I love my job, not only because the products I build are used to save people’s lives, but they're also changing the world.
Dramatic design change is not always welcome—or necessary—in the medical device field. Leigh Lei believes every little improvement in the design of products leads to a better future. Born in Yichang City, Hubei province in the middle of China, Leigh moved from Dongguan/Shenzhen to Suzhou with TE in 2014. With over 10 years’ experience, he’s been focused on medical cable, connector and cable assembly design for the past 8 years. He says, “I love my job, not only because the products I build are used to save people’s lives, but they’re also changing the world.” Like many engineers, Leigh enjoys bringing new technology to enhance human life.
What is a current industry challenge that TE engineers are working on?
One of the challenges our team is targeting is to better help customers in emerging markets. For example, compared to more mature markets, our customers in emerging markets such as China are more reliant on us to use our engineering ability and experience to guide them to define what they really need. This requires our engineers to learn even more about the products and companies before we present in front of customers, so we can enter in with some well-formed advice from the start.
What has been your favorite/most interesting project to work on at TE?
I am currently working on a challenging project that demonstrates the strength of the strategic acquisitions TE has made. It integrates the full capabilities of TE from our catheter business in Suzhou in cable assembly and connector design, to AdvancedCath balloon capabilities in multi-lumen and balloon design to the Measurement Specialties thermistors. This is also the first catheter assembly project for the TE team in Suzhou. Our engineers are working together with engineers from the U.S. to build the engineering prototypes now, and we are looking forward to launching this product in China soon.
Tell us about your job.
I lead the Product Development Engineering team of TE Connectivity’s medical business unit in China. My job is to help build the world’s best medical devices. Now that TE’s Suzhou factory has been in operation for two years, my focus has shifted from building a strong engineering design team, which we have now, to making our team more efficient. An efficient engineering team requires good communication, problem-solving skills, breakthrough thinking, accountability and innovation, and TE has a system in place to help us operate more lean and advance these skills at the same time.
Describe a recent breakthrough you made with a customer.
We recently expanded our engagement with a global customer into the Diagnostic & Therapeutic market by winning the bid for their next-generation patient monitoring platform. We completed the quotes very quickly for the multiple parts involved and, after the customer visited our Suzhou factory, they were impressed and immediately awarded the project to TE. So far, they’ve been happy with the work we’ve done, and their engineers have already discussed working with us on more projects that are in their engineering pipeline. By delivering an extraordinary customer experience, we can turn one business opportunity like this into a long-term relationship with a loyal customer.
Which personal traits are essential for today’s engineering challenges?
Innovation should be in an engineer’s blood. Being innovative is the only way for you to become an outstanding engineer. Innovation requires engineers to learn more about new technologies, do more research, understand manufacturing capacities, and know how to design a quality product using efficient processes. Innovation happens in the daily work of an engineer, so that the ability to think creatively and quickly is important.