As engineers we need to keep innovating to meet customer needs

Interview | April 25, 2023

Giulia Seikel from ABB’s Measurement & Analytics is an engineer and Product Line Manager who has worked for ABB for 24 years. Here, she shares some highlights from her professional journey.

“When you work in engineering, there are literally unlimited opportunities to come up with new ideas, innovate and problem-solve,” Giulia Seikel begins.

During her 24 years at ABB, she has worked at the forefront of innovation in engineering. In her last project, she led an R&D team as the Global Product Manager for the development of a new remote input/output (IO) unit built to complement ABB’s Flow Computer Product Line.

As part of the project, she worked side by side with her hardware and software engineer colleagues to determine the technical requirements for this innovative product.

“As a team, we focused on meeting our customers’ needs and ABB gave us the best technical environment and management support to accomplish this.”

The remote-control unit helps customers with data centralization, local automation and data transfer. It’s ABB’s main controller for advanced upstream (production) control and optimization, located in a centralized location on a production site. 

“Judging by the quick market acceptance of the product, the project was hugely successful.” 

The beginning

For Giulia, the biggest inspiration and most important role model has been her mother.

“Although she didn't have a formal education, she understood its value. With her love for mathematics, she pushed me to pursue a degree in System Engineering, believed in my capabilities, and never gave up. She also never stopped adapting to life's ever-changing circumstances. Her ability to overcome many challenges in life showed me the face of resilience and taught me to never give up.”  

Giulia began working for ABB while still a university student.

“I recall feeling a little overwhelmed at the start of my journey because, as a young engineer, I found myself in a complex environment where women were a minority.” 

However, soon she found herself overcoming some preconceived notions.  

“I demonstrated my abilities as an engineer, a team member, and even as a custom application engineering manager. I could see that I was able to meet the expectations of my company and customers. ABB gave me many opportunities to demonstrate my skills and continue my professional development. And here I am, 24 years later!” 

She believes that her journey has been possible because of the multiple and continuous development and growth opportunities available to her, not only in her area of expertise but also cross-functionally. 

From collaboration to innovation

Giulia says that collaboration is an important factor for success in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), especially in a complex work environment such as ABB’s.

“Collaboration is one of ABB’s values I strongly identify with because it encourages all of us to explore, including different perspectives in product development, and it teaches us to work with each other truly as one team. Next to achieving business goals, it is teamwork that gives me the most satisfaction at work.”

Giulia adds that it is the trust in each other’s abilities and the understanding of each other’s shortcomings that allows teams to work together to reach their goals.

“In ABB, we work hard to ensure an environment that makes us feel safe and where we can succeed. As a result, not only can we be more efficient as a company, but it also allows for a space where different team members can learn from each other and create an environment that fosters innovation.” 

Inspiring others by sharing her story

Giulia wants people to know that through dedication, collaboration, and constant learning, everyone can succeed in the STEM field. 

“If my story can encourage someone, then sharing my experience is worthwhile. We can never hear enough inspiring stories.” 

To her, STEM is an overarching set of knowledge that allows young people to pursue a technical career and provides them with the fundamental ability to develop in any professional and personal area. 

She is aware that there is still a perception that STEM is a good career path for men but a difficult career path for women. If there is one thing she wants a girl or a woman considering a career in science to remember from her story, it is that these stereotypes are often outdated and unfounded.  

“Don't let them stand in the way of a dream career. STEM is a very rewarding career path that doesn’t require women to sacrifice their work-life balance. There are multiple possibilities for women professionals with a science background. Don’t believe in outdated stereotypes. Instead, believe in your passion, education, and abilities – and most importantly, never stop challenging yourself and never give up.”  


About Giulia Seikel

Giulia Seikel graduated as a System Engineer in 1998. She started her career at ABB Venezuela as a university intern and was later hired as a field engineer for oil field production applications. Giulia moved to the US as a business developer for Oil & Gas applications. In 2004, she started working in Flow Computer and Remote Terminal Units (RTU) in ABB’s Measurement & Analytics division as Customer Project Engineer for Flow Computers and Gas Analyzers. Giulia was later appointed Application Manager, Global Product Manager and is currently the Product Line Manager for Flow Computers and RTU.

Years at ABB: 24 years

Products worked on so far: Variable Speed Drive, Gas Analyzers, Flow Computers, RTUs, and the Flow Computer Software Platforms

Superpower: Persistence. Never give up. If you fall, stand up and keep improving.

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