Dr. Heiko Rieck
– Project manager in portfolio management
My professional development is very much the logical continuation of my interest in the sciences.
Even back in high school, my favorite subjects were chemistry and math.
I continued on this path, studying chemistry at Heidelberg and Montpellier. After completing
my doctorate at Heidelberg and a valuable one-year postdoc project in Stanford, California, I
joined Bayer’s Crop Protection unit in Monheim as a laboratory manager in February 1998.
My career path to and at Bayer CropScience
I am often asked why I chose Bayer. After all, the chemical and pharmaceutical companies south of
my home town would have been closer, at least distance-wise.
But after a doctoral course in the mid-nineties, which introduced me to Bayer and its
CropScience activities, it was pretty soon clear that my future would be here.
Right from the beginning, I was taken with the excellent research conditions, the
international work environment and friendly colleagues. And indeed, everything I hoped and wished
for has so far come true.
Vive la France – even at work
After around four years as a laboratory and research manager in the Monheim Crop Protection Center,
I was given the chance to transfer to the French research site in Lyon. It was an excellent
opportunity for me – I have always had a soft spot for the country and for the language, which I
speak well. I was able to convince my supervisors, and not least my family, that the transfer was a
good thing. Within the first year I was given more responsibility, becoming Group Leader in
Fungicides Research. With 5 labs and 15 employees, we were able to pursue many new approaches.
During the last two years in France I was Team Leader – the high point of my career to date.
Back to Monheim – where new tasks await
The change from Research back to Monheim happened really quickly. I was offered a vacant position
in project management. This branch of work involves accompanying new active ingredients that have
left the research stage right through to their market launch. It’s fascinating work which throws up
many different challenges.
You work with all the departments involved in the development process - in different regions
and countries; you get a real insight into company processes and you’re responsible for the entire
Every day you learn something new – you get the chance to discover new skills and develop the
right feel for things, such as: How do you motivate your colleagues? How can we recognize and cope
with difficult situations? What are the consequences of our decisions?
Summary: Completely satisfied
To sum up, I enjoy my work and value the opportunity to work in an international project team with
committed and highly qualified colleagues, finding solutions together for the tasks and
requirements we’ve been set.