Joining Roche as a Young Professional in the area of Biotechnology and Medical Technology
Clemens Krämer joined Roche in 2007, right after he finished his studies and has been working as a Technical Project Leader Meter Development at Roche Diabetes Care in Mannheim since 2016.
What did you study and how did you become aware of Roche?
I studied Informatics at the RWTH in Aachen. At a bonding job fair, I was then addressed by the colleagues of the Roche Diagnostics Division and kept Roche in mind as a potential employer until the end of my studies. Luckily, there was also a suitable position available for me after my graduation.
You work as a Technical Project Leader Meter Development at Roche. What does that mean exactly?
At Roche Diabetes Care, we develop blood glucose meters, insulin pumps, as well as systems for continuous glucose monitoring. As a co-project manager for meter development, I am responsible for the entire development of a meter. That means I supervise the hardware and software development, the mechanics and production. Currently, I am involved in a large project, which is dedicated to the development of a new insulin pump complete with a remote control. I am responsible for the development of the software for the remote control.
You are organizing an event for the Association of German Engineers (VDI). How did this collaboration come about and why is Roche a co-organizer?
I have been a member of VDI since my studies and always thought it was a shame that the area of medical technology was not given the necessary level of attention. When VDI asked us last year whether we were interested in an event for young professionals and career starters in the areas of medical technology and biotechnology, we naturally agreed immediately.
What is the idea behind the event and what awaits the participants?
The event will take place as part of the Medtec Europe in Stuttgart and, as already mentioned, addresses young professionals as well as career starters in the areas of medical technology and biotechnology. Even though young engineers are, in my opinion, very well educated and committed, they often lack the requisite contacts to gain a foothold in their in sectors. The event should show where the area of medical technology is represented as well as provide food for thought and ideas for the application process. The event is divided into two subject areas - Smart Health and Smart Manufacturing. We want to address the new requirements of European medical technology in a targeted manner and offer presentations as well as fair tours to the respective topic groups.
Which professional fields are addressed here?
Medical technology comprises all of the classic engineering disciplines, such as mechanical, electronics, telecommunications and informatics, but it also includes interfaces to the areas of chemistry, biology, and medicine. With the event, we want to address as many specialist groups as possible, in particular the life sciences area. Graduates from this field have acquired knowledge in the area of biotechnology as well as in chemistry, which can be put to very good use in the production of enzymes and pharmaceuticals.
Roche also hires medical engineers. What assignments and challenges await them?
They can definitely expect an exciting career. The field of a medical engineer at Roche often corresponds to that of a classical engineer. The advantage is that medical engineers have interdisciplinary training and thus combine engineering with the health care area. The possible areas of application are manifold: From the development of blood glucose meters, insulin pumps and blood gas systems over enzyme and drug development to production processes. Of course, we cannot forget customer support. The colleagues have contact to our customers and are, therefore, also interfaces to development. This is not only the case in Diabetes Care, but also for the colleagues in Diagnostics.
What is essential for this profession?
What is important is the curiosity to develop new and innovative products. As we work with different departments and international teams, there should be an affinity for teamwork. Since the demanding projects would certainly not be so easy to implement without the very good cooperation with the colleagues, who really put their hearts into the projects.
What would you advise young engineers, who are still searching for a suitable company?
They should definitely keep their eyes open, since companies in the health care sector are, compared to for example the automotive industry, not so obvious. The manufacturers are more in the background. For example, Roche is known as a company in the pharmaceutical sector. However, many people are completely unaware that we additionally have very extensive diagnostics and diabetes sections.
Visiting trade fairs in order to gain an overview of suitable companies is always recommendable in any case.
Attending the VDI Event is definitely worthwhile. Are you interested? Then please register under the following link: www.vdi.de/yp-medizin2018