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WorkLife Roland Burg - Biontech

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Roland Burg

Manufacturing operator

I’m a trained chemical technician and have been working in the pharma industry for a long time. I began at BioNTech in 2017 as a manufacturing operator in the production of individualized tumor vaccines. There’s a three-shift system, which means sometimes it’s a case of the early bird catching the worm!

Preparing for the clean room

Production as delicate as ours requires a high standard of hygiene. For me, that means the “full program” —under-uniform, hair-net, hygiene suit, clean room shoes. Getting all of that on takes a little practice and suppleness... This means it takes around 15 minutes before I’m actually at my work station.

At the filling machine

I work directly at the filling machine. As the name suggests, this is where the vaccines are filled up. It’s extremely important that I carry out my duties with precision here—only this way can people be cured of cancer. Every move must be spot on, and it’s pioneering work too.

From construction through to supervision

In the run-up to the start of production, I was busy supporting the construction and verification of the machines. I also train future operators: the machines have to be configured correctly and supervised during the process of filling the active ingredients—even cleaning them is a quite a task.

You can depend on the team

Our team is made up of a process engineer, the shift leader, the team leader, at present 10 operators, and myself. I tend to take my break with a couple of colleagues. In production especially, it’s important to think about the team, to be passionate about our common goal, rolling up your sleeves and getting on with it!

Precision meets flexibility

Teamwork is everything—nothing works on its own here. What I appreciate about BioNTech is this atmosphere and the flexible hierarchy, including first-name terms from the trainees up to the highest-ranking bosses. I also find it amazing that the patient with his or her particular type of tumor is at the center of our work, and we’re producing the vaccine just for him or her. It’s fascinating that that is possible today.

Shift over!

Now it's time to get changed again. I certainly wouldn’t have guessed ten years ago that I’d be where I am now today—also because my old job just disappeared thanks to nothing more than a strategic decision. But, since I like both the subject matter and the atmosphere at BioNTech much more than in my old company, I’m glad that things turned out this way after all!

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