Problem-solving, together with her team, is both the key motivation as well as the challenge for Paula Roman. This Project Engineer at Materialise Manufacturing is passionate about 3D printing and has a resolute can-do attitude towards her job, two great ingredients for this role.
What does a day in the life of a Project Engineer look like? Paula walks us through it in this interview!
After more than three years working in production planning at Materialise Poland, Paula moved to Materialise headquarters in Leuven this April to work as a Project Engineer for eyewear and she brought with her a contagious motivation and her love for 3D printing.
Having graduated in Management & Production Engineering and with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering, Paula discovered her interest for 3D printing already as a student, when she worked as a Patent Documentation Assistant at Wroclaw University.
“I was attracted to 3D printing because it is still a young technology, so we often encounter new challenges, new problems to solve and I love to take part in finding solutions,” explains Paula.
With that inspiration and mindset, it was only natural that she went on to work for Materialise!
Creativity and passion meet planning and analytical skills
Finding solutions is Paula’s passion. What she enjoys the most is applying creativity and analytical skills to troubleshoot any issues, from planning to production, which her projects might encounter while working for the Materialise clients that she manages.
“At work as a Project Engineer at Materialise, every day is different: which makes me very happy. Above all, I have to be like a command center for my projects – the single point of coordination between the client, production, the R&D department, process engineers, the software department, and more, in order to jointly meet the expectations of our customers.”
As a Project Engineer, Paula has to balance client needs with insights from Materialise’s engineering team, to make sure that the designs match the creative vision of the eyewear brand and are also optimized for 3D printing. In some cases, Materialise may have played an active part in the design of the collection. In others, a client may be looking to transfer an existing 3D-printed collection to Materialise. This creates the challenge to provide the designer with an accurate representation of frame sizes, quality and matching colors so that the look and feel of their collection remains unchanged.
Constantly developing herself is also a motivator for Paula: “I am a person who likes to ask a lot of questions and take a hands-on approach, and this allows me to learn something new every day at Materialise.”
She also puts her background in engineering studies to work in her role as a Project Engineer at Materialise, where technical knowledge is a requirement in order to understand documentation and also make the most of production planning.
When the challenges become the motivation
“My favorite part of the job is sharing the positive customer feedback with the rest of the team. In order for the project to be successful, many departments need to work hard and collaborate closely all the time. Everyone likes praise and validation, and because I am a contact person with the client, I have the pleasure to communicate good news to my teammates,” explains Paula.
What Paula likes the most about her job is being able to work with very creative clients who don’t settle for ordinary frames. She also has the opportunity to improve the life of people with vision problems, while adapting the shape of the glasses to their faces and specific needs.
Eyewear being a demanding industry with strict requirements, she often faces the challenge of having to produce frames with tight deadlines, for example for tradeshows or product photoshoots. For Paula, those moments are the best to find creative solutions together and work closely with the whole team.
New opportunities at Materialise HQ
Moving to Leuven was an easy decision for Paula: “I like to travel and I always wanted to experience living abroad. I found this was a great opportunity to grow in Materialise, and build my career path in HQ.”
Paula thinks that both the Polish and the Belgian facilities of Materialise are very modern but the relations with her colleagues are a bit different: “I know everyone in the Polish office and everyone knows me. Some colleagues are like family to me! In the past, I also worked with some of my teammates from HQ, so adapting to a new position was pretty easy. I know there are many more people working here, so of course I haven't had the opportunity to meet everybody. But I'm glad that Materialise is an international company, so I can speak English with anyone. I have similar feelings outside of work, so I’m also enjoying the experience of living in Leuven,” reflects Paula.
When we ask about the future, Paula says that she would like to leave her mark with a positive impact on the 3D printing industry and we can say that she already has the right attitude.
Do you enjoy challenges and 3D printing as much as Paula? You can follow in her footsteps and become the next Project Engineer at Materialise!