For Rena Ren, it's the impact that you can make as an engineer that inspired her to pursue a career in the field - and drives her in her daily work as project quality manager.
Why did you choose a career/education in engineering?
Much of my family work in big factories, so I felt very familiar with that kind of environment. My grandparents were engineers and I was always very proud of them. I studied material science and technology at university. It was a very technical engineering school and we were six girls in a class with 42 students. The ratio in the full faculty was 1:7.
Later, I took an MBA within professional accounting. But I like the more technical world, so engineering won.
What inspires you about engineering?
I like the logic and the organizing and the practical detailed things that is engineering. But most of all, I am inspired by the fact that what you do as an engineer really counts. There’s really a purpose to engineering regardless of whether you apply it to build pharma facilities, like here at NNE, or in other industries – my classmates work within vehicles, metallurgy, housing, all are exciting.
How did you get to where you are today?
I joined NNE in China in 2009 and came to Denmark on a project in the summer of 2015. To start with, I was here for a half-year project role, which was extended several times and at the end I was offered a permanent position as quality engineer in Denmark. That became senior quality engineer and now project quality manager.
It was a bit of a coincidence that I ended up at NNE in the first place, but I am glad I did. I got a lot of help from a lot of people along the line and working with different people and different customers really boosted my development. It’s really a good place to grow.
I like the logic and the organizing and the practical detailed things that is engineering. But most of all, I am inspired by the fact that what you do as an engineer really counts.
What is the most exciting thing about your job?
I love that you can never predict your day. There are always new things, new people, new challenges to solve. And I feel a great sense of pride in what I do, because I am part of the journey to build a factory that will deliver medicine to patients. As a team we achieve something. It never becomes routine.
In the validation department, which I’m part of, people have very different educational backgrounds. You cannot study validation at the university, so it’s a very motley group of pharmacists and people with all kinds of engineering and technical backgrounds. My mom still cannot describe clearly what I do.
What does a typical day in your job involve?
I am usually on-site to be close to the project and the action and I always have my safety shoes, helmet and safety vest with me. NNE is a consultant company, so a typical day on a project usually involves a lot of meetings, where we talk about target, scope and work to be done. There is a lot of communication, stakeholder management and alignment to be done to ensure the quality and quantity of the work and that the project progresses as planned – while being a fun place to work as a team.
Every day I talk to a lot of people and meet new ones, both colleagues, customers and other consultants or vendors. We are all one a big team that help each other and work towards the same goal. I really like that.
What would you say to girls in school/college who may be considering engineering as a career choice/study option?
I would encourage them to have a try! Engineering is not “for men”, it’s for everyone with a can-do attitude and willingness to learn. When it comes down to it, it’s just a job – there should be just as many females as males. And if you come to this world, you will see that there are a lot of awesome women. So, you don’t have to think about how and why – it’s for the individual to choose. Just have a go and explore the options. I did and I never regretted for a second.
MBA, Professional Accounting
University of Technology, Sydney, 2008
B. Sc. material science and technology
Nanjing University of Science & Technology, 2006
Project Quality Manager
2019 - ongoing
Process Quality Lead
2018 - 2019
Senior Quality Engineer
2011 - 2018
2009 - 2011
Validation at NNE
NNE's Validation department consist of 35 employees who combines experience in production processes and product development within GMP, to help our customers with:
- Risk assessment of products and processes
- Equipment testing and qualification
- Equipment challenge and process validation
- Environmental monitoring
- Cleaning validation
- Implementation of quality management systems