Specialists, engineers and inventors throughout the world enthusiastically pursue ABB’s vision. With a clear aim in sight, they never cease to enjoy tinkering and discovering. Here are just some of their stories.
A passion for engineering
Songlin develops groundbreaking technology for ABB in Shanghai, China. He and his team are responsible for creating robotic applications that demonstrate their robot products’ latest features. Sounds complicated? Not at all. In fact it’s “cool,” says Songlin. And when he talks about YuMi, the first collaborative, two-armed robot, he gets really enthusiastic. “YuMi can solve Rubik’s Cube and even make a café latte.” Songlin describes his job as “very technical, but still creative.” And he enjoys it when his work achieves something. He began working for ABB in Beijing in 2013 after completing his master’s degree. His international team members come from China, Sweden, India and Germany. Their next goal? “To change the world.”
Team player of the highest caliber
The best ideas always come from the Far North. Claire manages a team of 22 researchers working in the field of electrical insulation and material technology in the small Swedish town of Västeras. It was eight years ago that she first brought her expertise in nanotechnology to ABB. She and her team have since been developing futuristic materials for a series of ABB products. As a recognized academic she also strengthens the link between ABB units and university research. Claire especially enjoys working in a team. Asked about what motivates her, she replies that above all it is “the people I work with.” What fascinates her about her work? “Every member of the team has a different way of thinking and a different personality, but they are all so committed.”
Expert in steel cabinets
Craig likes best to talk about his great passion – transformers. “Even after 35 years I’m still fascinated by a thing that can’t move,” jokes Craig. “But so much happens inside these little steel boxes.” Craig began working in the electrical transmission and distribution sector in 1979. Today, he is the Director of Business Development and Technology at ABB North America’s Transformer Remanufacturing and Engineering Services. “So much has changed and is still changing,” says Craig, “the methods we use to analyze the performance of transformers, the developmentof materials, and the way electricity is generated and distributed. These are things I really get a lot of pleasure out of.” Sounds electric…
Engineer with a vision
As a student, Tamara helped to develop a mobile phone charging station based on solar power. “And just two years later,” she reports, “I’m part of one of the most exciting projects ever – Solar Impulse.” When this exclusively solar-powered aircraft became the first plane to fly around the world without fossil fuel, she was responsible for the mobile hangar at the start and finish of each stage. The hangar can be folded up, carried to the landing site, and set up again. She made sure that there was enough electricity to operate the hangar. “Working together with pilots, astronauts and wonderful people from all sorts of different backgrounds was a source of motivation for me,” says Tamara. To her, Solar Impulse was not only a technical challenge but a human one, which she found thrilling.
Specialist in Energy
Tobias currently manages a team of 12 engineers who are responsible for developing software for frequency converters used in the generation and distribution of electricity. The vision behind this is a lofty one: to provide renewable energy more efficiently to the European electrical grid. Tobias is especially proud of a frequency converter developed for the Grimsel 2 storage station in Switzerland. It is the most efficient used in a hydroelectric powerplant anywhere in the world. “I really enjoy watching it working,” says Tobias, “because I know what’s gone into it.” Tobias began working at ABB Switzerland in 2007 as a systems engineer. Since 2012 he has been managing the R&D Control Software unit. What makes him happy? “The fact that my team and I are contributing to a sustainable energy future.”
Door-opener for new media
Hanson has had an exciting year. He has been responsible for moving his division into eCommerce, thereby initiating a completely new approach to the digital marketing of ABB products. Hanson’s career has been as exciting as his ideas. He was a junior buyer at ABB in Xiamen in 2005, after which he moved to Italy and then to England. He returned to China with renewed energy and now heads up the eCommerce Initiative for low-voltage products. His motto is: “We have to look ahead and do things differently.” Because one thing is clear: “Moving our product sales into the digital world is a radical step in our sector.” Courage and confidence are needed for it to work. “Sometimes I feel a bit likea superhero,” he says, with tongue in cheek.
Experienced problems solver
David knows everything about industrial robots, down to the last detail. Together with his team of 12 he solves his customers’ technical machine problems by remote maintenance. He and his team provide support around the clock, which requires research and intuition. “We know our robots inside and out,” says David, “and we talk of nothing else all day long.” He arrived at ABB in Mexico eight years ago as a trainee. Today, he heads a call center in the United States. He sums up his work: “Helping someone to solve a problem gives me immense satisfaction.”