When Patrick began his career five years ago, variety and diversity were particularly important to him. And that’s precisely what he got: as a development engineer in R&D Optics / Mechanics in the Medical Technology business group at ZEISS. Read on to find out what exactly that means to him.
One thing was clear for Patrick when he was applying for jobs: he was looking for a position with a lot of variety at a company that offered him opportunities for his own personal development. While studying electrical engineering at the Technical University of Darmstadt, he discovered he had an interest in medical technology, making ZEISS a potential employer. Not only did Patrick find the company itself compelling, but he was also intrigued by the sheer breadth of the business spectrum.
Patrick has been working as a development engineer in the Medical Technology business group at ZEISS for five years. As a sub-project manager for microscope suspension systems, he is the team member responsible for ophthalmology: collaborating with his colleagues on the team, he develops the suspension systems used in ophthalmology. Patrick explains: “The great thing about my job is that I work in all parts of product development. This means that I’m involved at every stage of the life cycle, from working out ideas to product generation, the product launch, the approval process all the way to providing the first customer support.”
As you might expect, Patrick’s workday is multifaceted and interdisciplinary: steering and coordinating with different internal and external interfaces makes up a large part of his job. Internally, Patrick mostly works with colleagues from Development, Technology, Quality Management, Manufacturing, Regulatory Affairs and Service.
Along with discussing ideas and technical issues, his average workday involves writing and verifying specifications, drafting plans as well as taking care of approval documentation and test reports. Some problems are solved in creativity workshops – whereas others require a more hands-on approach: “If the production line stops, I have a look myself and try to help.”
The lure of on-the-job training
Patrick emphasizes that this diversity and real-life training are exactly what he likes: “It’s fascinating for me to witness the entire product life cycle: from the very first idea to the start of product development and generation, including all the challenges that emerge at different interfaces or with colleagues from other departments.” He also receives customer feedback directly from the product manager who’s a part of the team. Every now and then he even watches an operation live and sees the products in use.
Sharing things – not just on a technical but also on a personal level – is another big plus point for Patrick: collaboration and mutual support are very important. This enabled his team to get their last product on the market in a very short period of time: “It was a tremendous success and a really great team performance, particularly because the product has been so successful. This makes work fun!”
Development Engineer, R&D Optics / Mechanics, Carl Zeiss Meditec AG
Electrical engineering, specializing in microtechnology and precision engineering at the Technical University of Darmstadt
What he wishes he had known as a student:
Just how many different opportunities for personal development you have after a targeted course of study at a global company like ZEISS.