PEOPLE BEHIND THE BUSINESS - ENGINEERING

Barbara Hathaway ID card
 

What does your typical day at work look like?

There is no typical day! The pandemic has had a big impact on how we all work. I have recently started coming back into our Denmead office on a part time basis after 5 months of working from home every day. I regularly check-in with my engineering teams around the globe, which at present involves a 7am start some days to overlap with the team in Australia. I also work closely with Product Management, Sales and Support ensuring that our engineering teams are meeting their requirements. 

How many people do you think you speak to during the day?

Probably around 5 people on a one to one basis each day, but then some days are full of group meetings, which could have up to 10 people on one call, meaning I interact with 50 different colleagues in one day.

What do you aim to accomplish each day?

I aim to spend at least half of my time on planning for the future of the engineering side of the business. This can involve interfacing with product management (seeing what customers want us to do), support (what hasn’t gone well, and we need to sort out), operations (ensure we are manufacturing efficiently) and the engineering teams themselves. We aim to encourage an innovative environment where our engineers are always making suggestions for how to improve products and processes. It is the best feeling when another problem has been overcome and solved. 

What three words would you say describes your role?

Exciting, Rewarding & Challenging

What has been your most memorable work moment so far?

Probably one of the most satisfying things I have done is to arrange a technical conference for our channel partners in 2016. Me and my team hosted a series of technical workshops for around 30 partners from all around the world. Transferring knowledge to willing students is such a wonderful feeling. And of course, we enjoyed the social aspect as well!

What’s your favourite thing about the job?

Seeing the positive effects of the products we design and manufacture.

Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing?

I am a keen runner and cyclist, often taking on crazy endurance challenges for charity. I ran the London Marathon in 2018. I will never forget the experience of running past the Cutty Sark and finishing on the Mall. Even though I took 4 hours and 44 minutes to complete the marathon the grandstands on the Mall were still full of cheering fans. It really is an incredible event. I hope we can get back to having events like this again soon.

If you could go anywhere on holiday, where would it be?

Any of the Caribbean Islands. I love the laid-back vibe and culture (and the weather helps!).

What gets you on your Soapbox? (i.e. what annoys you/issues that you are passionate about)

Climate change. I very much admire and support the campaigning of Greta Thunberg and her challenge for us “grown-ups” to fix the world before it is too late. Engineering is part of the solution and I hope that here at Ovarro we will be able to contribute some of the building blocks required.