Name: Georgina Kipling
Job title: Technical Assessor
Tell us about your career journey to the 3M BIC.
After completing my Degree at Hertfordshire University, I joined a small ceramic design company just outside of London making bespoke architectural ceramics for clients including the London underground and the V&A Museum. This gave me my first experience of manufacturing and all the aspects of product development. I progressed my career within the research and development side of the decorative Ceramics and Glass industry.
Returning North in 2000, I continued with a ceramics company based in Brighouse developing new products and specialised coatings for glass. Ten years later the company was acquired by the UK’s largest British Tile manufacturing company, where I assisted in the transfer and setup of a new glass manufacturing department, I continued traveling back and forth for a number of years from Yorkshire to the Devon-based factory – which was quite a commute! – as research and development technician. Manufacturing ranges of ceramics and glass for well-known brands such as Laura Ashley, Wren kitchens, B&Q, and many more.
In 2019 I joined the 3MBIC Team in the role of Technical Assessor.
Describe a typical day at work:
As with everyone in these times of all things Covid, my working day has changed to meet the challenges we now associate with remote working practice. Adapting to online meetings via Teams and Zoom calls has been interesting to say the least. I think we have all started a meeting at some point with the mic switched off or tried to share a document or file ‘but the computer says No’. Of course not forgetting the impromptu appearance of the household cat or dog walking into view to steal the limelight!
However even through these adversities, industry and businesses have adapted well. I continue to work closely with the University’s supply chain team, dealing with referrals and introductions to business around the potential of new innovation and tech here at the centre.
In addition to daily catch-ups with members of the tech team, I spend my time reviewing progress on projects, timelines, updates across current clients’ prototypes, plus planning related to up-and-coming projects.
What keeps you motivated at work?
The connection with local companies and businesses, identifying the challenges they face and how we can support them to achieve a positive and productive outcome.
The most exciting thing about your job?
Meeting diverse individuals, many with vast specialist knowledge of their own industries. When these clever people are introduced to the possibilities of our tech at the 3M BIC, whether through 3D printing, prototyping, visualisation or design optimisation, it can spark an entire new way of thinking, opening up new options, adopting new approaches to solve problems and develop ideas. It’s all exciting stuff!
The most challenging?
Listening and helping companies visualise how new innovation and technology can benefit their process, product or approach to development.
Highlighting how these technologies are not necessarily to be seen as a replacement to traditional or current methods but to work alongside, improving the process or solving specific challenges which can enable new and more productive results.
Time of the day you most creative or inspired?
Generally, I’d probably say I’m a morning person, however I have been known to burn the midnight oil occasionally.
Proudest career moment?
Probably here at the 3M BIC. Initially when I joined the team it was a massive learning curve for me in relation to the array of new technologies, learning about the different 3D printing techniques, machinery and various printing materials, as well as the capabilities of specific visualisation and verification equipment, scanning and software packages.
So, I was pretty proud when I completed my first business tour around the centre, able to share my newly acquired knowledge and helping others to understand the potential of all the tech within the 3M BIC.
Best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Work smarter not Harder – Very relevant in these current times and is key to how innovation and technology should enable individuals and business across all sectors to work.
What innovations should we look out for in your industry?
Advancements in 3D printing technology have taken great steps forward and continue to expand into many industries. 3D printing will continue to get bigger, faster and stronger, using more types of materials like carbon fibre, ceramic, glass, concrete. New developments will enable machines to print combinations of materials, such as both metals and ceramics, which will change compositions and properties within the technology.
Developments and the discovery of new materials and methodology will also continue to progress 3D printing technology into many more industries and sectors.
However, as with many sectors one of the main areas of advancement will be directed at sustainability, developing a more sustainable approach and the process of re-use, recycle and reduce waste.
Out of the office…?
I am lucky to live in a beautiful part of South Yorkshire and go out for lovely walks, especially if the end destination so happens to be a nice country pub!
I also enjoy my small garden, growing fruit and veggies, I love sowing and starting plants off in my little green house, planting them out into the garden to grow on. I am always amazed how easily and quickly things will grow even in our unpredictable British climate.
There is absolutely nothing better than picking fresh produce straight out of the garden, it’s very satisfying eating food you have grown yourself and I’m sure it makes it taste better!