Meet the team


After being hired as a consultant for Evonik, Nicole officially joined the Catalysts team in 2018 as a Lab Manager, and is now Head of Technology Center, Microporous Materials. With responsibilities including production transfer, production support and quality management, a lot of her time is spent in innovation areas. A manager and a mother, she is Supported, Seen and Heard – and does the same for her team.

What brought you to Evonik Catalysts?

Even as a child I was interested in natural science. My parents gave me a microscope when I was a kid, and I looked at everything. I remember once putting my lunch box by the window to see mold grow on it. Watching the mold grow and checking it with the microscope was fascinating to me, much to my mother's delight.

Coming from an area in which employment was largely in the chemical industry (Mitteldeutsches Chemiedreieck), chemistry was always part of my life – my grandfather, father and aunt all worked in the chemical industry.

At school, we did fascinating experiments. In biology class we shed insights into the mitochondria – the powerhouse of the cell – being indispensable to life. Within these small powerhouses, lots of chemistry is taking place. For me, chemistry became even more tangible.

During my Masters in Chemistry, I discovered my preference for application-oriented chemistry, and I focused on chemical technology. After doing my PhD in heterogeneous catalysis, I became a group leader at the Institute of Chemical Technology, at Leipzig University, focusing on the development of catalytic materials for sustainable processes – in particular, for the conversion of renewable resources.

In 2014, I met one of my current colleagues at a conference. We got to talking and exchanged ideas about my research topics. That same year, I was able to present my research to Evonik and a few years later I was hired as a consultant. Thanks to that, I saw many new perspectives of industrial research.

Then in 2018, I joined Evonik as a Lab Manager, moving from Leipzig to Hanau. If you’d told me that 10 years ago, I would not have believed it.

Could you tell us about what your current role involves?

My team and I develop materials for new and already existing processes. We make an important contribution to catalysis in the field of sustainability and live the strategy for the future. Of course, there are also administrative activities, such as compliance and people management, which I really enjoy. My responsibilities include production transfer, production support and quality management, too – but a lot of my time is spent in our innovation areas.

What do you like about your role as Head of Technology Center?

I love everything! It gives me great pleasure to be able to develop my employees and shape the team. Everyone counts! We are international and diverse; everyone has a voice. There’s a real sense of togetherness. For me, leadership also means that I'm on an equal footing with my employees and management, and I help where I'm needed.

I’m proud to be part of the Catalysts family. In my team we often work very scientifically and develop complex topics. It’s important for me to do research towards sustainable topics, because research can make a decisive contribution to a sustainable future. I see the sustainable transformation as a great opportunity for the chemical industry.

I also appreciate the trust placed in me. I can develop freely and set my priorities in line with the strategy. As a manager and mother of a small son, I also appreciate the flexibility of spreading working hours over the day and the possibility of working partially remotely. Especially as my job requires a lot of deep thinking, this flexibility is an added value.