Business Development Manager, SCHOTT North America, Duryea, Pennsylvania, USA
Country of birth: Germany
Educational background: PhD Physics, Georgia Institute of Technology; MBA Babson College, Wellesley, Massachusetts, USA
Who or what inspired you to work in science/engineering?
It all started in high school when I was fortunate enough to study with a fantastic physics teacher who explained the laws of physics in a simple and logical way. Today, my fascination of the simple logic of science has evolved. I view technology as a key-enabler to improving the quality of our lives. Biophotonics technology enables fast and low-cost diagnosis of terrible diseases, service robots may help us with our chores in the future, and the opportunity exists for technology to greatly lower our healthcare costs. Playing even a small part in an industry with such positive impact on mankind is highly gratifying to me.Primary responsibilities of your current job
My job is to grow SCHOTT’s Advanced Optics business in North America by developing new opportunities. I speak with customers, research the market, and consult with our R&D and commercial teams to generate new ideas for products. I then evaluate these opportunities for their merit using criteria such as benefi ts to the end customer, size and profi tability, technical feasibility and risk. The key to success for any business is to choose the best and say "no" to the good ideas. I create a business plan, and once approved, I work with all the functions of the company to ensure successful execution of the plan. We know we did well if our customers succeed using our solution.Biggest obstacle or challenge that you have faced in your career
I experienced my biggest challenge working in the telecom industry when the bubble burst in 2001. Over three years my unit downsized from over 1000 to about 120 employees. We watched our friends and colleagues depart and we never knew when it would be our turn. We appreciated our jobs while we had them and focused on what we did best: developing the highest power telecom pump laser on the market. And we did!