Juliane Zenger

Company:BYK-Chemie GmbH            
Role:Operating engineer
Has been with the company since:  1/2014

What exactly does an operating engineer do?
The tasks are manifold. On the one hand, operating engineers at BYK monitor the technical equipment, for example to identify malfunctions and arrange for repairs. On the other hand, we take a very close look at established manufacturing processes in order to develop optimizations that subsequently lead, among other things, to our emitting less carbon dioxide or significantly reducing our waste volume.

A very important aspect: Operating engineers at BYK always work together with different departments. Because we can only implement optimizations or solutions for new challenges as a team! 

Was being an operating engineer always your dream job?
Not really. I started in a traditional way by doing an apprenticeship as a chemical lab technician when I was 16 years old. I still benefit from what I learned there today. But it was clear to me after my training that I wanted to do more, wanted to change things and not work in the lab every day.

So, I started studying industrial engineering with a focus on chemical engineering at Münster University of Applied Sciences in 2009. During my studies, I discovered my passion for process engineering and project management. My job as an operating engineer combines the two.

How did you find out about BYK?
I was looking for a practical example for my bachelor’s thesis. When I was looking for a suitable case, BYK came to my attention. Then things went very quickly. I wrote my bachelor’s thesis at BYK, then completed my master’s degree, and started at BYK in 2014, first as a trainee and then in 2016 as an operating engineer.

What is special about working at BYK?
If you want, you can take on a lot of responsibility early on and think and act entrepreneurially. As a trainee, for example, I was allowed to work at our site in Louisville (USA). While observing the production processes, I got an idea for an improvement, and discussed it with my supervisor. We talked about how to implement it, and then I was given the freedom and trust to implement the idea as part of the team. Together, we were able to increase output in one production area by 30 percent.

Would you recommend BYK as an employer?
By all means! Every day I am happy to work with colleagues who have different areas of expertise. The best solutions always emerge from our exchange, even when it comes to complicated projects.

What excites me the most is that everyone is actively encouraged to express their own ideas!