Meet our, by the colleagues very valued, walking encyclopedia; Senior Scientist Henk Regeling. He gives courses to his colleagues about recrystallizations. He works at Mercachem almost from the beginning, but he still likes the variation in chemistry and projects. And the atmosphere within the company!
How long have you been at Mercachem?
Almost 18 years.
What is your function?
I work as a Senior Scientist.
What are your responsibilities at Mercachem?
Daily I work in the lab, but I have also an extra task: I am responsible for the NMR spectrometer in one of our facilities.
We have heard that you have a very special role at Mercachem. What is it?
I seem to be specialized in crystallizations. I have prepared crystals for X-ray analyses for compounds including a macrocycle. I also give a course in recrystallizations once every few years. Due to my experience, I am often used as a walking encyclopedia by colleagues. For me, it is rewarding to help out colleagues.
You have been working at Mercachem almost from the beginning. Why is it still interesting and what are the challenges?
The variation in chemistry and projects. In my opinion, the chemistry is becoming more interesting. At first, we performed a lot of heterocyclic chemistry with quite flat structures. Now the ‘new generation’ of scaffold structures are becoming more and more three-dimensional.
The work combines many different disciplines, and that is what makes it interesting. For example, we now also have a Medicinal Chemistry department. Herein the focus is still mainly on the synthesis of target compounds, but now you also get information about what happens with the molecules.
We’ve also heard that the most valuable asset of the company is the people. What, in your opinion, bonds the colleagues at Mercachem most?
The atmosphere within the company, which is spread throughout the departments. The people are really go-getting and really involved, but they are also helpful. Whenever you encounter a problem, there are always people within the company who can help you by utilizing their specific knowledge. People are informal, not hierarchical, and open-minded.
What was the most cool, nice, and interesting project you have worked so far?
Several projects were very interesting. For instance, there was a project with natural product synthesis in which the enantiomers were separated and the chirality of one of these enantiomers was resolved by X-ray crystallography.
Your hobby is photography. Could you tell us a bit more about it?
My interest is mostly landscapes. Right now I am interested in almost-empty photos. Usually I go for a bike ride or a walk and then see if something shows up: a view or something interesting for a photograph.
And are there things that you have learned from photography that you use in your daily job? Or the other way around?
Not that I am aware of.