One of Lilian Ngobi’s favorite things about working as an operations engineer at BASF is the amount of math her job requires. “I love math — love it to a disgusting degree!,” she admits — but she also loves working with interesting people and solving problems. She gets to do all of those things (and more) in her role at BASF, where she is in charge of producing latex adhesive coating materials that improve packaging functionality – for example, adhesives used in the paperboard surrounding a case of soda. Most people don’t think about the complexity of an adhesive, but Lilian does. Her efforts at BASF impact many items used every day.
What’s a typical day like?
My number one responsibility is safety, which manifests itself in many things I do. I spend a lot of time thinking about how to make certain processes more efficient, and safer. That’s the unifying theme of engineering: You have to understand what’s happening out on the manufacturing floor and anticipate the ways you could make it better, while keeping people safe and delivering value to our customers.
What were your ﬁrst impressions when you started?
I joined BASF as part of the Engineering Professional Development Program and was shocked that, even though I was brand new, people were actually listening to my ideas! It was awesome to be in an environment like that. And it’s because our leaders want us to succeed — the whole mindset is “if you don’t do well, we all don’t do well.” We all have to help each other be at our best.
Why did you choose BASF?
As an engineer, your career options are almost unlimited here. I also wanted to be part of a company that’s anticipating what the world will need in 20 years and is doing what’s necessary to make that happen in a responsible, sustainable way. BASF is doing the right thing for the future, and I wanted to be at a company that was progressive, forward-thinking, and caring at the same time.
What is the culture like at BASF?
It’s very open, and people are very smart. I love the collaborative atmosphere here — I’m an operations engineer, but I have a chance to connect with awe- some people across a range of different departments to find solutions to problems like access to clean water, or alternative energy, for example.
What do you see yourself doing in 20 years?
I would love to be doing this job, but by then, there will probably be 20 other roles I’d like to try! One of the best things about BASF is that I know I would get the support to grow and develop into any of those 20 roles. I really enjoy contributing where I am right now and know there will be opportunities for my future development when I’m ready.
What inspires you about BASF?
BASF is already working on solving problems that the rest of the world doesn't know are problems yet. BASF is so invested in the future that the opportunities to change the world are endless, whether it’s through alternative energy, the sustainable construction industry, clean water, or latex adhesives. I’m excited to be a part of something greater than myself and to be able to work on solutions that will have a real and lasting impact on future generations.