Digitalization is not only affecting my job, but it basically is my job! As a Project Consultant Digitalization at Siemens in Belgium, my team and I are working on digital solutions to improve pharmaceutical processes working with customers all around the world.
Siemens and I – Love at third sight
In my last year of high school, I already knew I wanted to study Engineering, which I then started at the University of Ghent in Belgium. In my second year, I chose to specialize in Engineering Physics. However, I noticed that the Physics was a bit too theoretical for me and so for my Master’s chose to focus on Biomedical Engineering. In my studies I focused on medical imaging using radiation which perfectly aligned with my Physics background. And this is also why I ended up working at Siemens. Siemens Healthineers have a graduate program that allows young talent to rotate around the company at different locations and to get to know the different areas. Unfortunately, my application for this position was not successful and I started to look for other opportunities. However, a few months later Siemens contacted me again for a job in the pharma team with a software called SIPAT. As I was curious to hear more about it, I went to an info session but got rejected once again. After two rejections from Siemens, I was a little frustrated, so I decided to reach out again re-iterating my interest. I was then invited to prepare a case study for the next meeting and after presenting my case, I was hired! It took us a few attempts to properly connect, but I’m pleased to say I’ve been working for Siemens ever since!
Digitalization is not only affecting my job, it is my job!
My job title at Siemens is “Project Consultant Digitalization”. So, I can say that digitalization is not only affecting my job, but it basically is my job. With our Software SIPAT, we help pharma companies in controlling their processes better by using digital measurement and online calculations to better predict the outcome.
In a collaboration approach we created, together with Atos, a Digital Twin solution to improve global pharmaceutical processes. More specifically, we are allowing vaccines to be developed faster and more cheaply, with no loss of quality. Something which of course is now more than ever a must! The “Process Digital Twin” for pharma, is a digital replica of every step in the manufacturing process, connected with IoT sensors at the plant. Through Advanced Analytics the generated data gives an instant view of all details of the operations. This solution improves the general efficiency and flexibility of the manufacturing process, allows sustainable process development and offers optimized measures for process quality and reliability. And the best bit: the pre-integrated Digital Twin solution can be transformed and adapted to production processes of any scale or complexity. Check out more info here: https://press.siemens.com/global/en/pressrelease/atos-and-siemens-introduce-digital-twin-solution-within-global-pharmaceutical-industry
We won the “Customer First” category at the global Siemens Werner Von Siemens Awards for this work. It was pretty cool to see the wider impact we made and acknowledgement we received.
International work experience: a special experience
Have you ever heard of the phenomenon “freezing rain”? No?! Well only a while ago, I had not either. However, a few years ago when I stayed in the US near Detroit, I witnessed a spectacle of nature I had never seen before: Normal rain, but once that hits the ground or your car it freezes, creating a centimeter’s thick layer of ice you have to remove from your car before driving. Well, also in life, things can turn out different then they initially appear. Take the location in my contract for example. There it is written, work location: Huizingen (Belgium). However, in only two and a half years that I have been employed by Siemens, I had the opportunity to travel to United States, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Sweden, the Netherlands and most recently to South Korea despite the pandemic. I was so impressed by how Covid-19 was managed in South Korea – I only had to stay in the quarantine hotel for one night, got tested negative for Covid-19, so was allowed to work at the customers site and drive back to the hotel. Each day the government called me to verify I was still feeling ok and didn’t have any symptoms. I was there for almost three weeks and it was great to also be able to do some sightseeing on the weekend with my colleague.
More than just a team
One thing I really love about my job is the variation in the job and of course my colleagues. It really never gets boring. On the contrary, we are a very creative and adventurous team – that like a thrill. The best example to showcase this has been one of our teambuilding events, where we went skydiving. Yes, SKYDIVING! I got to jump out of an airplane with some colleagues. And let me tell you one thing, this really is bonding.
But we are not only doing crazy things. There are many other nice habits that we have within our team. One that I also really like is carpooling. Before the spread of Covid-19 we used to team up in carpools whenever we had to visit a customer. My colleague Cedric and I, both live near Ghent. To get to our customer we usually had to pass Brussels – the capital of Belgium – and were regularly stuck in traffic jams. To make this ride more bearable or even enjoyable we drove there together. As the saying goes – A sorrow shared is a sorrow halved. But what I really love about our team is the mutual respect and appreciation, which goes beyond our professional work. For example, I really like to bake cakes and make pastries on the weekends. One time, the ingredients for the recipe were just way too much. So, I brought my leftovers with me to the office to the delight of my colleagues. Up until this day people still talk about my “bokkenpootjes”.
Do you also want to be part of such an amazing team? Find your future role and learn more about our Digital Minds at Siemens here.