Lubricant Deployment Technologist, Germany

Joerg Simon
Joined Infineum in 2005

I joined Infineum in 2005 as a Process Contact Engineer based in Cologne after completing a three year apprenticeship as a chemical operator and graduating with a degree in chemical engineering.

Much of the role involved troubleshooting, developing and implementing improvements product trials and I remained in the position for three years before being promoted to Area Manager at the plant in 2008.

This new position was much more strategic and saw me have responsibility for two production units and everyone running them. I was also a member of the site management team.

After three years, an opportunity arose for me to move into a completely different part of the company and so I joined the sales department as Sales Account Manager for the Fuels business in 2011, with a particular focus on our markets in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the East European market including Russia.

It was a big challenge but one that I asked for because this is what motivates and drives me - to be pushed and continually challenged. During my time in Fuels this role was enhanced by adding the technical responsibility to the commercial one - again a welcome stretch that fits with my engineering background. I really enjoyed the experience and stayed in the role for four years.

Then, in late 2015 I took up a position in the Technology department as a Lubes Deployment Technologist. It has been another big change and challenge, but again is one I asked for because I wanted to learn more about Infineum and specifically the lubes part of the business.

  • Year

    Position

  • Process Contact Engineer

  • Area Manager

  • Technical Sales Account Manager (Fuels)

  • Lubes Deployment Technologist 

Typical day at Infineum

As a Deployment Technologist, I am the key technical customer interface, so a typical day for me is driven by customer requests and projects. Activities and projects that are not specific to an individual customer are another key element of this role. All of those can vary from product recommendations, tailoring of existing technologies to the development of new formulations as well as designing and running test programmes to show product performance against industry and OEM specifications. This may also require interaction with various other functions and groups within Infineum like Sales, Industrial Liaison, and Development.

What do you enjoy most about your current role?

Being stretched by the technology. It’s an ongoing learning process for me at the moment and while there are frustrations, these are far outweighed by the satisfaction in the learning and mastering of something new.

Describe the culture at Infineum

Transparent, open and honest. It’s a culture where it’s ok to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them.

I’d also say there are high expectations but you’ll be recognised and rewarded if you perform, deliver and from time to time also exceed what you’ve committed to.

Is there a certain type of employee at Infineum?

Most employees are self-driven and logically structured in their thinking, and many have strong backgrounds in engineering and chemistry.

What’s the best thing about working at Infineum?

The accountability and autonomy. In all of my roles I’ve had the autonomy I have needed to get things done how I see best, but support has also always been there if needed.

I also think the flexibility is a big plus because Infineum offers a lot of development opportunities. When I joined as an engineer, I didn’t dream about being in a sales role but it happened and it was a great experience.

What piece of advice would you give to someone interested in joining Infineum?

Be prepared to take a long term view and think ahead - ask yourself where you want to be in five or ten years’ time. It is really important.

Also be willing to help drive your own development because if you prove yourself opportunities might come up to move into other areas of the business.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I was a voluntary firefighter in Germany up until around two and a half years ago, which was very rewarding and helped me to focus. I gave this up when my twin daughters were born - they take up a lot of my spare time now! But I love it and wouldn’t have it any other way.

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