Dr. Thomas Veitinger joined Yokogawa Life Innovation Business as an Application Specialist in March 2021. In this interview, he tells us about his role and fascination for microscopes.
Interview with Dr. Thomas Veitinger
LIB Blog: Thanks for joining the interview. Could you briefly introduce yourself?
Dr. Thomas Veitinger: Sure, I’m Thomas, living in Dortmund together with my 4 kids and wife. I joined Yokogawa in March this year as a remote Application Specialist for the Life Science portfolio. Before that, I worked in different Product Management and Sales positions at Leica Microsystems, General Electric, and Cytiva. I studied Biology with a focus on Neuroscience, Developmental Biology, and Cellular Physiology in Bochum and then completed my Ph.D. in Bochum and Aachen. So I’ve been working with many different microscopes for more than 10 years now.
Working as an Application Specialist
LIB Blog: As an Application Specialist, what are your main tasks?
Dr. Thomas Veitinger: I am the interface between the customers and their microscopical applications, sales, marketing, and product management. What I’m practically doing is to help customers using our instruments and to support sales of our instruments by providing product demonstrations for the customers. Pretty much a classical remote sales role.
Moreover, I also work closely with marketing to make sure the customers’ needs and applications are reflected in our marketing material. Additionally, I’m also part of the team making sure that our brochures and product information are technically and scientifically correct.
For the future, I also hope to give some customer feedback to our product management and R&D departments to make them aware of unmet customer needs in current solutions and for future development.
CellVoyager CQ1 and CellVoyager CV8000
LIB Blog: Why should customers decide to buy CellVoyager CV8000 or CQ1?
Dr. Thomas Veitinger: Our HCS-devices CQ1 and CV8000 are well known in the industry. The most important features for microscopes of that kind are reliable automation, low system downtimes, and maximum throughput. Basically, our customers are trying to image as many samples as possible in a given time with minimal human interaction and, hopefully, with a working system and acceptable image quality!
Our systems are known for exactly that: High throughput and reliability! So we meet the major demands of our customers with the devices and, additionally, we have an unmet light efficacy in our optical design allowing our customers to do all that with stunning image quality!
LIB Blog: What do you like most about your job?
Dr. Thomas Veitinger: What I like about my job the most is having real interaction with high-end researchers in academia and pharma in their labs and being part of top-notch research. Most importantly I love the rewarding feeling you get whenever you are able to overcome issues in the customer’s application. Therefore, you allow them to advance in their research.
Due to the pandemic, I wasn’t really able to execute my job the way it’s meant to be for more than a year now. I hope the advances in the life science industry, which we are supporting with our products, will help to overcome situations like that in the future more swiftly and effectively.
Last but not least: Winning a deal as a team is such an overwhelming feeling, knowing that I contributed significantly to this process.
Focus on Microscopy
LIB Blog: Why did you decide to specialize in microscopy?
Dr. Thomas Veitinger: I was interested in biological questions since I was a child. So studying biology was natural for me, even though I hated it in school. Also, my family has some professional background in optics, so I had some interest there as well.
At the late stages of my Ph.D. thesis, I recognized that I didn’t really care about the scientific outcome of the experiments I did. My main interest was getting complicated microscopical experiments to run rather than actually caring about the meaning of the results. So I started doing the experiments for people who didn’t like working on microscopes and they did the experiments I didn’t like to do. That was pretty fair. From this point joining a microscope company as an Application Specialist was a natural step for me and I got my first job in the microscope industry.
Academia vs. Corporate work
LIB Blog: You worked at a university research institute before. If you compare, what is the biggest difference between an academic and a corporate job?
Dr. Thomas Veitinger: In my case, the differences are not that big in terms of what I am practically doing. Of course, the motivation now is selling devices instead of publishing papers, but there’s still a huge overlap between what I was doing in university and what I am doing now. For example, helping people with microscope problems, showing them how stuff works, educate myself about new technologies and applications, give presentations, work in labs, visit conferences and meetings…
So I’m a really lucky guy to have that persistent contact with the research world.
A major topic for people working in this life science area is that they can find a counterpart for their role also in the companies they are buying from. It is very important for these customers to see that a company selling high-end devices like our microscopes, is able to understand what people are actually doing with the devices and what problems they encounter. One of their main entitled fears is, that companies providing instruments might not be able to provide support if there’s a technical or scientific problem. So I also see myself as kind of an ambassador for Yokogawa in front of researchers from academia and private institutes. That’s something you will not really find in academia.
LIB Blog: So far, what do you like most about working at Yokogawa?
Dr. Thomas Veitinger: I’m only here for a month now and it is COVID-19, so I have to admit that I didn’t see much so far. However, I feel massive support from the Yokogawa people in Ratingen I had contact with, the LIB team here, and also from my colleagues in Japan and the USA. I’m very proud to represent Yokogawa’s portfolio out there in the research community.
My message for our readers
LIB Blog: Is there something you’d like to share with our blog readers?
Dr. Thomas Veitinger: Continue to be strong in this pandemia! Adhere to the current hygiene regulations. Trust in scientific research and continue researching!
Do you also want to be a part of our Yokogawa Life Innovation Business (LIB) Team? Currently, we are looking for a Field Service Engineer!
Send your application to Mr. Christoph Fischbach, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org