Tobias Gienau - from Lemförde to Waterloo 

The move from Lemförde to Waterloo, where I work today, was a big step that brought a lot of change for me. But I have never regretted seizing the opportunity.

Tobias Gienau

Manager Global Technology Coordination PU Systems

From Lemförde to Waterloo: Tobias took up the challenge and swapped local familiarity for a global role. Today, as Global Technology Manager, he is responsible for 27 sites and has become familiar with numerous topics outside research. 


I studied process engineering in Osnabrück, where I was born, and did my PhD in the subject at TU Dortmund and TU Berlin. Afterwards, I applied at several pharmaceutical companies, but ultimately decided to join BASF in Lemförde. It’s a small site, a familiar environment with fantastic colleagues and a young, ambitious team. I was project manager for optimization topics there for four years. My heart beats for technology; it motivates me to try again and again to get the best out of a product or process. The move from Lemförde to Waterloo, where I work today, was a big change for me. Instead of one location, I am now responsible for 27. I had to familiarize myself with new topics, such as key performance indicators or strategic decision criteria required for investments. Previously, I worked locally and was able to solve problems by asking the person in charge next door. Now I work internationally, which is more complex in several ways. Time zones, language and culture play an important role. But even in my current role, I have remained true to the topic of improvements and am still closely connected with the local teams. 

I actively applied for Lemförde due to the subject matter of the job, the location and the infrastructure of the site. And initially I never planned to leave, because I was happy with my job and my colleagues. But when I was asked if I wanted to take the next step and go to Waterloo, it quickly became clear that I truly wanted to do it. After consulting my spouse we decided to accept this change. Neither of us has regretted it.

When you have to familiarize yourself with new topics, you learn an incredible amount from the people and teams on-site. You can learn a lot of good things when you get into conversation, during the course of the projects or simply when chatting in the coffee kitchen. That helped me a lot when I was settling into the new environment, and I can recommend it very much to everyone in the same situation.