Perihan Gundag in the laboratory in Turkey

Passion for learning

As both a Senior R&D Chemist in Jotun Turkey and PhD student, Perihan Gundag faces new ideas and perspectives every day. However, it is the teamwork in the lab that motivates her the most.

In the various R&D hubs throughout the world, Jotun has many skilled scientists. 36-year-old Perihan Gundag in Jotun Turkey, Istanbul is one of them. She focuses on innovation and technology projects within powder coatings and has no problems working in a male dominated environment. 

“Many of the points of contact we communicate with, such as customers, technical service support (TSS) and production, are male dominated. However, we manage to work smooth”, Perihan begins. 

Working with various internal departments as well as external partners and customers suits her well. 

“My most important source of motivation is teamwork. We cooperate really good, with a friendly atmosphere and good synergies. And the EECA R&D department, where I belong, is actually predominantly female”, she adds.  

In her work, Perihan meets various customer demands at an advanced technical level.  

“The things we do from day to day vary depending on the challenges we face. In the lab, creating recipes related to IP, production follow-ups and customer trials are important parts of my daily routine”, Perihan says. 

Besides the specific tasks at work, she has a passion for learning.  

“I like to listen and try different ideas and perspectives in designs. I have continued studying while working at Jotun and will graduate with my PhD later this year”, Perihan explains.  

As a student, she can learn from advisors in different courses and adapt this to her work. 

“I really enjoy creating something new. For instance, it is very enjoyable to find and try innovative raw materials from different sectors such as plastic, which has not been tried in powder coating before, and to observe different results. Seeing the success of our designs in customer applications motivates me”. 

Before joining Jotun 8 years ago, Perihan worked as an assistant while doing her master’s at the university. Since then, she has been truly satisfied with her work situation and life in general.  

However, the past two year have been challenging. The reason for this, of course, is the pandemic. As a person that enjoys meeting new people, getting to know new cultures, and traveling, life has been quite restricted. In addition, she misses some of her normal routines at work – such as social activities and gatherings.  

“We used to do many enjoyable activities, such as customer visits, supplier discussions, global meetings and collaboration with universities. These things have been very limited because of the pandemic”, Perihan says.  

Today, while hoping the pandemic will end, she highly appreciates the company’s people-oriented culture and values.  

“Jotun is a global company that protects the rights of everyone, regardless of religion, language, race or gender, with the values it adopts. This equality gives us, the employees, the opportunity to express our  thoughts freely and pursuit the opportunities that arise”, Perihan concludes.