Stay cool during stagnation

Operating Engineer for Roche

© Sergey Nivens - Fotolia

In case a manufacturing plant at Roche comes to a halt, Nikolaj needs to keep a clear head. As operating engineer it is his task to ensure that the problem is solved really quickly. In the following interview he explains, why he needs more than knowledge of mechanical engineering to solve such problems.

Nikolaj S. (29) studied ‘project engineering’ at the DHBW in Mannheim. Since 2013 he works as operating engineer for Roche in Mannheim.

What are the tasks of an operating engineer?

It’s my task to take care of the different production facilities as well as maintain the technology at the site in Mannheim. This means, predominantly I am responsible for the machinery to work properly, but also to monitor technical costs, planning and implementing maintenance work as well as doing the lifecycle documentation of each facility. Furthermore, I am involved in projects which for example have the goal to optimize or modify our facilities, in case we want to implement new products.

What do you like most about your job?

My work is very diverse, because there are constantly new tasks that need to be solved. Thus, I really enjoy the teamwork: my work affects many divisions – therefore I always have to communicate with employees from different departments. Furthermore, I am interchanging with other operating engineers, mainly to achieve uniform standards.

How did you get in touch with Roche as an employer?

I already gained some work experience before I started working for Roche in January 2013. I applied to Roche because I could identify myself with the products and the connected values of the company: improving health and the quality of other people’s lives. Additionally, Roche as an employer has an excellent reputation. Actually, Roche does a lot, to ensure its employees are feeling well and are able to identify themselves with the company.

Could you name an example?

There are various internal activities, ranging from an own Christmas market to public viewing during the soccer world cup. I also want to emphasize that there are regular information sessions from the management board, which help to make the company’s strategy transparent for the employees.

Are you able to use the different contents from you studies in your job?

Yes, due to my interdisciplinary job tasks I can use them very good. I studied project engineering, which is a mixture of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and business administration. In my job I combine all of these topics – mechanical and electrical engineering due to the technical component of my job and business administration if I have to calculate cost during reconstruction of a facility for example.

In your daily business, what is the biggest challenge you have to face?

It is pretty challenging that I often need to find feasible solutions by having serious time pressure. This happens for example, if there is an unplanned stagnation of one of our production facilities. In order to fix the problem quickly, one has to have good technical knowledge, understanding of the production process and a good internal network of contact persons from different departments who can help you to solve the problem. Above all, one really needs to be tempered and use a systematic approach in such situations.

Are there other job areas for engineers at Roche?

In my opinion, besides operational engineering, I think that the site engineering is very fascinating. These colleagues take care of the procurement and planning of completely new assembly lines. Furthermore, I think that the department of technical sales is very interesting as well: The most important task there is that one is able to explain our products to the customers, especially the diagnostic equipment.

Operational Engineering/ Maintenance, Production Technology/Automation, Technical Sales or Engineering and Planning: all kinds of jobs for engineers at Roche you can find here: For detailed job search you can also use our career center.

© Roche in cooperation with, 06.04.2015

Tags: Career Blog, Germany