DataLab Materials Informatics Podcast

008 Joerg Hellwig - Digital Transformation in the Materials and Chemicals Industry

008 Joerg Hellwig -  Digital Transformation in the Materials and Chemicals Industry

Summary: In this episode, Joerg Hellwig, Chief Digital Officer of LANXESS AG, provides an Industry perspective on how the acceleration of new product development plays a crucial role in a company’s success, and how data is a critical enabler of this acceleration.   In this episode, Dr. Bryce Meredig and Joerg Hellwig discuss: Joerg’s career path and the responsibilities of his current role as a chief digital officer. How “digital transformation” has impacted the materials industry, and how to better integrate technology tools into R&D and manufacturing industries. Which human factors play a role in technology integration in the materials and chemicals industries, and how to change mindsets across an organization in a data-driven approach. How algorithms and machines can free up scientists to spend their time doing creative, critical work within an organization. The critical role that data-driven materials and chemical industries can play in creating a more sustainable world.   “I’m very excited about using data-driven methods to embed recyclability and sustainability into the DNA of materials. We want to use AI to produce products which are both needed by the market and our customers, and fully recyclable.”   “Right now, how fast we can develop new products is unpredictable...we do 50, 100, 150 trials...This is painful, time consuming, and unpredictable...By incorporating data-driven methods, we define a different way of doing things that can change this unpredictability and allow us to gain speed.”   Joerg Hellwig began his career as a commercial trainee at Bayer AG. After spending several years in the US, he returned to LANXESS in Germany to restructure and sell its Synthetic Fibers business. Following an assignment at Reliance Industries in India, he came back as Managing Director of the Pigment business unit at LANXESS. Since 2017 Joerg has led the company’s Digital Transformation Initiative as Chief Digital Officer. The process focus areas include the digitization of production, the introduction of new tools and systems throughout the value chain, promoting the value of data as an institutional asset for the entire company, and the use of advanced analytics such as artificial intelligence to increase the speed of development. Joerg also leads the “New Work” cultural transformation program to support the skill and talent necessary for the transition to a digital organization. As a champion of new technologies at the company, Joerg is also responsible for exploring new business models. As such, he founded the start-up software company CheMondis and served as Managing Director and Supervisory Board member. CheMondis, now independent, has quickly become the leading online marketplace for the chemicals industry. Dr. Bryce Meredig, is the host of DataLab: The Materials Informatics Podcast, and Chief Science Officer and co-founder of Citrine Informatics. Dr. Meredig researches the application of machine learning to materials science. He earned his PhD in materials science from Northwestern University, where he focused on materials informatics, and his BAS and MBA at Stanford University, where he is also on the faculty of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He is the author of more than 20 peer-reviewed publications, including some of the earliest on applying machine learning (ML) to materials development. He was an Arjay Miller Scholar and Terman Fellow at Stanford, and a Presidential Fellow and NDSEG Fellow at Northwestern.   Connect with Bryce: Twitter: @brycemeredig Website:

Duration: 27 min

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