Meet Doreen Pruntsch

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Doreen Pruntsch is a Safety Engineer at Roche in the Biotechnology Center in Penzberg in Upper Bavaria and heads the department of Technical Safety. Her job is to protect the people, environment and company from harm.

What exactly is your job title? 

I am a Safety Engineer at Roche in the Biotechnology Center in Penzberg in Upper Bavaria and head of the department of Technical Safety. However, I studied something completely different. 

What did you study originally? 

Actually, I was hired as an engineer in pharmabiotechnology and have acquired a number of additional qualifications since starting at Roche. Having gained these qualifications, I have been active as a safety specialist as well as an expert for explosion protection at Roche since then.

Could you describe your daily tasks as a Safety Engineer in a healthcare company like Roche?

The department of Safety Health Environment (SHE), in which I am employed, has great importance at Roche. Within the company, safety is at the same levels as quality and costs.

Our mission is to protect the people, environment and company from harm every day. For this purpose, we follow applicable law as well as the corporate guidelines from Roche, which apply to all sites globally. Our aim is to guarantee that the Roche employees leave the company as healthy as they entered it.

Moreover, we ensure that we deal with the issue of health and the available resources carefully. In this respect, sustainability as well as the environment plays a primary and significant role.

Do you monitor these guidelines in your position? 

I work in a very extensive and diverse department, which includes among other things Biosafety, Environmental Protection, Occupational Safety, but also the fire department as well as Site Security. We, in Technical Safety, host therefore, just a small building block in the greater SHE environment. Within the framework of the laws and guidelines, we take care of all of the technical concerns, which we pass on to the site. When the respective department is in need of any support regarding implementation, we advise the department and examine if the regulations are taken into account. 

You originally studied a completely different discipline. Why did you focus on the area of safety?

Unfortunately, at the university the offer of courses was very limited, which dealt exclusively with safety in engineering. Nowadays, the offer for students in this area is much more diverse. For me, people and their health were always the focus of my work. When I started at Roche ten years ago, I was first employed in Test Development for diagnostic tests. After some time, I was responsible for the qualification of production systems. During that period, I was recruited internally and have been employed in plant safety ever since.

We ask ourselves various questions every day: How can the input materials be handled, which are required for the manufacture of diagnostic products and the active ingredients of medications? Which needs have to be considered to ensure that our products can safely enter the market? How does the plant have to be constructed and which quality requirements does it have to comply with? Is it safe for humans as well as for the environment? This is where we have come full circle. At Roche, we work for the health of people -regardless of the area.

What is your opinion about the development opportunities at Roche?

There are always development opportunities at Roche. The company focuses on the employees. Roche in Penzberg specializes in diagnostics and in pharmaceuticals. Owning these two core fields, the site concentrates on research, development and production. Roche is a global company and offers internal as well as external training opportunities and moreover the possibility to visit other sites. In Technical Safety, we additionally have the chance to get involved in various committees and make our contribution. Besides, every year in SHE, we have to gain new qualifications, which are prescribed by law.

What do you think about the team spirit at Roche?

At Roche, a feedback culture is established and our interaction is very collegial and open.

Through the whole matrix organization, we often work in teams on projects or topics and every one of us is passionate. You can experience daily that the colleagues are motivated to develop their respective projects and the company. Worldwide networking, digitization, bilingualism and diversity are lived daily. Employees from over 54 different countries are working here in Penzberg. Roche is a very agile company, in which the employees are able to contribute their expertise and where their opinion is appreciated.

So, would you agree that you are mostly free in your decisions?

Yes, personal responsibility is required. Of course, regarding the guidelines of applicable law and the company, we have a certain framework, within which we have to operate, but Roche relies on our technical expertise and leaves the decision-making up to us. 

What is special about Roche and your daily work?

What is special for me is that safety has a very high priority for the company and that it is also practiced throughout all levels of management. If this would not be the case, I couldn’t work at Roche, because safety is a fundamental value for me.

How important is the topic of work life balance in your profession?

For me personally work life balance is a very important component, which is also an element of safety and health. Roche is a very modern employer and offers its employees flexible working time models, which include among other things trust-based working time and mobile work. Consequently, it is possible to work from home or other sites.

What is your personal counterbalance to work?

My personal balance consists of outdoor activities around Penzberg with all the mountains and lakes. Despite the nature, the proximity to Munich has a qualitative advantage. I work where others go on holiday.

What does Roche mean to you in three words?

Courage. Integrity. Passion. 

You would like to learn more about what engineers do at Roche? Please visit the website fascination technology for more information.

Tags: Germany, Career Blog