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CARBOGEN AMCIS
CARBOGEN AMCIS
Attendences
2021 | Silver Partner
2019 | Silver Partner
2018 | Silver Partner
2017 | Base Partner
2016 | Base Partner
2015 | Base Partner
2014 | Base Partner
2013 | Base Partner

carbogen-amcis.com
CARBOGEN AMCIS
We are
CARBOGEN AMCIS is a leading service provider in the area of product and process development, including the commercial production of active ingredients for the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries. We have 4 facilities across Switzerland (Aarau, Hunzenschwil, Bubendorf, and Vionnaz), as well as locations in Riom (FR), Manchester (UK), Shanghai (CN) and Veenendaal (NL).
We offer
We are committed to providing an inclusive and rewarding work environment that acknowledges the efforts of outstanding and long-term employees. We highly support continuing education and further training of our staff and encourage our staff’s professional career. Our organization also allows a cross-departmental development within the company.
We are looking for
We are looking for highly motivated individuals prepared to expand their high-class education & knowledge in Pharma Industry. You should be willing to add upon what you have already learned helping us and our worldwide customers to bring their products to the market relating to all aspects of modern drug development in terms of all chemistry, analytics, production, quality and regulatory aspects.
// Interview 2021
Dr. Volker Wolfart
Senior Scientific Advisor

Education
PhD in Chemistry with Prof. Dr. R. Gleiter at Universität Heidelberg (1995-1997)
Diploma in Chemistry at Universität Heidelberg (1989-1995)

Career
Business Development at CARBOGEN AMCIS AG (2014)
Senior Scientific Advisor at CARBOGEN AMCIS AG (2011-2014)
Head of Process Research & Development at CAROGEN AMCIS AG (2008-2011)
Group Manager API Synthesis at CARBOGEN AMCIS AG (2000-2011)
Project team leader API Synthesis at CARBOGEN AMCIS AG (1998-2000)
Chemical laboratory assistant at BASF (1980-1983)
Was ist ihre derzeitige Tätigkeit bei CARBOGEN AMCIS?
Meine derzeitige Jobbezeichnung ist «Senior Scientific Advisor», d.h. eine Instanz für wissenschaftliche Fragen. Dazu bin ich der Koordinator für zwei der vier Schweizer Niederlassungen und im Hauptgeschäft für die Wachstumsprojekte (Business Development) der Firma verantwortlich.
Welchen Rat würden Sie einem „frischen“ ETH Absolventen geben, der sich auf Jobsuche begibt?
Auf jeden Fall mit uns in Kontakt treten und sich persönlich erkundigen, wie die momentane Situation aussieht. Wir sind stetig am Wachsen und suchen frische und begeisterungsfähige Persönlichkeiten. …und natürlich zu uns auf die Chemtogether 2021 kommen.
Wie sieht Ihr klassischer Arbeitstag bei CARBOGEN AMCIS aus?
Den klassischen Tag gibt es nicht; es ist sehr abwechslungsreich bei CARBOGEN AMCIS zu arbeiten. Einmal der Umgang mit den Kunden, Behörden, Dienstleistern und natürlich Arbeitskollegen/-innen aus den verschiedenen Abteilungen. Chemie spielt bei mir nur noch eine untergeordnete Rolle, aber sie ist dennoch bei manchen Entscheidungen sehr wichtig.
Wie kam es, dass sie nun für CARBOGEN AMCIS arbeiten? Wie sind sie auf die Firma aufmerksam geworden?
Ich war gerade im Post Doc mit der BASF in Ludwigshafen und mein Doktorvater fand eine Anzeige in der Basler Zeitung, die CARBOGEN AMCIS geschaltet hatte. Der Schwerpunkt Organische Chemie und die Fragestellungen im Bereich organische Synthese haben mich gereizt und mich zur Bewerbung motiviert.
Wie lief ihr Bewerbungsprozess bei CARBOGEN AMCIS?
Ich wurde 1998 per Email eingeladen und durfte mich dann vor Ort persönlich vorstellen. Dabei hatte ich Kontakt mit dem Abteilungsleiter für die chemische Entwicklung, diversen künftigen Kollegen und dem damaligen Human Resources. Ausserdem konnte ich meine Expertise und Doktorarbeit im Kreise der Fachabteilung per Vortrag präsentieren. Daran hat sich bis heute wenig geändert.
Was glauben Sie unterscheidet CARBOGEN AMCIS von anderen Chemiefirmen? Was sind die drei grössten Vorteile von CARBOGEN AMCIS?
Uns unterscheidet, dass wir einen sehr starken Kundenfokus haben. Das macht es, je nach Herkunft und Background des Kunden, sehr spannend. Das Ziel ist ganz klar, den Kunden optimal zu bedienen. Ausserdem sind wir eine der wenigen weltweiten Spezialisten für hochaktive Arzneistoffe. Durch unsere internationale Vernetzung mit der Corporate Struktur (i.e. unsere weltweiten Standorte), haben wir einige schnelle Alternativen im Vergleich zu anderen Firmen der Branche. Die drei grössten Vorteile:
Ausgezeichnetes Arbeitsklima
Abwechslungsreiches Arbeitsfeld und Entwicklungsmöglichkeiten
High Class wissenschaftliches Arbeiten und Know-How
Was haben sie studiert und haben Sie sich durch das Studium gut auf Ihre jetzige Tätigkeit vorbereitet gefühlt?
Das Studium rüstet gut für die Arbeit in der organischen Synthese aus. Ich habe in Heidelberg studiert/promoviert. Dort wird die Organische Synthese gepflegt und hat lange Tradition. Zusätzlich braucht es aber später im Beruf Verständnis für GMP, Ökonomie, Prozesssicherheit und Personalführung, die i.d.R. im Studium nicht vermittelt werden. Dazu geben wir natürlich künftigen Kollegen*innen Möglichkeiten zur Weiterbildung. Was jedoch zählt, sind die «Soft Skills», wie der Umgang mit Kollegen und Menschen generell. Da kann man schon punkten, wenn man/frau dies auch im Studium schon geleistet hat; Bsp. durch Assistenztätigkeit, Tutorbetrieb oder andere nebenamtliche Tätigkeiten.
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// Interview 2019
Dr. Volker Wolfart
Business Development

Education
PhD in Chemistry with Prof. Dr. R. Gleiter at Universität Heidelberg (1995-1997)
Diploma in Chemistry at Universität Heidelberg (1989-1995)

Career
Business Development at CARBOGEN AMCIS AG (2014)
Senior Scientific Advisor at CARBOGEN AMCIS AG (2011-2014)
Head of Process Research & Development at CAROGEN AMCIS AG (2008-2011)
Group Manager API Synthesis at CARBOGEN AMCIS AG (2000-2011)
Project team leader API Synthesis at CARBOGEN AMCIS AG (1998-2000)
Chemical laboratory assistant at BASF (1980-1983)
What are your current responsibilities in the area of business development at CARBOGEN AMCIS AG?
My responsibility is to ensure the company grows to its full potential on the market where my focus is currently set on Switzerland.
You started working at CARBOGEN AMCIS AG in 1998. Into which fields did you gain insight and were you able to follow your career aspirations throughout that time?
Back then, my main field of action back was organic syntheses for clients around the globe. I became the team leader of a small team to serve pharma project tasks including doing chemistry in the lab, scaling it up to multi kilograms and evaluating and finding solutions for synthetic approaches to a new drug. This path more or less matched my aspirations.
How did the company change over the range of time and what are your visions for the future?
Starting with slightly more than 50 employees we grew into almost 600 employees today. We started with one site in Aarau and extended to four sites in Switzerland and five additional ones in Europe and Asia. The basic business model is still the same. What has changed are the responsibilities, the breadth of project types, the number of clients and the value of projects. The vision is to grow at a healthy pace and to attain new drugs for us to develop and manufacture which are also in the area of ADCs (Antibody Drug Conjugates).
A lot of your past and present work at the company dealt with regulatory affairs, leading and managing teams and building new company sites. How much of “natural science” do you still encounter each day?
I only have very little contact with practical science in daily life. However, you cannot grow a scientific company not knowing where it all comes from.
After finishing your degree in Chemistry at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, you obtained a PhD and worked as postdoctoral researcher at BASF before joining CARBOGEN AMCIS AG. Is it still necessary nowadays to finish a PhD or Postdoc before joining the company?
Not at all. What is important is your academic background, your personality and your willingness to add upon your current knowledge.
You have been with CARBOGEN AMCIS AG for more than 20 years. In your opinion, what does the company offer employees so that you have remained loyal to the company for so long? Are you able to find a good balance between work and your outside life?
The company offers an interesting field to establish new crafts and talents and offers a very good working environment. The team spirits are excellent, and I still feel like I am working with the best people there are out there! Yes, CARBOGEN AMCIS AG offers a good work-life balance to me. If I need some inspiration, I grab my fishing gear and sit at one of the beautiful lakes to receive new impressions.
Which suggestions do you have for a recent ETH graduate applying for jobs or internships?
First: Know what you want for your career. Think of where to start but keep the long-term goal in mind. Where do you see yourself in 10 years, for example? Second: Be aware that YOU have something to offer too, e.g. your working power, your talents and your scientific education. These are things that your employer will benefit from Third: Be bold and humble at the same time. For instance, call the HR people of the companies you are interested in and talk to them about your plans and intentions. Maintain an attitude of willingness to learn. Fourth: Be yourself and present yourself to those interested in you.
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// Interview 2018
Dr. Emad El Sayed
Manager PR&D

Education
PostDoc in asymmetric synthesis at ETH Zurich (1999-2001)
PhD in catalytic asymmetric synthesis at Université de Genève (1994-1999)
M.Sc. in Chemistry at University of Massachusetts and Alexandria University (1989-1994)
B.Sc. in Chemistry at Alexandria University (1985-1989)

Career
Manager PR&D at CARBOGEN AMCIS (2015)
Senior Chemist at CARBOGEN AMCIS (2007-2015)
Project Chemist at CARBOGEN AMCIS (2001-2006)
What are your responsibilities as Manager Process Research & Development at CARBOGEN AMCIS?
I act as an information exchange platform and support my group of chemists and lab technicians. Some of my other responsibilities include the inspection of resource availabilities, recruitment interviews for new group members, training of group members and preparing and planning of customers’ requests for proposals. I also represent the company at events.
You graduated with a degree in Chemistry. Does CARBOGEN AMCIS also employ graduates of other fields of study (Chemical Engineering, Interdisciplinary Sciences)?
Yes, CARBOGEN AMCIS also employs Chemical Engineers, Biologists as well as Toxicologists in addition to the majority of the Chemistry degree holders.
How does a typical work day in industry differ from one at university?
Work in the industry differs to great extent from the one at university, although the two fields are very much connected and interdependent from each other. There are two main aspects to industry life. Firstly, the human interaction is important. One interacts with colleagues (from the same or different departments), suppliers, external technicians, customers (big to small organizations), consultants and authorities. Each category has its expectations, targets and fields of interest and focus.
Secondly, the focus of activities is different. Universities tend to focus on the pure methodological and scientific approach. In industry the scientific approach is in the center of interest beside other aspects such as practicability, both atom and financial economies, robustness and reproducibility of processes, pragmatic solutions, reduction of manufacturing time and cost of goods, etc..
What made you choose CARBOGEN AMCIS as an employer? Can you describe how the application process worked for you?
As still a middle young chemist just ending his Postdoc studies at ETH Zürich I was much focused on an academic career. I explored the option of an industrial career. It was during my different interviews in the industry that I quickly realized that there was another universe still related to and interacting with the academic world. The industry was totally unknown to me at that time. It was my eagerness to explore new fields that made me move more towards this industry. Back in 2001, (before the merger) Carbogen Laboratories was a young dynamic organization focused on innovation and it was full of talented chemists which offered extraordinary innovation potential. Accordingly, I had this unique opportunity to grow with, shape and contribute extensively together with my colleagues to what CARBOGEN AMCIS is known for today.
As far as the application process is concerned: it was a very long time ago. The application process was as dynamic as CARBOGEN AMCIS is: direct contact, invitation to interview, oral presentation of my Ph.D. / Postdoc. work in English. Open discussions and description of the role of a Project Chemist, which was the position that I applied for at that time. In short a friendly, open and focused atmosphere.
Which abilities and qualities does CARBOGEN AMCIS expect of Chemistry graduates with a Ph.D./M.Sc. degree?
Obviously we expect a deep and solid Chemistry knowledge background. Very good mastering of the English and German language is a big advantage. We encourage a systematic way of working but also at the same time with an innovative approach.
Which soft skills should students try to acquire in the course of their studies to succeed in a pharmaceutical company like CARBOGEN AMCIS?
Some of the most important ones are communication and presentation skills, a strong ability to thoroughly listen rather than hearing, patience and the ability to remain focused. It’s also helpful to have a pragmatic, solution-oriented way of thinking, be flexible and open to learn in new fields.
Since joining CARBOGEN AMCIS 17 years ago as a Project Chemist, you have held several different positions within the company. Could you describe some of the career opportunities that exist within the company?
Career opportunities can slightly differ according to the department (within CARBOGEN AMCIS) in question. Generally, we offer the following opportunities:
Hands-on responsibilities (e.g. Project Chemist position)
Project Management activities (e.g. organization of technical activities between different sites)
Key Account Managers (e.g. primary contact person for a certain given customer collecting their questions and uncertainties and guiding them through the organization to find the best fit for fulfilling their expectations and needs)
Sales and Marketing (e.g. representing CARBOGEN AMCIS inside and outside Switzerland - promoting our organizational capabilities, strengths and diversities to our future customers)
Additional opportunities include QC&A (Quality Control and Analytical Development), QA (Quality Assurance), QS (Quality Systems) and Evaluation of Customers request.
Before joining CARBOGEN AMCIS you spent two years as a postdoc at ETH. Did this help you in the recruitment process or could you have entered the same career path right after your Ph.D.?
My postdoc at ETH helped me to stand on an even more solid ground with my scientific as well as instrumental knowledge gained at CARBOGEN AMCIS. I could have joined CARBOGEN AMCIS directly after the Ph.D. but the postdoc was for my case at least an advantage.
You studied at universities in Egypt, the USA and Switzerland. Is it important for you as an employer that an applicant has international experience?
In question 6 we spoke about communication skills. Communication skills are very important (as also described in the answer to question 3) because in industry communication flows through different people with a very broad range of experience, education, intellectual as well as cultural aspects. In addition one would deal with persons with different languages. Although having an international experience has its advantage, it is not a must.
Which suggestions do you have for a recent ETH graduate applying for jobs or internships?
Remain interested in broadening your field of knowledge. Listen (don’t hear) and be patient in giving an answer or a comment. Think out of the box. Understand and apply your field of education. Like the stars in heaven, remember that what you see or think you understand is not necessarily what actually is. Be pragmatic and like water flowing downhill follow the path that costs you the least energy. Remain true and authentic to yourself – remember that at a certain moment in life you have to look in the mirror. Always play with open cards this will build bridges between you and your surroundings. No person on earth knows everything. Have the courage to also say: “I don’t know”. Facing a problem is not the real problem. Your main problem is how to deal with the problem. This is what makes you different from anybody else.
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// Interview 2017
Dr. Jonas Bürgler
Senior Chemist R&D

Education
MSc ETH Chemistry (2002-2006)
ETH Zurich PhD and PostDoc with Prof. Dr. Togni (2007-2011)
Colorado State University PostDoc with Dr. Wood (2011-2013)

Career
Project Chemist PR&D at CARBOGEN AMCIS (2013-2017)
Senior Chemist PR&D at CARBOGEN AMCIS (2017)
What do you do as Senior Chemist PR&D at CARBOGEN AMCIS?
I work in the Process Research and Development department of our company. I supervise the lab development and oversee the production of my projects, organize raw materials and write instructions. I work in close collaboration with the analytical and the quality control departments in order to ensure a high product quality. I also write proposals for future projects and communicate project progress internally and to the customer (written in reports and orally in telecons).
Are you working in Bubendorf most of the time or does your position entail a lot of traveling?.
CARBOGEN AMCIS has four sites in Switzerland, Bubendorf being the Head Quarter and biggest site. I work at the Neuland site in Hunzenschwil, a small town close to Lenzburg. Generally, I am based at this site but depending on the projects I am working on, travelling to the other sites in Aarau and Bubendorf once or twice a month is normal. Visiting other places than CARBOGEN AMCIS sites is not very common in my position, thus long distance travelling is not a big part.
Your dissertation was focused on synthesizing P-stereogenic Ferrocenyl phospines and their application as ligands in asymmetric catalysis. Were you able to use this experience in your tasks at CARBOGEN AMCIS?
I have not had the chance to work with phosphorus containing compounds nor on ferrocenes, however the application of catalytic methods and a broad knowledge of organometallic chemistry and asymmetric synthesis is a requisite in my daily work. Also, in my opinion, the most important thing a student will learn during his Ph.D. studies is how to tackle and solve a specific problem.
So being specialized on a small, defined topic – like the topic of a PhD-thesis is not necessarily needed in industry?
Being a specialist in a certain area of organic chemistry can help, but having a broad knowledge in synthetic organic chemistry and excellent problem solving skills are definitely more important.
How does work in the university differ from the work in industry?
In the industry the focus is more on achieving the target than on finding the scientific rationale or prove a thesis. Especially as a service provider like CARBOGEN AMCIS very often delivering a certain amount of product is more important than finding the most elegant way to produce it. Also due to safety reasons, quality aspects as well as authority and customer requirements there are several additional factors that impact the process, while at the university the “chemistry” is mostly the only factor to be considered.
Is there a way to get to know CARBOGEN AMCIS first-hand - either via internships or collaborations with universities?
Yes, we have apprenticeship and internship opportunities at certain CARBOGEN AMCIS sites. The best thing for students to do is to contact our recruitment team for further information. I also know that we sometimes collaborate with universities, mostly in small synthetic projects.
How do you come up with ideas for future projects?
Being a service provider we are often bound to the synthetic routes and ideas provided by the customers. However, if we can demonstrate that a certain change can make the process safer, more efficient and/or cost efficient most customers are happy to agree. This is mostly the case with early phase projects where the customer is less restricted to a “fixed” process.
Is it always easy to convince your customers to actually pursue them?
Most customers try to keep the cost of an extended development down by reducing this part as much as possible, especially when they think they have a process good enough for production. Therefore, it is not always easy to convince them to do more development, even if it could facilitate our and the customers life.
What led you to choose CARBOGEN AMCIS as an employer? How did the application proceed – did you apply for an advertised position or was it a speculative application?
I applied for an advertised position, an entry position as project chemist. I had an on-site interview, which gave me a good picture of CARBOGEN AMCIS and also of my function as a project chemist. The people I met were friendly and the atmosphere was relaxed and open, which convinced me that working for CARBOGEN AMCIS should suit me well. And I am still of the same opinion.
What would your advice be for someone who recently graduated from ETH and is looking for a job?
I think it is important to try to find a job that suits oneself. With the current job market this is difficult and often graduates apply for positions they don’t necessarily want, just to have the foot in the door. This is understandable but normally neither the employee nor the company really benefits from this. With a Ph.D. in chemistry one has a large variety of options in many areas of the chemical industry, thus it is important to inform oneself about the possibilities and find out which position would suit best. Therefore, it is important to carefully read the job descriptions to find out what the job is about. It is also not forbidden to directly ask the companies to obtain more information.
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