Meet Christoph, Department Project Leader at Roche

switzerland research development

Tell us a bit about yourself

Hi there! My name is Christoph, I work as a Department Project Leader for Roche and I live in Arth, a small town on the lake of Zug. I also grew up in this area, and thankfully, central Switzerland is very near to the mountains and some nice cities (Lucerne, Zug, Zurich), so everything I enjoy doing in my spare time is pretty close by: skiing in winter, golfing or other sports in summer, eating out. On the occasional bad weather day, I also love to watch TV series, play poker or computer games.

I studied material sciences at the ETH Zurich and also did my PhD there, researching nano-patterning methods for biosensing applications. During this time, I had the opportunity not only to work on cutting-edge scientific projects, but also could travel a lot to see the world and meet colleagues around the world.

After that time, I started working for Roche in Burgdorf, a small site near Berne, where I was a technology project leader investigating innovations in the Diabetes Care Division before I changed to Rotkreuz two years ago.

In which Roche location are you currently working and what can you tell us about that location as a work environment?

I work at Roche Diagnostics in Rotkreuz and live in Arth, which gives me a very short commute, something I have come to appreciate very much compared to earlier jobs.

The Rotkreuz site has grown extremely fast in the last years and therefore, many new and modern offices and production buildings have been built. This gives a very “campus”-like feel to the site, which I welcome very much.

Today, over 2000 people from a great number of countries work here, which transformed the small, local Swiss roots of this site into the important international workplace it is today. The Rotkreuz site is the headquarters of many global functions of the diagnostics business, and also an important production site for many of our instruments.

Why did you decide to join Roche and why this location?

Directly after my PhD, I was looking for a job opportunity that offered some of the qualities I liked from my time at the university (research-friendly, innovation-driven, etc.) outside of academia. Roche in Burgdorf could offer me just such an interesting opportunity, working in the technology department of Infusion Systems for Diabetes Care. This was the perfect transition from university work into a big medical device company for me.

In 2012, I was looking to transfer to Rotkreuz and I heard that Rotkreuz was building up a new product line that involved the production and development of sensors, for which they were looking for Project Leaders in R&D. This was an interesting next step for me.

What is your current position at Roche?

I currently work as a Department Project Leader for R&D, which means I coordinate R&D activities in development projects. Typically, several department project leaders lead different R&D activities.

Our team is supporting the ramp-up of the production of the instruments and sensors in Rotkreuz and work on product–related problems.

I coordinate and lead a team of experts working on transfer activities and on product care projects.

How would you describe Roche as an employer?

Generally, working for a big company has many advantages and some disadvantages. When I first joined Roche, I was not so sure of what to expect and if I was going to like it. But as it turned out,  I could feel and see that Roche was committed to offering me very good working conditions (flexible working hours, home office options, open and modern offices, good IT infrastructure, cafeterias, etc.), which I think helps to create the very good working atmosphere here in Rotkreuz.

Roche is committed to being a very attractive employer:  In my case there are good professional and personal development opportunities (training courses, support for out-of-company education, job options within Rotkreuz, chance to work at other sites) as well as great options to improve work-life balance (starting with various sport and other groups) and integrating family life with your work (on-site daycare, part-time options, etc.).

How would you describe the people working here?

In Rotkreuz, you have the whole mix of people from all over the world doing all kinds of different jobs: facility workers, production workers, manager, engineers, site services, researchers, marketing, clinicians, customer support.

People are generally very open, helpful and friendly and I really enjoy working with my colleagues.

What can you tell about the current job openings in your department?

Currently, two positions are open with a similar job profile to mine (Department Project Leader). In both jobs, you will be working directly with experts from R&D to develop solutions for either product-related improvements or new developments. Planning and leading these tasks will be one side of the job, communicating these plans and results into multidisciplinary teams and to stakeholders in different departments is another.

Since it is a project leader position within R&D, you will need enough expert know-how yourself to be able to plan and discuss the problems with the experts, but you will also need the project management skills to efficiently communicate your results to all stake holders.

For me personally, it is this mix of different requirements that makes the position so interesting. It is neither a “project-management-only” position nor are you the “R&D expert”.

What would you advise job seekers who want to join us?

If you are looking for a job I recommend you to visit our careers website to see the open positions on http://www.roche.com/careers/switzerland.htm

Tags: Career Blog, Development, Research, Rotkreuz, Switzerland