Poornima Vinod, Development Engineer

Graduate Spotlight – Poornima Vinod – Development Engineer

Poornima joined Zircotec in September 2022, after completing her Master’s degree in Manufacturing Technology and Management from Cranfield University with a First with Distinction. We’re shining a light on the future of Zircotec. Meet Poornima…

What would you say is your biggest contribution to the engineering team so far?


I have been given several responsibilities from the beginning. After 6 months, I have progressed from a graduate engineer to a development engineer with more responsibilities and wider exposure to other projects e.g. liasing with stakeholders, rather than just in-house development. I have been given the opportunity to be a part of the Brunel project, which is one of the biggest projects running within Zircotec, as well as several other exiting projects. From Dolphin N2 to other prestigious OEMs within the Autmotove sector, so I am very excited to be contributing towards these initiatives.


How have you found our business culture to be?


Zircotec is a decent place to work, mainly focusing on innovation and passion. Internally there is a lot of teamwork, collaboration, and continuous development. I think the company is committed strongly to customers and focuses on delivering products according to the necessary industrial standards.



How would you describe your team?

One of the best teams to have. Since we are only a few people working in parallel on similar projects, the feedback and conversations are constructive and productive. Dominic (Engineering Manager) really holds the team together well and focuses on the individual development of others in the team.


Who are some of your major influences at work?


Definitely Dominic (Engineering Manager). His passion for engineering is incredible. He is always able to motivate us, even when a project takes an unexpected turn!


What types of resources have you used while working in our team?


I think I have access to all the resources I need to complete a project. Whether its training or support from production, or a new purchase order for the necessary equipment or tools, all of it is available.

Poornima Vinod



What is the most unusual aspect of working here?

Since we are an SME, I get to do many things other than the ‘assigned tasks’ in contrast to what you see in a bulk manufacturing company. For instance, even though I mainly focus on R&D and process development, sometimes there will be occasions where I have to be hands on in production, maintenance and literally everywhere to complete the project. I definitely enjoy it because it gives me a lot of knowledge and hands-on experience in everything, as well as a sense of togetherness with the wider team at Zircotec.

How have you advanced professionally since joining our team?

I have gained several skills such as robot programming, laboratory compatibility, knowledge on materials and thermal management, the opportunity to learn and progress in 3D modelling, process development and many more. More importantly, I have learned how to present myself in a work environment and build conversations with clients and customers. Also, Dominic sometimes put’s me on the spot during meetings where I am expected to speak up. This has helped me a lot with my presentation skills and confidence.

What's your definition of success?

Anything that I do better tomorrow than from today is my success.

Who motivates you?

For both inside and outside of work, I take motivation from many people and may be previous experiences. I try to learn from anyone who does a similar task better than me.

Who would you select as a mentor if you could choose anybody, and why?

I would choose Dominic (Engineering Manager). He is an experienced engineer with passion and tremendous knowledge. Also, he is a good manager keeping the team together and making sure that he creates a happy environment for others in the team. I would look up to a person like that to build my career. Also, I think shadowing a good manager like him would help me progress easily to a project engineer in the future.

What advice would you provide to someone interested in your field?

If you have genuine passion in engineering, go for it. There are plenty of opportunities available now in automotive and industrial sectors. Make sure you choose the right path, learn continuously to make yourself compactable in the fast-growing technological world. Acquire required skills sets and showcase yourself to whichever company you are interested in.

What is your favorite aspect about your industry?

Constant advancement in technology. For instance, moving to electrification and Zero-emission transmission opens numerous opportunities for us as a company.

What drew you to Zircotec originally, and how has Zircotec changed since?

I did my masters thesis at Cranfield University for Zircotec on hydrogen permeation barriers. I really liked the project and wanted to continue it. So, I joined Zircotec. Zircotec has changed a lot since I joined. New team members, more exiting projects, and more opportunities for development. The company has also advanced a lot in terms of engineering capability and expanded infrastructurally as well.

In your time at Zircotec, what has been your favorite project?

I spend most of my time on APC-18 or the Brunel project. I really enjoy overcoming the challenges associated with it, and it keeps me happy seeing the project progressing.

We are very proud of the achievements by Poornima since she joined us, and we cannot wait to see her progress as she continues to develop her career at Zircotec.