Nico Stohler, a new AVR site representative in Basel interviewed by Stefan Fritschi

Nico grew up in Hölstein in the upper part of Basel-Land and also completed the compulsory schooling there. After finishing the compulsory schooling, he did a Matura with a special focus on mathematics in Liestal (Basel-Land).

Where did you grow up and what kind of training did you do?
I grew up in Hölstein in the upper part of Basel-Land and also completed my compulsory schooling there. After finishing my compulsory schooling, I did a Matura with a special focus on mathematics in Liestal (Basel-Land). During that time, I discovered my passion for flying and was able to do federally funded pilot training. My aim was to become a helicopter pilot in the Swiss military and then later to pursue this profession in civil aviation in an air rescue organisation. My aviation career then took me to the pilot recruits school, but I failed to be selected. After that bitter disappointment, I had to find a new calling. That went quite quickly: I took up a polymechanics internship and then joined the trinational "Project Management in Mechatronics" course. During that time, I did internships in the field of medical device development. I completed my studies by writing a diploma thesis on the design of a cranial osteosynthesis implant. While still studying, I got married and became the father of a daughter in 2004. In 2007 and 2010, my son and my younger daughter were born. [Today, Nico is divorced but maintains a good and close relationship with his children.]

What brought you to Roche?
From the development of osteosynthesis implants, my path took me briefly via a start-up company, which developed on-body injectors, to the device development department at Roche. Here I was involved in exciting projects around the development of injection systems for drugs that cannot be taken orally. These include commonly used syringes and needles but also more complex devices such as autoinjectors, smart devices and systems for injecting medicines that target the brain. [In this area, Nico is responsible for managing the Neuro Device Tech Center. His work involves evaluating concepts, devices and innovative ideas with the aim of providing patients with improved therapies in the future.]

How long have you been on the AVR Board?
I have been a site representative at the AVR since November 2022.

Why did you decide to devote your time and energy to the AVR?
Turbulent times in my private life taught me how to deal with unwanted changes and to reorganise my life. It was a process in which I had to give a lot of thought to interpersonal relationships and social issues in general. Though in my job up to now I have dealt largely with technical issues, I would like to take the opportunity to become involved in the social environment. In my AVR activities, I would now like to do more for employees' concerns.

What are your biggest concerns as an AVR site representative?
I think there are many human aspects to the business environment as well, and they are often addressed too little or too late. At the AVR, I want to help support employees in difficult situations and, wherever possible, to find better solutions together.

How do you like spending your free time?
Spendingtime with my children and enjoying the good things in life with them is more important to me than ever. Growing up in the Jura hills of Basel-Land, I spent a lot of time out in the woods as a child. I also discovered my passion for Asian martial arts early on. More generally, I've always enjoyed exercise and doing sports. Forest runs, fitness training, aikido and even just walking are my favourite leisure activities today. At quieter moments, I like to read or listen to books on topics such as philosophy, positive psychology, sustainability, sociology, plant nutrition and so on.

Interview conducted by Stefan Fritschi, AVR site representative in Basel