Be curious, and curiouser!
As we start a new decade, we ask our founder Dr. Peter Poon, MBE, about what advice he would give to new businesses and individuals looking to advance in the engineering industry. Here are some of his take-aways….
1. What was the best part of creating Romax Technology?
Coaching new people, see their ideas and making an impact on the world.
2. And the worst part?
Making mistakes! My advice is to be tenacious to recover from your mistakes, but, don’t let this stop you from taking risks – you need risks to enable innovation! The important thing is how you recover from your mistakes.
3. As an innovator, you are always working with ideas, what are you currently working on?
Now I am enjoying coaching three start-up companies: a restaurant, a software company and a technology company.
4. Where does your inspiration come from?
Everything around me: be curious, ask questions, and break things down to the underlying principles to understand – once you understand the problem you can find a solution!
Our ecosystem of partners that forms these intricate webs for nurturing collaboration and the sharing of knowledge, which has given rise to a network of leading global businesses. This is what allows us to optimise everything globally, from people, processes and products; to the very core of Right First Time.
5. What skills do you think are vital for an inventor?
You need to think inter-disciplinary, especially going into the future. Engineering is no longer split into “Mechanical” “Electrical” etc, you need to learn a bit of everything and bring that to your work.
This is a new approach, and one must understand the base physical principles of the problem you are dealing with, be it why the dentist drill hurts when it doesn’t actually cut anything (current theory: heat), or why a dripping tap can clean a greasy dish overnight, when one on full power could not (current theory: cavitation and distribution in drip size/force). Think for a long time, test your theories, then find solutions.
6. How do you decide if an idea is worth pursuing?
Reduce them to fundamental parameters, do some simple calculations, then pass a judgement. You cannot be an impressionist. You must make decisions based off calculations and facts. How does the existing method work, what are its faults, and can it be improved?
And you must be curious, keep asking questions! We are born with curiosity, but we are normally encouraged not to ask questions, must ask questions! Will not get the right answer unless you ask the right question.
Ask the fundamental questions!
7. What is the impact of each invention on the industry, company and you?
At Romax, we were the first company to develop a systems approach to gearbox analysis; everyone came to see how it works and now everyone does it, but for a long time it was only us. In this way, we have drastically changed the whole industry. We pioneered in research and innovation and heavily invested in the development of innovation and technology advancement. This transformed not only our business, but the entire landscape around us.