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Exploring new technologies as an engineering graduate

In working closely with the Technology Development Team and particularly the Director of Technology, I am gaining an insight into the impact such a function has in the organization. It is very interesting to begin to understand the complexities involved in developing a product, from idea creation through development.

Name: Patrick Leese

Function: Engineering Graduate at Sennheiser Communications

M.Sc. Digital Engineering

The first graduate

The graduate program was started by Demant A/S and consists of five tracks. I am part of the engineering track and I will rotate four times within the 2-year program. The first two rotations were decided in advance and took place at Demant and Oticon, where I was part of Quality and Hardware. Now, I’m in my third rotation and here having joined the Technology Development Team where I am working closely with the Director of Technology. In this department, we scout the latest technologies, work with pro-ducts ideas in both ideation and scoping and then ultimately provide project support in the early phases of development.

One of my primary tasks is to help implement a well-defined scoping phase into our development flow. With a successful implementation of the scoping phase, the product idea will be more concretely defined, and the resources will be better geared to execute once the business case is approved. On top of that, I am also creating better synergies and cross-organizational understanding between the Technology Development Team and the rest of the organization. I have established an ongoing survey that clarifies the services that the Technology Development Team should provide for other functions in the house and also what the Technology Development Team expects in return. Once we have gathered sufficient information and feedback, we will work on finding a solution to the most pressing problems.

“We sit in the privileged position of having direct innovative knowledge from Demant

Experiences gained in the position

In working closely with the Technology Development Team and particularly the Director of Technology, I am gaining an insight into the impact such a function has in the organization.

It is very interesting to begin to understand the complexities involved in developing a product, from idea creation through development. I have seen how strategic roadmap decisions stimulate initial thoughts in the idea phase and how this enables the idea for a product to form. It is great to see how we combine perspectives from areas such as industrial design, user experience and technological capabilities in order to make new and exciting products.

In this sense, there are of course similarities and differences when comparing with some of the work at Oticon. Here we are roughly 200 colleagues, compared to over a 1000 at Oticon, that means I get to know people a lot quicker and am faster involved within projects.

One example of this is I am currently beginning to investigate how we can lift the innovative capabilities here in Denmark. We sit in the privileged position of having direct innovative knowledge from Demant, and we should harness this knowledge alongside our own experiences to build even greater innovative processes that match our needs.

Next steps after the graduate program

Since I am only in my third rotation, I still have plenty of things to learn and options to explore. I will go back to Oticon where I will take my final rotation in Audiology and Embedded Solutions.

Towards the end of my last rotation, the idea is to make a joint review in dialogue with my different managers and my program mentor. Based on my experiences, my professional interests and the companies’ needs, we will then decide where there might be a good match.

However, I know that I am fascinated by product development and how new technologies are utilized to make meaningful products for the end user. If the right opportunity arises here, I would be happy to be back.