Wrestling is a one-on-one sport, but each member has to execute for a team win. I think this approach translates well across all cultures and is hugely useful in business.
Ron Brennian is a strong mix of left and right brain: His first love was art, and he still paints today, but he studied and built a successful career in mechanical engineering. He worked for TE after college as a methods engineer, later worked for the defense industry as a process engineer, and returned to TE to work on process development for the new Z-Pack SL100 product line. Ron’s role today in antenna innovation for TE enlists both left and right brain functions, with a strong sprinkling of his college wrestling know-how, to build a strong team of antenna experts. “Just like in wrestling, when the team collaborates, our individual strengths compound and build upon each other.”
You have managed a number of products for TE. What is unique about antennas?
I am going to overload you with wrestling comparisons, but if the shoe fits…. When I wrestled, I learned about each opponent’s tactics, trained to win, and readied myself for changes in tactic. Antennas are the last element of a product to be finalized, and every component affects their performance, but we can’t wait until the end to start innovating.
Would you tell us more about how your team delivers new antenna products for a customer?
We start with the best information we have at the beginning, knowing there will be many iterations. We get involved as early as possible with the customer to reduce multiple design cycles. Sometimes the rework can be challenging, but we stay in touch with the customer all along the way to make sure the end result is as expected—and then some!
What is a recent customer collaboration you can share that was “brilliant”?
Conductive printed ink antenna elements. We are just starting to work with customers, and I really enjoy watching their eyes light up at the design freedom possibilities. The new technologies involving antennas in the future will be amazing.
What innovation would you find astounding?
The whole concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) is astounding to me. Even today, I can use my smartphone from anywhere to kick up my thermostat so the house is warm by the time I get there. In automotive, it is astounding what sensor and antenna technology can do already to relay information and help you avoid traffic and road hazards.
How do you draw from all the various antenna resources worldwide to benefit customers?
In our regional engineering sites, as we try to solve hard problems, we consult each other regularly. Project teams ask experts from other teams for help on various programs, and while groups have design specialties, we all work together to help the customer. Our worldwide presence is a BIG advantage for us and our customers!
Why is being globally located so advantageous?
Because we are a truly global team based in Asia, Europe, and the US, we are able to do what we call “follow the sun” engineering, especially with particularly demanding deadlines. Somewhere in our antenna “family,” an engineer is working, so we pass the project from one region to the next to maintain steady progress around the clock.
What do your education and experience contribute to the task of directing antenna development?
My Engineering degree helps with the technical perspective required, and my experience as a quality manager has enhanced my desire for customer satisfaction. In addition, four years’ experience in fiber optics and shielding and a year and a half on expatriate assignments with TE (once in the Netherlands, and once in China) have given me a well-rounded, global viewpoint.
You plan as best as you can, but then you deliver. No matter what. Our team takes this challenge—and their promises to customers—very personally.
- Ron Brennian,
- Director Product Management
TE is a leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance embedded and external antennas for diverse wireless applications in various industries. TE has a global presence with manufacturing and design locations around the world. This brochure offers a summary of all of TE's antenna technology for both custom and standard solutions.