Ovivo’s Women for Water presents: Beate Scheiffelen
Celebrating 40 Years in the Water Industry
Beate learned at an early age the importance of water in our daily lives. Her parents were trout farmers and regularly analysed their groundwater to ensure that it was safe. This process fascinated her as she grew up, aware of the urgency to have clean fresh water and its environmental, social, and economic impact.
About Beate Scheiffelen
After studying at a vocational college in Chemistry and Environment in Germany, Beate joined a company in the food and beverage industry, developing mineral drinks and convenience food for end consumers. She longed to work in wastewater treatment. Beate felt it would be more gratifying to treat water for everyone to enjoy instead of creating high-priced bottled water.
Her Career in Water
Beate began her career at Ovivo in 1982. At that time, the German based company was named Goema GmbH and specialised in industrial wastewater and recycling technologies. Her goal was to improve wastewater quality so that everyone, fish included, could benefit from her actions. Beate recalls ‘’This was completely new to me, but it was what I wanted. Learning how to recover wastewater and improving it so that it is safe to go back into the environment.’’
After learning about the industry, Beate took over the supervision of the physical chemical treatment lab and ion exchange was one of the technology solutions she worked on. A few years later, she started supervising the second lab which was dedicated to research and development.
‘’I witnessed so many innovations in our industry. In the 80s, water recirculation was just a concept. It was exciting to be part of the team involved in the R&D and finding sustainable solutions to recover water and other valuable resources for industrial purposes’’, recalls Beate.
Mentoring a New Generation for Careers in the Water Industry
Beate has guided many students through their master thesis and enjoys mentoring students who do their internship at Ovivo Germany. Her goal is to employ more women and encourage them to take on more responsibility. She coauthored the third revised edition of The Hartinger Handbook of Wastewater and Recycling Technology, writing a few chapters on elimination of pollutants from wastewater. ‘’The new edition brings more practical knowledge to the readers who represent many clients, not only those in the metal finishing industry’’ explains Beate.
The best advice she can give to someone starting a career is to be confident in your abilities and not to be shy to clearly express yourself. And when you do not know something, look into it until you understand it. For many years, Beate devoted one evening a week to researching new subjects, improving her knowledge, and perfecting her skills.
Beate is currently the Director of Technology / Parts & Services, and Ovivo Germany is the competence center for treating metals wastewater, providing sustainable water and wastewater technologies through smart water recirculation, and meeting environmental regulations. We are fortunate to have her on our team.
‘’My whole life I’ve felt like there’s a line that cannot be crossed environmentally, and I’ve dedicated my career to explore and offer sustainable solutions so that we can continue to live on our planet for a very long time. There’s still so much to do.’’