I have the chance to work in a rapidly changing world. Our business in car seats is closely linked to the automobile industry where innovation comes at a fast pace. We have to cope with that pace. The great thing is that we are not suppliers, but partners in this process. From a research perspective it’s important to set up collaboration and show our expertise. In this way we can contribute to solutions as a company and adapt to what comes next. Our mission is to devise solutions for transporting children safely in cars, which are consciously designed for adults.
I actually applied three times to Dorel Juvenile. The first time was immediately after I was awarded my PhD and the second time was later in my career. The timing was not right then. Times were different in the 1990s. The focus within companies was more on production, but this has now changed tremendously. I see this also at Dorel Juvenile. I’ve been working here now for over 13 years and, internally, there have been many changes. There are more engineers working in Dorel Juvenile and the company devotes more time to research.
For me personally, I appreciate the autonomy which I have in my work. I have the resources to achieve my research goals. This gives me direction to work towards results. Of course, research also includes looking for solutions that don’t yet exist. Sometimes, you reach a dead end. However, it is also important to deliver results which are reflected in our products. For me it makes a difference to develop a product used by consumers. I need to fulfill the needs of consumers, not merely a list of criteria.
Dorel Juvenile suits me because it is an interesting company in terms of size. It’s not a small company, so you have the resources to make progress. At the same time, it has flexibility, so you’re not limited by endless approval loops when you want to set up a project or develop an idea. It’s important that we maintain that spirit of entrepreneurship because in this changing world you are constantly being challenged to stay ahead.