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"You can expect to be challenged, to need to keep an open mind towards trying new things."
It was almost by accident! I originally come from Slovakia, but I went to the Czech Republic to finish my PhD and find part time work. I happened to see on the internet that an international company not too far from where I was based was looking for a chemist to join their team, and I thought ok, this company needs me! I went for an interview via a recruitment company who thought I would be a good fit, and I started in the role of Polymer Engineer in 2012. In 2020 I was promoted to Head of R&D in the Panels CEER division, so it has been a very happy accident!
It is good that there isn’t a typical day. I am not just focused on meetings - I could be on the line one day, and in the lab the next. I try to join the guys on the line as much as possible to help them implement what needs to be done, and then jumping between meetings – it helps to keep my work interesting.
The week I first started I went into the lab to learn how to make PIR foam. I had studied polymerics, but I had never done anything like this before, and I was so happy and eager to make my first foam cup – it’s such a remarkable thing to see. Since then I have had the chance to make many different, real products, and have had higher achievements, but I have never forgotten that feeling of excitement, and I still have that first cup!
Mainly it’s Planet Passionate. Even when we are looking for the latest foam or other innovation, the principles behind Planet Passionate never get forgotten – it is truly inspiring, and interesting to see how it informs what we do. If you take the IKON facility, right from the first drop it was already thinking about Planet Passionate and looking for other possibilities to make happen.
Reliability Engineer, North America
President AWIP, North America
Polymer Engineer, Spain / Southern Europe