to be able to work with these individuals and help support these innovations. On the site, everyone is so passionate about what we are doing and the projects that we’re working on with customers. It is infectious! This makes it hard for me to choose just a few solutions. The enthusiasm from the Medical Device Team is definitely evident and their work really speaks to me. The team has such well-equipped laboratories with four different 3D printing technologies which will help enable personalized medical care. This will ultimately contribute to the future of medical devices as we move towards using biodegradable materials which will alleviate the need for second surgeries intended to remove implants after they have served their purpose. 

What work do you do as an Operational Excellence Senior Manager at the Birmingham site?

Overall, my goal is to maximize value through efficient systems and to free up the site’s time so they can focus more on the business and production. I drive continuous improvement and optimization by reducing waste and inefficiencies at the Birmingham site. My role coordinates with all departments to innovate and implement processes that support business growth. This helps to keep the Birmingham site competitive within a pharmaceutical Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) environment. In Birmingham, we have everything as a one-stop shop with pharmaceutical manufacturing, formulation, excipient, and delivery system competence.

Coming from a chemical engineering background, what lead you to complete your MBA? How have you been able to combine skills from both degrees into your current role?

My undergraduate degree is in Chemical Engineering, and I knew at an early stage in my career that I wanted to help drive business results. To do this well, I would need to have a good knowledge base of finance, business processes, etc. which is why I decided to complete my MBA. In the few years that I have been with Evonik, I have been able to share my knowledge with new managers. Knowledge sharing, such as this, is just one example of how we help grow our team members and support each other at Evonik. 

You are an ambitious triathlete! Do you have any advice on how to combine personal passions with your everyday work life? 

For several years, I have been hooked on competing in triathlons including full Ironman events which are a total of 140.6 miles. When I moved to Birmingham to begin my career with Evonik, I learned that the site has several active runners who dedicate a couple of days during each workweek to go for a run together. I took this opportunity to use my passion for running to strengthen my relationships with my colleagues, and I began to join them. We have a local park less than a mile away from the site so we can go for a quick, nice run at lunch. During this time, we all get to learn more about the different projects going on across the site and more about each other on a personal level. My advice is to find colleagues who have similar hobbies and interests as you, so you can encourage each other to reach your personal goals alongside your career goals. 

You have helped foster a strong culture at the Birmingham site through different initiatives. Can you tell us about these initiatives and how it has influenced the team spirit on the site?

Evonik is continuously working to develop an inclusive work environment throughout the company.  The Birmingham site has developed two site specific Employee Resources Groups (ERGs) which I help lead and that I am extremely passionate about. The first ERG is the Women’s Interest Network (WIN).  WIN’s mission is to encourage and educate women to empower themselves to take ownership of their professional journey while also taking Evonik to the next level.  The second ERG is the Evonik Cultural and Health Outreach (ECHO). This ERG focuses on creating and sustaining a diverse and culturally aware workplace through educating and empowering employees to build an open and inclusive environment. Both groups help to drive change within the site and our community while developing our team members to reach their full potential.