Meet the team
- Role title: Production Engineer
- Based: Antwerp, Belgium
- Segment: Performance Material
- Joined Evonik: July 2011
- Study: Master of Science (MSc.) in Chemical and Bioengineering at the University of Erlangen Nürnberg
Can you tell us briefly what your responsibilities are?
I focus on providing operational plants and infrastructure installations in an optimized, economical and technical manner while fulfilling w.r.t. health, safety and environment (HSE) protection requirements. I am also involved in assessing, monitoring, reviewing simulations and optimization along with HAZOP of chemical processes. A highlight of my current position has been the commissioning of butadiene and MTBE plants and leading multiple turnarounds.
What do you like most about what you do?
Working with the performance intermediates business line, our main products in Antwerp are Butadiene, Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE), 1-Butene and Dibutene. All of these products find applications in a wide range of industries, e.g. MTBE as anti-knocking agent for better performing fuels, butadiene in tire industry, 1-butene and dibutene as pre-cursors to high quality packaging and high-quality PVC for applications in the automotive and home sectors. So, in a way, my work enables me to contribute to meet demands created by mobility and urbanization trends. And this is an aspect I really appreciate. It is incredibly fascinating and satisfying.
Why should someone do this job with Evonik?
Evonik believes in developing its employees no matter what their role is. However, in this job, you get an opportunity to develop both technical and people skills. We work with cutting edge technology, manage a multicultural team, ensure safe operations and sustainable production while managing individual aspirations.
What does “Human Chemistry” mean to you?
When you are working together with your team to achieve a common goal, you spend a lot of time together either in the same offices or meeting rooms. It leads to the formation of personal bonds, affinities and trust. And all of these are ingredients to a more constructive work environment… a phenomenon I call “Human Chemistry”.
What kind of person does well at Evonik?
Someone willing to take responsibility and contribute with humility does well at Evonik. I also believe that they should be open to continue learning new things throughout their careers because they will usually come across a lot of people who are happy and willing to share their learnings and experiences.
What does “Opportunity” at Evonik mean to you?
Evonik has given me opportunity after opportunity. The first time was when I was part of team working to expand Evonik’s production capacity of C4 products. It was a three-digit million euro investment and it set me up on a steep learning curve where I learned the nuances of project development and execution. We have a team of brilliant scientists, engineers and technicians and working with them helps you to enhance your technical skillset. The second one was when I moved to Antwerp to take up the responsibilities of a production engineer at the Butadien and Raffinate plant. It gave me the chance to continue my work in C4 domain. These would easily be what I would call my greatest Evonik opportunities.
How would you describe Evonik’s “Team Spirit”?
Being part of a team working together towards a common goal is central to the work culture at Evonik. I have experienced that when a team finds itself in challenging circumstances, one still has the comfort of knowing that additional help and assistance is not too far, irrespective of departments and levels. And this is exactly the trust which we offer to other teams and it helps us to perform better and contribute to the bottom line of Evonik.
Can you tell us about your experiences with flexibility at Evonik?
I needed to move to Belgium to facilitate my wife’s career aspirations. I did not speak Dutch back then, but it was easier for her to relocate to Belgium. I requested for a transfer and I received full support from my supervisors. Moreover, when I moved to Belgium, my managers and colleagues helped me to integrate and to learn the language quickly. This made a very big difference to my personal life. We now have a two-year old child and my wife is happily pursuing her career in Belgium.