• Question: do you find it easy or hard coming up with new ideas?

    Asked by Aine oh to Laura, Catherine on 21 Nov 2014.
    • Photo: Catherine Conaghan

      Catherine Conaghan answered on 21 Nov 2014:

      I have a long term plan for what I want the area I manage in my company to do – it’s fully automated Smart Building Control. However, there is still quite a lot of things that we need to be able to do before we get there, so they have to done in smaller chunks of work. So usually I can try and get one or two chunks completed in the larger EU projects we are involved with. So, there are plenty of ideas – but sometimes it can be difficult to match what I want to do, with what all of the other companies involved in the larger projects want to do. But we are getting there – we have about 80% of what we need for full Smart Building Control, so I’m hoping we will have it ready to sell as a product in early 2016. Hoping 🙂

    • Photo: Laura Tobin

      Laura Tobin answered on 21 Nov 2014:

      A bit of both. Sometimes when you are working on a project you think “oh you know what would be cool, if we did this…”, the ideas just flow and other times you are sitting there trying to come up with something. Generally just by chatting to people and looking at things outside of your area helps.

      Often a new idea is bringing two separate areas together and making it work, or doing something that is in a different area in the way you would normally solve that type of problem. For example, when studying dyes, the guys in chemistry have a certain standard procedure which works great and really understandable if you are a chemist. We took our techniques and applied a different way to get results and we were able to present them in a new way, so people who don’t necessarily work in chemistry would understand. Also, instead of just using chemical equations to explain the photokinetic electron transfer process of a dye (how the electrons move about once you shine light on the dye), we made a flow chart. Very simple and very easy to understand. By combing our techniques with the procedures from chemistry we were able to come up with a whole new set of ideas.