How did your professional career start at ARRK R&D and how did it develop to the Group Leader position of today?
As a teenager I decided that I want to focus my career in the direction of automotive. After graduating Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, I got in contact with a German production company, located in the center of the country. I had the chance there to meet the German working environment, but I was not happy with how things were working there. After discussing with some friends working at ARRK R&D, I decided to apply here. A few months later I started as a Strength-FEA engineer in the NVH (Noise Vibration Harshness) department. There were many things to learn and it took a while until I became independent. The support that I got from my colleagues’ form Cluj and from Munich motivated me to carry on. In a couple of years, I had a discussion with my superior, Martin Leitenstorfer, now the division manager of Chassis, Acoustics, CAE for promoting to a Team Leader position. This position allowed me to get in contact with more colleagues from Cluj and from Germany. It kind of challenged my introvert personality, but I managed to develop further so a few years later I was promoted to a Group Leader position. Now I am focusing on increasing and stabilizing know-how and performance in the Cluj office.
What advice has been most useful to you on your career path?
“Even in difficult situations, there is always something to start with!” - this helped me to carry on when I got stuck. Small steps are important.
What is particularly important to you when working with your team?
Trust and open communication are important things that I value. I found this at ARRK. This is the reason for which I am working here. This culture has allowed ARRK R&D to develop from a few employees in 2007 to 350 this year. We help each other and question everything that is not clear. This is a must for team growth.
In one sentence – ARRK Engineering is for you… ?
A great place to learn, develop, and perform.
What has influenced you the most during your years on the job?
The team I work with is great! I had a lot to learn from my colleagues, and I enjoyed the projects I have been involved in. Even if at times it was not easy my motivated and cheerful team made things possible.
Which topics are you responsible for?
Chassis, Acoustics, CAE area is the place where I developed. I am also in contact with colleagues working on Material Management and Software Development. My main tasks are to develop the existing team and to assure the necessary growth. I get a great help from my colleagues in working on these tasks.
What are the biggest challenges in your role as a Group Leader?
We need to keep our customers happy and also care for the points mentioned above. This we can do with motivated, dedicated employees. So we try to organize the tasks/projects and teams in such a way that they respond to the colleagues’ interests. This is not always easy, but we appreciate and use the feedback from the colleagues.
What makes it attractive to work for your department?
It is technically challenging to work in this area, there are various topics from different customers. We develop chassis systems, body and surroundings (interior, exterior), high voltage systems. Lately we are able to offer full development packages for the mentioned systems, which puts us in contact with different departments (design, testing, safety). We need to consider different aspects of our investigation (strength, stiffness, vibrations, durability, acoustics, comfort) using different environments/tools (Abaqus, Nastran, Ls-Dyna, Ansys, Adams, Simpack, etc). We are building redundancy on this topics, while increasing our expertise. We need to stay in a lot of contact for this and our values make this happen in a friendly way.
Which values and characteristics do you pay attention to regarding your team?
Our employees have very good collaboration skills. They are interested in expanding their know-how and use the contact to their peers for this. They also look forward to helping the new colleagues and take the benefit later, by delegating and sharing tasks. There is consistent collaboration with our German colleagues, who are usually closer to the customers. Lately we see in Cluj more customer contact and direct responsibility.
What are the main competencies of your department?
Structural analysis is our main topic. We are able to do various simulations (static, dynamic, temperature change, frequency response, Power Spectral Density Analyse) with the tools mentioned above. Our colleagues are from mechanical engineering field, physics and civil constructions.
What are the most significant opportunities that your department is facing right now?
There is an increasing request for electro-mobility projects which we support in quite a few projects. We are developing our competences here and we offer solutions for our customers. Automation is something that we also invest in for stabilizing since the technology offers interesting possibilities.
What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a career similar to yours?
Double check! Learn from your mistakes! Trust yourself! When you are in trouble, ask for help!
What are the best resources that have helped you along the way?
Investing in the right amount of energy and time in challenging situations is the best resource we can allocate to ourselves. Sometimes the right thing is taking/reviewing carefully each step, other times having the global image can enlighten us, and sometimes just discussing the topic with somebody gives us the best overview on the situation.