This week, we interview Greg Tinker, Principal Process Engineer at Microchip Technology Caldicot Limited (MTCL). In our discussions, Greg tells us about the tasks MTCL fulfills on the OPTIMAI project, and how he enjoys creating technologies that can be integrated into the workplace to improve everyday life.
Hi Greg, thanks for speaking to us today. Could you start by introducing yourself and telling us where you are based?
Microchip Technology Caldicot Limited is based in South Wales UK. Our company name has changed several times through acquisitions, as have the roles I have fulfilled in 23 years of service. These include SMT Process Engineer and Equipment and Facilities Senior Engineer, and currently, I work on the New Product Introduction (NPI) team in the position of Principal Process Engineer.
What does your typical working day in the OPTIMAI project involve?
I am the project lead for Microchip Technology Caldicot Limited so act as the main point of contact for the other project partners and manage all aspects of Microchip involvement within the project. As the project is still in the early stage, much of the work so far has been providing technical providers with insight into the requirements Microchip Technology Caldicot Limited has for success with the OPTIMAI project.
What is your main task in the OPTIMAI project?
Microchip Technology Caldicot Limited is an industrial demonstration site for the project and is also the Work Package 7 (Industrial Demonstration) Lead partner. This contains several distinct elements, including work relating to the training materials to allow all those involved with the project to use the system tools and to have an ethical and legal requirement framework. It also includes the demonstration activities at Microchip Technology Caldicot Limited, KLEE and TELEVES.
What do you like most about your role?
Being involved with the project gives opportunities to see new technologies that can be integrated into the workplace and see the benefits they can bring. My role provides the opportunity to collaborate internationally and gain exposure to new ideas and new ways of working and see technologies that enhance our business.
Has working remotely affected your work on OPTIMAI in any way?
I would say yes, but in a good way. I have certainly improved my knowledge in remote meeting technology and collaboration, and am a lot more conversant with the main platforms used by the partners within the project. Clearly, there are some disadvantages – and I think we are all looking forward to our first in-person project meeting.
How do your professional interests match the objectives of OPTIMAI?
There is a great deal of symmetry which is why I was given the project lead. As a process engineer, I am constantly working to enhance my understanding of our processes and tools to aid with this goal. Additionally, the main aims of the project align perfectly with our company’s core value of continuous improvement.
What is unique about OPTIMAI in your opinion?
This is the first time I have seen an augmented reality solution for multiple industrial applications. It’s a big challenge for the project to tailor the system for each end-user within the project.
Has anything surprised you in the first 9 months of the project?
Despite the restrictions to travel, the project partners very quickly formed an effective remote team, and collaboration has been excellent. This fills me with confidence. I am very positive the team will produce good results from the OPTIMAI project.
Could you describe the overall expected impact of the OPTIMAI project in three words?
Enhanced process insight.
What would be your advice to anyone interested in getting involved with a Horizon Europe project?
Go for it! These projects offer great opportunities to tap into new technologies, innovation, and funding for research improvement.
Thank you for taking the time to speak to us, Greg! We look forward to more updates from the team at MTCL.