Four cool jobs at Hexagon

What do you do for a living? How you answer that question is not as important as how it makes you feel to be asked.

The modern workplace is values driven and business managers are finding that people increasingly prioritise meaningful work over other factors in their job search. Here on the manufacturing intelligence blog, we’ve written about the skills gap in tech industries many times before, and we know that talent acquisition is a high priority for CEOs. But what does this tell us? How can a smart, forward-looking organisation respond to these changes?

Perhaps the answer is to look within? Identify what sort of opportunities are available and show the engineers of tomorrow exactly what is possible with the right mentality and a spirit of determination.

In this blog, we take a look at some of the most innovative, most trendsetting and pioneering roles in our own organisation. These are 4 cool jobs at Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence Division.

Andrew Kerr, Forest research and development lead

If you could do anything, any job in the world, what would you choose?

That’s the question that Andrew Kerr asked himself after leaving university, trying different roles and never quite feeling at home. What did he decide? He started a business planting trees – of course.

Andrew Kerr, Research and development lead for forests

Andrew explains “This generation, our generation, is passion driven. There is no endless road. Our time on the earth is limited so we need to make sure we’re doing something that matters.”

He is quick to add “planting a tree is fantastic but when you stop and think about it, a new sapling is very small in comparison to a mature tree. To make a really big difference we need to be protecting the trees we already have.”

The carbon cost of cutting down a tree is more than the carbon released into the atmosphere by the destroyed biomatter. There is an opportunity cost too: the loss of that tree’s ability to capture more carbon from the environment in the future. We know that photosynthesis removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and releases oxygen, and the larger the tree the greater positive impact it will have.

When Andrew met the team at Hexagon, his project scaled up from individual trees to entire forests. Now with the full weight of Hexagon behind him Andrew and a small group have launched a project they’re calling Green Cubes.

They’re taking the idea of a digital twin out of the factories, laboratories and design offices, and applying it to an entire forest. With Hexagon’s digital reality platform HxDR , LiDAR and reality capture technology they’ve developed a pioneering approach to visualising and monitoring the rainforest.

R-evolution has launched a partnership with La Gamba Tropenstation, an Austrian research station associated with the University of Vienna, to map 100 square kilometres of rainforest, focusing on 500 hectares, which represents 125 million Green Cubes, each one available for commercial organisations to sponsor and thereby contribute to the sustainability strategy. Not a bad day at the office!

Rene Cabos, Senior product manager for artificial intelligence

Back in 1941, legendary Science Fiction writer Isaac Asimov invented one of his most fascinating characters, a cantankerous yet brilliant scientist called Susan Calvin. She was the architect and psychologist of an artificial intelligence.

Through his stories and characters, Asimov posed questions like how would an artificial intelligence function alongside human beings? What use cases will we find and what problems or pitfalls might we encounter along the way?

Eighty years later and this is an actual role at the forefront of a new technology that has captured the public conscious like no other. In this job you need to work with people and teams in diverse parts of the organisation, from the business management side through to research and development.

Rene Cabos, Senior product manager for artificial intelligence

This is all about looking ahead to see where artificial intelligence can make a difference. Rene:

“We are shaping the future every day, defining the industry as we go along. Currently, everyone is in the same spot trying to work it all out so there is huge potential to make a global impact.

“One of the things we’re working on is how to map out tribal knowledge. That’s information that would often be kept within certain parts of an organisation or individual teams. For example, there are often many ways of doing something, each with pros and cons. We’re trying to capture that knowledge and use it to create AI co-pilots for all sorts of different situations.

“I get the most job satisfaction when I see things being linked together, connecting different ideas, different parts of the business, connecting people and products, to create something new and better and AI is great at that.”

The digital transformation has created vast oceans of data. With artificial intelligence we can bring it all together in a rational, intelligible way. We can harness all that potential and ride the waves.

Ingo Lindner, Senior director of strategic intelligence

In conjunction with Hexagon’s metrology related business unit, we find Ingo Lindner, Senior director of strategic intelligence as member of the corporate development team for strategy and portfolio. This position extends far beyond the typical scope of the director of a business unit, incorporating innovation, strategy, market intelligence, customer insights and competitor analysis. Ingo, armed with a passion for technology and a strategic mindset, shapes Hexagon’s trajectory by decoding industry trends and aligning strategies with the needs of our diverse stakeholders.

Ingo Lindner, Senior director of strategic intelligence

Ingo Lindner, Senior director of strategic intelligence

Ingo built his reputation as a key figure in the business over many years having played a leading role in the development of several of Hexagon’s core metrology products earning him the nickname “Mr. Metrology.”

He describes this role as the ‘glue,’ bringing together cutting-edge technology, market dynamics and customer expectations. The excitement comes from the balance between the highly technical world of metrology machines in the manufacturing landscape of our customers, the implementation of Hexagon’s connected quality corporate strategies and the search for the next big thing.

“You have to read the signs and try to spot a trend at the earliest possible time, before it even becomes a trend. I always consider the triangle of technology, market and customers. I constantly ask how can we access new markets? How can we develop new technologies, and how can serve our customers better?”

That means understanding the industry, talking to customers, not-yet-customers and competitors, asking questions and interpreting what they say. Often, it’s what they don’t say that’s the most important and interesting.

“I’m a tech nerd in manufacturing and metrology, in this role you have to be, but it’s equally important to be a people person. Diversity is great. I love to work with different people and different perspectives. Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division is a company with 8000 different people. That’s a lot of different perspectives.

“One of the key success factors here is the pursuit of professional authenticity and curiosity. You have to stay true to yourself, but always be looking to grow and expand your influence. This is a role where seeing patterns others might overlook is crucial. It’s about striking the delicate balance between envisioning the future and solving immediate challenges and that challenge is endlessly fascinating.”

Milan Kocic, Senior director of Hexagon Accelerator

Milan Kocic is the person responsible for the Hexagon Accelerator programme, also known as Sixth Sense. That’s the part of the organisation that searches for new and exciting start up or early-stage companies with promising technologies and gives them a boost with access to all of Hexagon’s resources.

Hexagon has always worked with startup companies, but there was no formal way of doing it until the Sixth Sense project began. Milan describes it as “like speed dating between Hexagon and a startup company. We come up with a challenge and invite startups to apply. Each cohort has around 100 applications and we whittle it down to 6 or 7. Now we’re in our 3rd cohort and we’ve met some incredible people with innovative products and real passion for what they’re doing.

Milan Kocic, Senior Director of Hexagon Accelerator

We’re giving the best start up tech companies the power to grow much quicker, scale up fast with the power of Hexagon behind them and access to all equipment, research and some of the best brains in the industry.

My job is to find the closest fit with the technology available and the right business opportunity. Those are not equal. There are lots of great ideas that never make any money. I have to play many different roles working with the entrepreneurs and scientists behind these latest technologies and balancing that with a solid business model and value proposition.

I’ve never stopped to think if this was a cool job. When your buried in the day-to-day minutiae it’s hard to see the coolness of what we’re doing. We often focus on the tech and that can be hard to relate to. We need to focus on the people behind it and crucially, those in front of it – that’s the entrepreneur and customer.

The same holds true for everyone. In a way we’re all entrepreneurs. Milan’s advice is to embrace your inner entrepreneur:

“No one’s going to give you stuff in this world. If you want to do something you have to figure out how to do it on your own, but with the help of the right people. Make allies. Hustle. Be opportunistic and grab what you want.”

 

How do you feel when someone asks you what your job is? We want to hear from you. Did we miss out any cool jobs? Do you agree or disagree? What’s the definition of a cool job? Share this blog with your networks and join the conversation.

Author

  • Richard Baldwin

    Richard Baldwin is a global copywriter at Hexagon. He's spent 10 years in marketing departments in the UK and South America, with a focus on manufacturing companies. He holds a Pgrad Dip. from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and an MA Eng. Lit.

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