"The company runs better when I run!"

Dr. Frank Voss is a qualified systems scientist with a background in biology and works in the E-fate Modelling/Risk Assessment Department at knoell. In his free time he loves running.

His university studies were already highly focused on environmental modelling. There were also some points of contact with the risk assessment field. After gaining his doctorate in the speciality field of hydrology, and several post-doc positions, during which Frank gained some experience with substance transport modelling among other things, he decided to leave the world of academia for his family. And Frank entered the world of business – and at the end of the day, it wasn't such a big step at all!

What work do you do at knoell?

For me as a trained systems scientist, my main field of activity was to record biological facts, convert these systems into mathematical models and then implement them in a computer program. So everything revolved around mathematics, computer language and handling large amounts of data. I can now utilise this knowledge in an optimal manner in E-fate modelling. This discipline is concerned with the transport behaviour of chemicals – usually agrochemicals – in the environment to ultimately determine whether these substances represent an environmental hazard or not. These estimates then form the basis for a risk assessment which is essential for obtaining marketing authorisation of these substances at EU level.

And what about reconciling family and career?

My wife also works at knoell. The company offers great scope for flexible work scheduling – I have a full-time position and my wife works part-time. And also in other areas there is great scope for organising things flexibly, but at the end of the day, naturally, the workload has to be managed. There is also a fair policy towards families and chlidren: new mothers, for example, can return to work with fewer hours than before and then gradually increase their workload. This is certainly a very family-friendly policy. Parental leave for fathers is also no problem.

How can you manage to organise a hobby as well?

I am a passionate runner and have already completed several marathons. But preparing for a marathon or half-marathon is a demanding business – both for the family and the employer. Instead of joining someone for a meal, you go for a run. But the management certainly takes a very positive view of sport. Management has great understanding for us athletes and encourages our activities. We even have facilities here to freshen up afterwards. Naturally all of this is part of achieving a good work-life balance which is promoted by the company. Especially, shared competitions, such as the MLP marathons, are naturally also good for the team spirit and working atmosphere.

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