From a master’s degree in Process Chemistry and a Master of Science to her current experience: find out more about Gabrièle Legros’ career in the pharmaceutical sector via agap2.
Could you please introduce yourself and your job in a few words?
My name is Gabrièle. I am a process engineer with a background in process chemistry. I pursued my studies in both France and Germany, where I obtained a double diploma in the field. I have a master’s degree in Process Chemistry (Diplôme d’Ingénieur) and a Master of Science. My educational background is quite diverse and covers a wide range of topics. For the past five years, I have been working in Switzerland, gaining valuable experience in my field. Since last September, I have been employed with agap2, a company where I continue to expand my expertise and contribute to various projects.
Could you please introduce the client you are working for in a few words?
The client I am currently working for bought a building to manufacture internally developed molecules on a large scale. Our role is to scale up the processes being developed and demonstrate the company’s capabilities within the strict regulations of the Swiss market, particularly the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) requirements. The ultimate goal is to become an established Contract Development Manufacturing Organization (CDMO). When the company took over, there were several improvements that needed to be made to bring the site up to state-of-the-art standards. We started the pilot production beginning of this year.
What other missions have you worked on with agap2?
Prior to my current assignment, I worked on only one other mission, a site in Monthey, Valais. They specialize in the manufacture of composites, adhesives and formulations. Its products enable customers in the aerospace, transport, wind energy, coatings and construction industries to replace traditional materials with solutions that meet the most demanding specifications. During my five-month tenure, my role primarily focused on the project side, specifically in fiability and maintenance engineering. I was involved in various stages of the project, from conceptualization to realization and commissioning. Additionally, I provided ongoing support and follow-up on the project due to the high turnover rate at the company. This required me to step in and assist until new personnel were hired and fully integrated into the team.
Could you please introduce the project you are currently working on?
Currently, I am employed as a process engineer, responsible for ensuring that the manufacturing procedures at the site are optimized to produce the required chemical molecules. My primary focus is to develop clear and precise procedures for the operators, ensuring that they can achieve the necessary quality standards. Safety is a critical aspect of my role. I ensure that we have a robust production system in place to minimize any potential risks. Although we are not yet operating under Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), we still adhere to a standard set of procedures that must be followed. It is essential that everyone follows guidelines and doesn’t deviate from them.
As part of my responsibilities, I also conduct process risk analyses. This involves evaluating the safety measures needed for handling chemicals. We also pay close attention to hazardous substances and prioritize the safety of our personnel. Each morning, we ensure that individuals have the appropriate personal protective equipment and are equipped to return home safely at the end of the day. It is vital to assess and mitigate every potential risk that may arise during operations.
What excites you about this project?
Over the past three years, my focus has primarily been on project-related tasks rather than production activities. However, returning to working on production tasks feels like a homecoming for me. It allows me to apply my knowledge and skills directly related to my field of study. I have extensive interaction with various stakeholders, including production personnel, laboratory staff, development teams, and safety professionals. This central position enables me to oversee and coordinate multiple aspects of the production, making it a fulfilling and rewarding experience. I enjoy the opportunity to multitask and contribute to various areas simultaneously.
What makes you the right person to do this project?
I have a strong educational background in process chemistry, which has equipped me with the ability to quickly adapt to new environments. Throughout my life, I have constantly been moving and experiencing different places, which has honed my adaptability skills. As a result, I am adept at acclimating to new situations and delivering results efficiently.
In my current role as a consultant, I am often called upon to provide urgent assistance and offer prompt advice to clients. Being present and available to support the client is crucial, and I ensure that I actively listen to their needs and concerns. This allows me to provide the necessary support and guidance they require.
How long have you been working on this project and how long will the mission last in total?
I have been working at my current location since the beginning of March. Initially, the contract was for a period of six months. However, it appears that there are indications to renew it for another six months, this extension would allow me to continue my work.
What is the working atmosphere like within the company? Is there a perceived difference between the client’s employees and agap2 consultants?
The atmosphere is very nice, and we have around 30 people internally, which allows us to familiarise ourselves with everyone. It’s refreshing to be part of a small team where I can personally get to know everyone. There is no distinction; I am the only representative from agap2 at this location. Rather than being part of an established agap2 team, I have been dispatched here and integrated into the existing team.
How does agap2 contribute to your daily life at work?
I work independently, but I have support from my supervisor from agap2 when needed, particularly in administrative matters rather than the job-specific tasks. Although there are events organised every two to three months, my contact has been more aligned with my previous job rather than my current one in Basel. In my previous position, I started alongside other colleagues at the headquarters, and we spent the first week together before embarking on our respective missions.
Whenever there are gatherings, it’s a great opportunity to meet up with fellow professionals and engage in discussions related to our work. These occasions provide a nice platform for sharing insights and experiences.