A Day in the Life of a Materialise Medical Application Engineer
4 min read
What’s it like to be one of our Medical Application Engineers? In fact, what does that even mean? Materialise Medical spearheads our innovations in Medical 3D Printing, which include software that allows its users to visualize the anatomy of their patients in 3D, create customized 3D-printed patient guides – and even customized 3D-printed titanium implants! Our Medical Application Engineers come in many shapes and forms, and no two days look the same for them. We took a closer look at a normal day for Xavier Mottart, an application engineer for hip and shoulder implants and oncology cases, and Ines Da Silva, team leader of the medical sales application engineering team.
Xavier, helping surgeons help their patients
As an application engineer, Xavier receives clinical data from our medical customers, which include surgeons and hospitals who are working on complex patient cases and need the benefits of customized healthcare offered by 3D Printing. He either processes the data and constructs customized implants for the patient, a task which is shared by teams in Ukraine and Malaysia, or checks the designs for errors.
Every morning, he and the rest of his team do a scrum to go over the progress of the teams in Kiev and Malaysia, which cases need doing and how they should be split in the team. Depending on the case, they either perform implant design, quality verification or communicate with the surgeon to receive their feedback on the implant.
Another part of the job is working together with Marketing and Sales to give them input on Xavier’s technical expertise. This could be in the form of giving a workshop to solve issues customers have with a product, or developing solutions in the form of whitepapers, webinars and events.
For Xavier, building the relationship with the customer is crucial and he is constantly learning from the feedback he gets from surgeons. In his words:
“I get to help patients who are in a difficult situation, which is a really nice feeling. I also studied biomedical engineering, so I’m really doing what I studied for. For me, it's not just about making money or increasing the business, I really get to help people.”
— Xavier Mottart
His favorite part about working with Materialise is also focused on people. “I really like the dynamic of Materialise, the environment is young and open-minded. My colleagues get along really well, and sometimes it feels like people are more like friends than colleagues. The after-work activities are also great,” he explains. “When I just joined, our team was originally part of Mobelife, one of the daughter brands of Materialise. The Mobelife brand was then completely integrated into Materialise and together with the whole Mobelife team we held a funeral party! It was pretty funny – people came dressed in black, we read out speeches and had a farewell drink.”
Ines, helping her team be the best they can
Ines is the Team Leader of the Sales Engineering Team, meaning that she is chiefly concerned with making everything run smoothly, as well as coaching her team members and developing their growth. Her team of application engineers work for sales, and their work is mostly split up into pre-sales and post-sales.
So what does this mean concretely? Ines’s pre-sales engineers work together with the Materialise account managers to identify the issues customers have, and what they want and need. After the contact with the customer, the team sets up the right solution for them, including a tailor-made product demo where they can evaluate how the solution fits the customer’s needs.
Once the customer tries out the solution and buys it, post-sales takes over, which takes the form of customer training, application support and making sure the customer gets the most out of the application.
“My team especially likes giving product feedback towards the market managers and technical product managers. They are consulted when a product needs a change, and give their suggestions based on what the market needs,” Ines says.
“As for me, my favorite part of the job is definitely building customer relationships and making sure they have the right solutions. I'm a people person! I really enjoy coming into contact with different cultures, and I'm driven by improving the level of patient care – it’s really gratifying to be able to help the patient to the best of our abilities.”
— Ines Da Silva
She adds, “For me, the company’s mission statement about working towards a better and healthier world is very important. I also love the variety in the job, and the fact that we are given a lot responsibility from the moment we start. I feel trusted by the company, and I get the freedom to really build up my projects.”
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