Martin - Graduate Application Engineer
Hello! My name is Martin and I am a part of the 2015 Graduate Development Programme (GDP) cohort, I am currently based in Luxembourg as an application engineer but as part of the GDP I recently led and completed a 2 month green belt process improvement project at our site in Korea. I focused on improving the impregnation process – this is a complex process where a plastic resin is impregnated into Carbon (which is a porous material) and then cured to improve the mechanical properties of the Carbon for example the flexural strength or hardness. I worked on our rotors and vanes production line, these parts are used in electric vacuum pumps which are used as brake boosters in electric cars. The result of my project was a 50% reduction in the cycle time of the process along with a higher product yield.
I worked in a global team throughout the project, with members based at sites in Europe, the US and Korea so an understanding of the different cultures and how they like to work was essential to the success of the project. A good example is in Korean culture; because they really like to help people, they can tend to answer “yes” to questions even if they do not know the answer. Along with the language barrier this can make it very difficult to understand the true situation and identify problems and solutions. Thanks to the GDP training module on communication and coaching, I became much more aware of the type of questions I was asking and I made a conscious effort to ask open questions so that they couldn’t be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”. This really helped me understand more and communicate more clearly with the team.
Throughout the project I tried to learn from my mistakes, whether this was how to run the trials in a more time efficient manner, how I controlled the variables within the trials or how to best plan and organise the project within my team so that everyone had a clear understanding. The project management skills and LEAN knowledge I gained on the GDP were integral to the success of the project. I really enjoyed getting to use some of the tools that I had learned about in theory in practice and I was able to see which tools worked best for me.
This was also a fantastic experience for me personally because I got to meet lots of different people from across the whole of Morgan, I got to experience what it was like to live and work in Korea, including eating all the amazing food!
Also I became great friends with my colleagues that I was working with on site and I have been invited to go back out there on holiday in the future!
I was able to take this great opportunity because of the skills the GDP enabled me to develop through training and practical experience and also help it gave me to grow my network which allowed me to discover the opportunity.