Have you ever stopped to wonder why a product looks the way it does? As part of British Science Week, we wanted to raise awareness of our scientists & engineers at CoolLED. Our Mechanical Design Engineer, Helen, shared a few words on her role as part of our Research & Development team…
Can you explain what you do at CoolLED?
My role is a sort of bridge between the innovators and how to package the technology, so I take what the Optical Engineers envision, and along with others, develop it into a form that is functional and aesthetically pleasing. As well as this, we’ve got to make sure that it’s manufacturable in the real world.
A great example of this revolves around the research carried out by the R&D team into increasing light output using LEDs and optics. Getting that high power light output creates heat, and we have to remove it. So that is part of my job: to remove the heat efficiently, and to make the product work.
The research team have a bright spark idea and I make sure it’s physically possible.
How did you get into your career?
I’ve always enjoyed product design, although it wasn’t because I was considering a future career. I was very lucky to attend a school specialising in technology, with outstanding equipment for design technology and enthusiastic teachers. I enjoy what I do, I guess I fell into engineering rather than seeking it out.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy that it’s a challenge. You never quite know the answer and you’ve got to work it out. If I move a component, that creates a conflict with another and another. There is always a challenge. That’s why it takes time.
I also enjoy learning, and this job has been a crash course in the physics involved in LEDs and optics. There will be more – I’m always learning!
How is it to be a female engineer?
I’ve always felt very supported going through my career, even though I have always been in the minority, as female engineers are few and far between. Taking gender out of the equation, there is a lot of diversity in the R&D team at CoolLED. We’ve got multiple nationalities, including Scottish, South African, Chinese, American/Kiwi and Greek. I see personal differences as a positive for the work we do, we all see things differently and approach challenges in alternative ways.