Steph is a mechanical designer at Verhaert Consulting, working on-site at Afga Graphics.
What’s the most interesting aspect of your job?
“There are several tasks within each job and within the sets of projects. Usually you get a whole pile of information, procedures and specifications where your limits are determined. Within all these projects and responsibilities, there’s one great aspect for me: research. Looking for the essence of the project or the problem. Looking and finding the key points of the assignment and determent the basic elements so you can start the most finest part of the process: searching and looking for possible solutions, open your eyes and being creative in the search process. The uninhibited sketch and scribble that you creative mind tells you. Putting your nose in books or scouring the Internet for examples and literature. Consulting your colleagues. They usually confront it from another angle and discipline. All of this, in time, in budget and within the sets of parameters and specification. This is the way you can innovate and accomplish great things. And if this all can happen in a multi international context, what more can a designer wish for?”
What characterizes a good mechanical design?
“There are many aspects that define a good mechanical designer: the technical, scientific, creative etc. What do I value the most? The aspect of ‘self knowledge’, knowing your own boundaries. You should realize that you don’t know everything, and you don’t have to do it all on your own. Know your weakness, it makes you stronger. Therefore it seems to me it’s very important that you have an ‘open mind’. That your crazy ideas and bold thoughts are well looked at and not scrapped too fast. They say that solutions are usually in a simple corner. And I think this is true in many cases. The quest for simplicity often is a good mindset. Of course, all this happens within the criteria, technical specifications and the business methods and culture of the company. ”
How do you feel about working on-site?
“I’m already working for several years as a consultant on-site. It’s not always easy to switch, whether it’s a new customer, or assignment within the company. On the other hand, meeting new people and colleagues makes it super fascinating and quite exciting. You meet new people that have experience and are very strong in their discipline. So you have the opportunity to discover and learn things, thoughts, technologies, methods. You get new insights. It’s not that you will become the specialist yourself, but your luggage is growing and your backpack is getting fuller. I’m still a happy designer.”