Florie Bentley
 Electronics Design Engineer
St. Asaph, United Kingdom

What is the first thing you do when you get started with work for the day?  

I start my day by going through my emails, and then reply if required, organize them in the right folders or add reminders depending on what needs doing or if the information is available.

I may then grab a cup of herbal tea. I don’t usually have caffeine. I would then grab my laptop and head to the electronics lab; I may pass by stores if components I’ve ordered have arrived. 

What are your main areas of focus in your work as an Electronics Design Engineer? 

As an Electronics Design Engineer, my role varies depending on where I am in the design cycle and depending on the project. In my role, my main areas of focus are making sure that the design meets the electronics requirements and the delivery deadlines. I believe that to stay competitive, we need to get the products out of the door on time, alongside quality and cost.

How do you organize/structure your work day with tasks/projects?   

Sometimes a customer may request a product, in which case, they already know what they want and there is a specification. In other cases, the company may decide to develop a product and then market it to customers. The design process may be slightly different depending on the scenario. At the initial stage, the job is mostly research, finding the right technology or chipset to implement a particular application, finding a reliable supplier, learning about the technology, etc. Once the design is approved and the project starts, the first few weeks is mostly design work; a huge percentage of which can be done remotely. 

After the design has been completed and the prototype is built, it’s 90% hands-on testing, validation and report writing. At this point, I spend most of my days in the electronics lab or travelling to external test houses. 

As an Electronics Design Engineer, do you collaborate with a team or mainly work autonomously? Which do you prefer?  

As an Electronics Design Engineer, I only attend the meetings that are necessary to my role. The initial stage of the project requires a lot of meetings but once the project starts and if things are going according to plan, the meetings can dwindle to once a week. That doesn’t mean that communications stop. Good communication is vital in my role. Electronics design is very much a team-based role. I speak to my colleagues numerous times a day, either by email, skype messenger or on the phone. I also have to communicate a lot with the broader teams including software, mechanical, production, test and external suppliers. Electronics design is not a 100% remote working role, however we’ve learned that it can easily be a 50/50 or more split. It can be tailored according to business needs.  

Which part of your work do you enjoy the most, and why? 

I enjoy most of my work. I enjoy the initial research, the actual design and the testing. I get really excited when the first prototype arrives. When you get a physical product in your hands! At this stage, you are going from concept to reality. 

If you had more hours in the day to focus on new skills related to your job or projects for your work, what would you focus on?  

I’m always looking to enhance my career skills. I am a Hardware Engineer but after a few years as an Engineer, I did an MA in Management. This was useful in understanding the commercial environment and corporate strategies. At the moment, I’m on a C programming training. These skills combined provide me with a competitive edge and make me a valuable Engineer.

What is your special skill/ magic power/ hobby you’re proud of?  

I would say my special skill is fairness. I work very well within a team because I treat everyone in the same way I would like to be treated. I appreciate and value every member of the team and I’m honest with every one of them. I’m very friendly and sociable.