Fraunhofer USA

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Fraunhofer USA Reviews

Updated August 27, 2014
Updated August 27, 2014
11 Reviews
3.1
11 Reviews
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Dr. Georg Rosenfeld
2 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fabulous technology space, dynamic team, reinvigorated management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Fraunhofer USA full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    We are doing important technical work on very exciting projects; while there has been a lot of turn-over in the past (voluntary and involuntary) a strong highly functional team spirit abides. Company values are superlative, there's great interaction between groups and with upper management, the environment is very supportive of new ideas and there's a genuine sense of growing and being part of an exciting new Center.

    Cons

    As I presume to generally be the case with non-profits, the compensation isn't as high as aggressive corporate America jobs. The trade-off of great benefits, fabulous work/life balance, and wonderful coworkers more than compensates for this.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Thank you for working tirelessly to make this Center grow. It's great to be part of the greater Fraunhofer USA and German organizations and I very much appreciate the multicultural dynamic we enjoy. Thanks for being such strong advocates for us, your team.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Fraunhofer CSE - not what it should be

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Member of Staff  in  Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Member of Staff in Boston, MA

    I worked at Fraunhofer USA full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Interesting projects. Potential for contribution to sustainable energy.

    Cons

    I have to agree with the recent negative reviews here. It’s been sad the last few months to see Fraunhofer CSE trending down instead of up. When the place is developing sustainable energy technologies, it shouldn’t be that hard to create a productive and rewarding work environment and many people arrive motivated and eager to contribute. However, senior management appears short on training, instincts, or even experience in management; and it shows. Execution is weak and there’s no accountability from management when goals are not met: the technical people are supposed to pick up the slack. There’s a sense of entitlement: management seems to expect funding to continue regardless of whether they actually work for it, or ever deliver as promised. Work groups are sometimes played off against each other and forced to compete for resources. Moral has, not surprisingly, gone down: something like a quarter of the staff have either left or been fired in the last year.

    This situation is abetted by lack of oversight from the parent organization (Fraunhofer USA). With the headquarters in Michigan and a president in Germany, the parent organization is just “phoning it in”. Some attempts by departing staff to flag the issues have been made, but were apparently shrugged off in favor of defending the status quo.
    I’ve heard that Fraunhofer centers have a great reputation in Europe, but it’s easy to see why that isn’t translating to success over here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Develop management skills.
    Overcome fear of criticism.
    Follow through on commitments.
    Stop papering over the problems & address them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Fraunhofer CSE.... ruined by bad management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Fraunhofer USA

    Pros

    If you care about clean tech and want to work with smart scientists.... then CSE CAN be great. Alot of passionate people interesting projects, close work with places like DOE and amazing startup cos. New building seems cool and VERY hightech.

    Cons

    They hired people with ZERO! leadership experience to call the shots..... BIG mistake. Bad management pretty much killed the center. One of the directors used to sell antiques which would explain ALOT about his management style... no real startegic direction just lots of jumping around on different ideas and running off whenever it gets too hard. Lots of $$ and time wasted on deadend projects that looked good on paper but never did anything. Never took any responsibilty for any screwups.... of course those were always blamed on somebody else (usually somebody who just got fired)

    Office mood was AWFUL. Constant $$$$ problems killed alot of the perks like free bagels and people constantly getting fired with NO warning made everybody else super paranoid. after a while. Of course suckups got promoted like one former Wall Street guy who shows up out of the blue one day after buddying up to the big boss and acts like he owns the place. And did I mention the constant lying?? To employees AND customers! After a while we just tuned out what the management was saying because you couldn't trust it anyway.....

    It looks like they got rid of the worst people which is GREAT news but there's alot of damage to fix. Not sure they can do it after so many years of bad bad BAD management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fraunhofer CSE

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Fellow  in  Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Research Fellow in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Fraunhofer USA full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    As an intern (here they are referred to as "Fellows") this is an excellent place to develop practical hands-on skills in the field of sustainable energy. As an intern I had an opportunity to help and learn more about writing research proposals, collecting and analyzing data, and writing technical reports.

    Cons

    There are many different research groups with different projects and goals so there is a "silo" feeling among the groups rather than a more inclusive feeling.
    This is a non-profit and the pay is quite low, even for an intern.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Really enjoy the group activities that occur occasionally; its a good way to find out that even your PhD coworkers enjoy a laugh and a beer.

    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Fraunhofer USA/CSE: OMG. Where to begin?

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Staff  in  Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Staff in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Fraunhofer USA full-time

    Pros

    Connection to the multi-billion dollar Fraunhofer Society in Germany ensures decent benefits and reasonable pay. The mission is noble and coworkers are smart, hardworking, and collegial.

    Cons

    The management of the Center is a joke. When the former Director left, employees were hopeful that things would improve. They have not -- and in some ways -- have gotten worse. Basic management principles are ignored and senior staff with experience are ignored or, if they speak out, sent on their way. An unwillingness to recognize the need for changes -- and make them -- will be the downfall of this organization.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please send in someone who knows what they're doing.

    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Great fun, not so great pay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Visiting Scientist: Building Efficiency Technology Team  in  Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Visiting Scientist: Building Efficiency Technology Team in Cambridge, MA

    I worked at Fraunhofer USA as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Meet people from all over the world
    Interesting work
    Lots of freedom in learning opportunities
    Make amazing friends

    Cons

    Laughably low pay for the work that needs to be done.
    Management had some pretty huge issues while I was there, and seemed to have gotten worse after I left.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Way less in-fighting is needed.
    Listen more to the interns as we are doing sometimes the majority of the work involved in the project and often feel as we are never listened to.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Interesting and exciting work, questionable management practices, terrible compensation.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Fellow  in  Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Research Fellow in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Fraunhofer USA as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    As long as we're talking just about the work, Fraunhofer USA- Center for Sustainable Energy Systems in Boston is an awesome place to work. The labs are new and well-equipped, the client work and internal research is interesting and relevant, and there are a great many learning opportunities for young scientists and engineers. The company is relatively young and diverse. Scientific (middle) managers are smart and supportive.

    Cons

    The company chews through short-term, poorly-paid new graduates on 6-12 month "fellowship" contracts. The fellowship program is revolving door of young people who needed to take a job after graduation. The pay is terrible and there are no benefits for fellows. Upper level management is patronizing and disingenuous toward lower-level staff. Also, in 6 months, several smart, capable "permanent" staff were terminated without advance notice.

    Neutral Outlook
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great Start, no where to go

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Fraunhofer USA full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Fraunhofer was a great place to start a career. as a R&D the projects are different and you learn alot about many things.

    Cons

    Lower pay and no room to grow

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  10.  

    Extremely rewarding experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Fellow  in  Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Research Fellow in Cambridge, MA

    I have been working at Fraunhofer USA as an intern for more than a year

    Pros

    International team, lots of responsabilities, great place to work

    Cons

    Doesnt lead to a full time job

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  11.  

    Good place to start your career.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Scientist  in  Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Scientist in Boston, MA

    I worked at Fraunhofer USA full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great ideas at work, people are smart and friendly. Good engineering facilities. Interesting projects to work on. Great work-life balance.

    Cons

    Building is old and dark, no windows and very little interaction with the outside, once you are in the offices.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve the growth opportunities for young professionals.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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