As a member of Evonik Perspectives of Evonik, Philipp has always stayed in close contact with the company during his university studies. In our students@Evonik Blog he talks about his experiences and his plans.
I am Philipp and I am currently doing my PhD in Bochum at the Chair of Technical Chemistry. I believe that we can only cope with the problems of our time (here, the imminent climate catastrophe is very consciously and explicitly mentioned)) within a global framework. With this experience report, I would like to give you a brief impression of how Evonik has supported and shaped me in terms of my career so far.
My story with Evonik began in 2014, when I started my dual studies at Evonik in the Chemical Park in Marl after graduating from high school. In addition to the apprenticeship as a chemical laboratory assistant, I studied chemical engineering at the time. During the first 2 years, the proportion of presence in the company was so high (3-4 days/week) that I was able to work my way through almost all departments of the local process engineering as an apprentice. There, in addition to the usual laboratory technician tasks, I also learned to design, set up and operate small-scale systems. Apart from working in the chemical park, I studied chemical engineering at the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences for 1-2 days during the first 3 semesters, then 4-5 days a week from semester 4 onwards. In addition to the curriculum, which is flexibly tailored to dual students, it was also possible to make a large number of contacts at the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences. Not only did Evonik send students to Krefeld at that time. Other well-known companies in the chemical industry were also represented. The program gave me the opportunity to study financially independently already in the bachelor's degree and at the same time made it possible for me to gain numerous practical experiences in practical work.
After completing my bachelor's degree, Evonik continued to support me in my master's degree in the Department of Chemistry at the Ruhr-University Bochum in the framework of the Evonik scholarship program. In addition to the financial support, the scholarship program included mentoring meetings and regular scholarship holder events. These events, which were always organized with a lot of effort, were not only extremely instructive due to the many lectures by Evonik experts, but they were also always fun.
When I decided against a direct career entry and in favor of a doctoral degree after my master's degree, I became a participant in the student retention program "Evonik Perspectives". In addition to my current PhD studies, where I mainly deal with heterogeneously catalyzed methanol synthesis, Evonik is currently supporting me with my newest project: learning Chinese. As already mentioned, I am convinced that we can only tackle global problems such as the climate crisis, acting globally. Here, I am particularly interested in implementing sustainability ideas in a functioning value chain. Whether it is through the attempt to recycle CO2-containing exhaust gases in order to reduce CO2 emissions on the one hand and at the same time produce valuable platform chemicals for our generally carbon-based economy, or through the optimization of already existing value chains and analogue concepts.
It may not be easy to understand how one can stand up for sustainability and still be interested in chemistry. A very good answer here is the sustainable orientation of Evonik. Aside from having the opportunity to work on interesting and socially relevant problems, I am convinced that Evonik has the necessary influence through its global positioning to really make a difference through innovation.
With this in mind, I'm curious to see where I'll end up after my PhD studies. Maybe we will see each other soon in one of the many good canteens at the Evonik sites.
On the students@Evonik blog, students, who work at Evonik, share their experiences about life and work in the company.
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