Joined Infineum in 2005
I joined Infineum in 2005 as a Process Contact Engineer based in Cologne after graduating in chemical engineering. Much of the role involved operational troubleshooting, developing and implementing improvements as well as debottlenecking. I was also leading plant trials e.g. to develop new products collaborating closely with various other groups of Infineum.
After three years I was promoted to Area Manager responsible for two production units. Beside the responsibility for the units and the colleagues running them, this new position forced me to develop more strategic and long-term oriented thinking approaches. Leading the operational teams and being a member of the site management team also strengthened my leadership skills.
After three years, an opportunity arose to move into a different part of Infineum and I decided to join our sales force as Sales Account Manager responsible for the Fuels business, with a particular focus on our markets in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Eastern European market including Russia. It was a big challenge, but challenge motivates and drives me.
During my time in Fuels this role was enhanced by adding the technical responsibility to the commercial one - I really enjoyed the experience in Sales.
In 2015, I took a position in the Technology department as a Lubes Deployment Technologist, another great challenge. I learned about Infineum’s markets and business (outside Fuels) and got great insights into our Lubes formulations and components.
In 2020 I joined Infineum’s Sustainability team as Sustainability Implementation Lead. Another great challenge where I can build on all my previous experiences. One of the key deliveries of this role is to integrate sustainability thinking and criteria into our business and technology processes. We want to assess the sustainability of our existing and future products in a holistic way to ensure that Infineum as well as our products are creating a sustainable future.
Process Contact Engineer
Technical Sales Account Manager (Fuels)
Lubes Deployment Technologist
Sustainability Implementation Lead
Typical day at Infineum
In my previous role as a Deployment Technologist, I was the key technical customer interface, so a typical day for me was driven by customer requests and projects. Activities and projects that were not specific to an individual customer were another key element of this role. All of those could 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 sometimes also required interaction with various other functions and groups within Infineum such as Sales, Industrial Liaison, and Development.
What did you enjoy most about your role?
Being stretched by the technology. It was an ongoing learning process for me and while there were frustrations, these were 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.