From coffee machines to glass inspection systems, Jose Rodriguez has been involved in many different designs as an Employeneur. The diversity in working environments, in the Netherlands and abroad, is one of the best aspects of the Senior Mechanical Designer's job.
Exploring the limits of his abilities has never been something Jose Rodriguez was afraid of. "For my master's thesis research, I contributed to an algorithm for a Spanish robotics company that allowed service robots to recognize whether a door was open or closed. That company needed software to teach the robot those skills. For a Mechanical Engineer with a background in mechatronics it is not obvious to develop software, but by learning it, I was able to make a great contribution to this project."
Jose is now working on a module for highly specialized machines through TMC. "I am mainly involved with the cooling of the machine. At concept level, I decide which materials are needed and which parts must be used. Because I have worked for the client of this company before, I know what works well and what doesn't."
An earlier project that Jose would like to mention is the concept design and development of machine parts and mechanisms for systems that inspect glass. "There were problems with the assembly of the machines. They were quite complex and consisted of a lot of parts. I fully coordinated the development of one machine. The combination of engineering and project management was a very nice challenge. I had to maintain contact with the supplier, but also with people working with the machine. Moreover, I had direct consultations with the CEO of the company." Dealing with those different stakeholders was not always easy. "What helped me was that I approached everything very systematically: every single action was classified, prioritized and tracked in an excel file. When reporting to management I always had an up to date overview of the project progress. Fortunately, everyone was very helpful and was there for me if I needed support. So at the end it is always about teamwork!"
Open to discussion
Jose especially likes the variety in his work. "I get the opportunity to work in very different environments and to develop my skills in different disciplines." The diversity in the working environment also gives Jose a lot of energy. "I find it inspiring, not only the different stakeholders with whom I have to work, but also the diversity of cultures. I am originally from Mexico, where in many companies it is normal to do exactly what the boss wants. In the Netherlands there is more of a basis of equality. I have also experienced differences of opinion between people that mainly had to do with cultural differences. That is hard sometimes, but it is also very fascinating. It is always very important to listen carefully to other people and not to be too proud of your own ideas. I learned better and better over the years."
In addition to work experience, the coaching that TMC offers also helps with this. "I learned a lot about psychological insights that I was completely unaware of. I especially learned from them to be more open to discussion."
Making a difference
Until last year, Jose had his own company for which he set aside one day a week. "I worked with a few colleagues on an ergonomic mouse for very intensive use. This is temporarily on hold because I don't think the product is good enough to go on the market with it yet. I do have the ambition to continue with it someday. Anyway, I enjoy contributing to products that make a difference, whether that be an ergonomic mouse or a healthcare device."
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