Chemical process development offers a wide range of challenging activities for chemists and chemical engineers.
The main tasks are as follows:
Laboratory-Scale Process Optimisation
Working at laboratory scale in a team comprising laboratory technicians and analytical chemists, you will establish the foundations for a safe, environmentally compatible and economical process that can be used to manufacture a product of a consistently high quality. Through well planned experimental work you will acquire in-depth knowledge about the reaction sequence and you will look for operations to isolate the product that are optimised, yet as simple as possible. In doing this, you will liaise with chemists or engineers from Production to ensure that technical requirements are incorporated into your work at an early stage. In addition to the synthetic focus, laboratory work includes special tasks such as reaction calorimetry, thermal analysis and solids process technology. As a physical chemist in reaction calorimetry, you will evaluate the thermal process safety of laboratory processes and collect the data from which a reliable scale-up can be derived.
Working in a scale-up facility is an ideal challenge for a technically minded chemist who enjoys experimentation. Here, in an initial scale-up step, you will convert a laboratory method into a mini-plant and pilot-plant process. Your task will be firstly to supply the development laboratories with intermediate compounds and active ingredients, and secondly to bring about the technical realisation of the processes in close cooperation with colleagues from synthesis optimisation and chemical production. In addition, you will prepare active ingredients in quantities of a few kilograms for the early clinical studies. Your work will also include active involvement in the project team and interdisciplinary cooperation with colleagues from various fields, some of them from abroad.
Analytical Development and Quality Management
You will deal with all analytical issues connected with the production and registration of an active ingredient. You will develop the analytical methods used to monitor the manufacturing process for new active ingredients and to characterise the active ingredients themselves. In the course of your project work you will define the quality requirements for all steps within the team. You will collect the data needed for registration and marketing, e.g. data on stability and behaviour under stress conditions – using modern and efficient instrument-based techniques.
Starting a Career in Chemical Process Development
As a chemist, chemical engineer or process engineer with a doctorate, you will bring sound knowledge in one of the aforementioned fields with you. You may also have gained experience in an international setting through a post-doctoral appointment. You will begin your career at Roche within chemical process development as a laboratory manager in synthesis, analytics or crystallisation.As a laboratory manager, you will handle a development project up to the point of successful registration and transfer of the process to large-scale production. You will represent your specialist field in various project teams.
Your Prospects in Process Development
For chemical process development, it is important that employees’ knowledge is up-to-date, so ongoing personal training, including participation in external courses, will be an important component of your work. Under the job rotation scheme, which includes arrangements with development sites abroad, you will be able to increase your technical knowledge and expand your experience. Depending on your entry route, your personal development opportunities could include assuming management responsibility in one of our laboratories or management of a production facility. Another development opportunity would be for you to take on more extensive project responsibility, for example as a team leader. Outside the laboratory and plant areas, there are development opportunities available in the fields of Quality Assurance, Regulatory Affairs and project management.
What are the requirements for Pharma Development
The different tasks within Pharma Development require employees to have a variety of skills and be capable of working together with other disciplines. Thus, apart from all aspects of organic and analytical chemistry, the problems to be addressed also cover physical chemistry, process technology, safety issues and regulatory affairs. The high level of complexity of the tasks makes close teamwork essential, both within Development and with colleagues from Research and Production. For this reason, we require and expect communication skills and social competence in addition to up-to-date specialist knowledge.Effective communication and a willingness and ability to work in a team are crucial for success in each of these positions. Openness and flexibility are important for this reason, and you should possess these characteristics in addition to your professional qualifications.