It doesn’t take much research to find concern in the engineering sector about the underrepresentation of women. There are many initiatives aimed at changing this by encouraging more girls and young women to consider engineering as a career. Senior women in the engineering sector also regularly take the opportunity to explain what working as an engineer is really like, and why it’s a good career to pursue.
In the hotseat this month, we have one of those senior women – Hazel Rooney. Hazel is Metrology Manager at Verus Metrology. We asked her questions about her job, her views on women in engineering, and how she sees the MedTech industry developing in the future.
Question: What does your day-to-day role at Verus Metrology involve?
It depends on the priorities of the day and the current stage of the various projects we are working on, but there is usually a daily managerial meeting. I’m also responsible for scheduling metrology and metrology fixture projects in the laboratory as well as reviewing and overseeing all metrology application activities.
I’m also responsible for the preparation of activity reports, communicating with customers, and for designing metrology routines and methods.
Other regular tasks include dimensional metrology, programming and running co-ordinate measuring machines, and gage R+R programme creation, running, reporting, and recording.
I review and create quotes for new metrology projects too, and I provide support to our customers, including customers with turnkey metrology fixtures.
Question: Verus specialises in providing metrology services and manufacturing metrology products. How do you see the industry changing over the coming years? What trends do you see, what are the challenges, and what are the opportunities?
As the medical device sector is heavily regulated and product quality is becoming increasingly critical, I see metrology becoming more important.
At Verus, we have seen an increasing requirement for validation support services including follow-up validation services after a product is released.
The obvious next step is to automate these services.
Question: Verus not only specialises in metrology, it specialises in providing metrology services to the MedTech industry. What are the key priorities for the MedTech clients you work with?
Precision and accuracy are a given as they are the fundamental performance indicators of a metrology services provider.
Our customers also want reliable and dependable customer support. They want a quick turnaround on their requests too, as well as an agile approach. They need that agile approach to be able to balance changing internal and external requirements.
At Verus, we also offer problem-solving capabilities which is another area that is becoming more and more important for our clients.
Question: The field you work in is currently striving to improve its gender balance. As someone who holds a senior position in the industry, what are your thoughts on the current state of gender balance and what do you think should be done to improve it?
Engineering has traditionally been a male-dominated industry. This is clearly evident to me when I scroll through my emails as I get a cross-sectional view of the people I deal with every day.
I see the industry making huge efforts to equal the gender balance through initiatives such as Engineer’s Week and the various open days.
What I would like to see is parents and families taking these opportunities to introduce young girls to the field, expand their interest, and open new doors for them.
Question: Why did you choose the career path you are currently on?
I heard a lot about Verus through college. It had a great reputation for having design flare.
So, when I finished my studies, I targeted Verus for employment. When I first joined the team, I was based in design. However, when an opportunity opened up in metrology, I took the chance on something new.
From there, different opportunities opened up and I was happy to take them. In the metrology sphere, I get to work on an interesting and diverse range of projects from MedTech to automotive to aerospace. This has given me the opportunity to travel and see the range of technologies that are out there.
Question: What is most rewarding about your job?
The satisfaction of taking a complicated and challenging component drawing and delivering a precise and accurate measurement system that the customer may not be able to achieve themselves.
Question: The medical device industry and the engineering sector need more people, particularly young women, to pursue it as a career. What advice would you give to a young person considering a career in MedTech, engineering, or metrology?
Engineering opens a wide array of opportunities all over the world. The skills you learn are applicable in multiple industries, and MedTech always leads these industries with its cutting-edge technology.