How does Syft take customer care to the next level? Is it expertise, engagement or something else? Meet Tim! He joined Syft three years ago and now works in our Support Team as an Electronics Engineer. With a dual degree in Chemistry and Mechatronics, he brings the best of two worlds together to help our customers around the globe. Emails, phone calls and a smile go a long way, but Tim has regularly travelled for new instrument installations, routine maintenance and upgrades. Being an expert at resolving technical challenges brings us only halfway, as our Support team members also need to be people experts. To understand and help our Syft user community, Tim regularly provides on-site and in-depth training to customers, distributors and end-users. His visits involve international travel – and as many know, border-crossing is not always as straightforward as one hopes…
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born in Tasmania, the “South Island of Australia”. I joined Syft in July 2017. So far I have done stints in electronics assembly, production management and electronics design. For the last two years, I’ve been mostly working in the Support team. When choosing my university course I was torn between science, which I had always loved, and engineering, which I knew would be interesting but a huge challenge. I couldn’t decide, so I ended up combining the two into a double degree with majors in Chemistry and Mechatronics.
How did you join Syft?
I was working at Martin Jetpack previously but was keeping an eye out for other opportunities. I had worked in Chemistry roles and Engineering roles before but had never had a job that combined both passions. One day I saw Syft advertising two roles. One for an Electronics Engineer, the other for an Analytical Chemist. I called them up that day and the rest is history!
You travel a lot for work, where do you go and what do you do?
Yeah, I’ve been lucky enough to travel pretty widely in my role with the Support team. So far I’ve been to Italy, Canada, South Korea, The Netherlands, Chile and lots of places in between.
About half the time I’m servicing or calibrating instruments, but the rest can be instrument upgrades, training customers and distributors, or trying to diagnose particularly gnarly instrument issues.
I usually get a bit of time to explore. I always do some research beforehand to find the best things to see and do in whatever city or country I end up in. I make a list of historical sites, local delicacies, great museums, natural features and then the moment I finish work I grab my backpack and race out the door to pack in as many adventures as humanly possible.
What about border security dogs?
They always catch me! My bag has never had food in it, so there must be another reason! So instead of following standard border security protocol, I decided to play with some of the puppies in training. I was in Australia last year while working with their Border Security, one of our earliest customers, and they gave me a look behind the scenes. That was pretty special!
What are you most proud of accomplishing in the last year?
My proudest accomplishment? The first thing I can think of would be making my 100th blood/plasma donation to the survivors of the Christchurch Mosque shootings in March 2019. Secondly, perfecting my secret brownie recipe that I keep on impressing my colleagues from the Syft Baking Club with. Neither are exactly work-related, but both took a long time to achieve and I’m pretty proud of them!
There are also a few Support projects that I’ve been working on. It’s still taking shape, but I think our Support Knowledge Base could become a hugely valuable resource in time.
What makes working with Syft unique?
Travel is exciting for sure, but I also get a huge kick out of figuring out complex problems. Being in the field while trying to diagnose an intermittent bug can be stressful, but deducing the root cause and repairing it with only the parts I have on hand gives me a rush! It makes me feel like MacGyver! Then, I am sure that Syft will certainly be a multi-national company, with Support and Sales teams all around the world. I don’t know exactly how the instrument will change yet, but I reckon the addition of good automation and online data management will be serious game-changers and open up a world of opportunities.
What’s the best advice you can give to any engineers coming out of school right now?
Be humble and curious. No one expects you to know everything and pretending that you do will only slow you down. Ask questions, and keep on asking them until you understand.