Heraeus, the technology group headquartered in Hanau, Germany, seeks employees who are open to new ideas, take an entrepreneurial approach, and welcome responsibility – in keeping with our guiding principle, OPEN SPACE. FOR OPEN MINDS.®
Dr. Lotta Gaab, head of Materials and New Developments in the Innovations Infrared Process Technology department, is one of 12,500 employees at more than 100 locations in 38 countries around the world. Born in Darmstadt, she joined Heraeus in 2011. She enjoys her daily routine and especially appreciates the Talent Management Program at Heraeus.
Dr. Gaab, what led you to STEM (science technology engineering mathematics)?
I first became interested in the natural sciences back in ninth grade – thanks to a really good chemistry teacher. Before I graduated, I attended an information day about the STEM fields at the TU Darmstadt, and that triggered my decision to study materials science. I particularly liked the fact that the field is interdisciplinary, combining aspects of chemistry, physics and mathematics.
Why did you choose to work at Heraeus?
After studying materials science at the TU Darmstadt, I earned my PhD in production technology in Bremen and then came directly to work at Heraeus. That was five years ago. At the time, materials science was still a foreign concept for many companies. By contrast, Heraeus made great advances in this field very early on. That was a strong incentive for me.
Apart from the professional aspects, what does Heraeus offer you as an employer?
I became a project manager right away. In that capacity, I enjoyed a great deal of freedom and wide scope for decision-making. I greatly value this. The interdisciplinary work is also a major plus for me. Working with several different areas of Heraeus opens up entirely different perspectives and new insights.
What was it like for you starting out at the company?
I found it relatively easy, thanks to my boss and my very friendly colleagues. I soon settled right in. What did take time was getting used to a company the size of Heraeus. The company is globally active, with more than 11 business groups and numerous applications and products. A particularly important aspect for me was making contacts beyond the boundaries of the individual Global Business Units and building a network. This took some time, but I find it a great advantage in my daily work.
You also participated in talent management programs within the company. Could you share some more about that?
Heraeus offers a variety of measures for talent management. In my case, this meant a development plan tailored specifically for me. Through seminars and continuing education programs, for example, I am acquiring business administration skills. I view a program like this as a very clear sign that the company stands behind me and that people believe I can further develop my talents.