Erin Byrne, Chief Technology Officer, Data and Devices
Erin Byrne, Chief Technology Officer, Data and Devices
Be curious and learn to adapt your skills to the latest customer needs to always add value. Confidence in your ability to learn and adapt will serve you well in any environment.

Erin is focused on solving the challenges of commercializing leading-edge technology. To help her customers win in their markets, she leads a global team of multi-disciplinary engineers in partnering with customers to design solutions enabling next-generation connectivity. She sees every challenge as an opportunity to continuously improve. After obtaining her Ph.D. in Chemistry, she spent nearly half her career developing optical components and designing processes and products for both communications systems and sensing applications. Having worked in companies ranging in size from startups to large multinationals, Erin has developed the breadth to solve many types of technical challenges and the depth to lead different business models, helping her teams and customers win by connecting strategy to execution. With all her success, Erin finds great professional reward and personal satisfaction in empowering others, enthusiastically supporting them in building their careers and developing different perspectives that create personal opportunities.

1

Which dynamics are making possible advancements in connectivity?

For me, it's signaling speeds. These are always increasing, as is the data density that our customers require, and which their customers expect. To solve for this, we focus on supporting ever-faster speeds in ever-smaller volumes. This challenges our capacity to control manufacturing processes. It means we must constantly look for ways to push the limits of process control, all the way down to micron level and below. These increases in speed and density are also opportunities to design better performing thermal-management solutions, which is an area we are exploring.

 

Enabling innovation requires a careful balance of open, divergent thinking and brainstorming with a focus on the specific problem to be solved. In the beginning we want to welcome all kinds of ideas and thoughts related to the challenge, or “provocation”. Then comes the work to narrow the ideas into an actionable plan, the convergent part of the process. Getting this right requires two things: Knowing each team member's strengths; and combining these strengths to effectively develop the best possible solution.

2

Which connectivity trends are you watching?

In my focus area, Data and Devices, our teams are actively solving cutting edge connectivity challenges, so that we can help customers achieve ever-higher data rates in cloud computing. We are active in 5G networking on the infrastructure side, and increasingly in the RF space where we are finding that more integrated solutions are addressing density challenges. Additionally, the Internet of Things is creating opportunities around mass customization, which require a different approach to both product design and go to market.

 

I continue to watch the evolution of 3D printing and generative design for their potential to provide flexibility and new design approaches. The impact of ubiquitous data and machine learning/AI will be felt by our customers and these tools will also change the methods we use to design and manufacture our products.

3

How do you approach tough problems?

Since my early research days, I have approached every challenge with a simple idea: “If it were easy, it would have already been done.” Once a customer need is identified, no matter how tough, we begin surveying the existing or most logical solutions, looking for ways to help the customer achieve differentiating value. Often these tough problems also have solutions from other industries or disciplines. Having already been proven in another context, these solutions enable us to propose options for our customers that are lower risk, address their requirements, and offer additional benefits.

 

Erin Byrne, Chief Technology Officer, Data and Devices
Erin Byrne, Chief Technology Officer, Data and Devices
Be curious and learn to adapt your skills to the latest customer needs to always add value. Confidence in your ability to learn and adapt will serve you well in any environment.

Erin is focused on solving the challenges of commercializing leading-edge technology. To help her customers win in their markets, she leads a global team of multi-disciplinary engineers in partnering with customers to design solutions enabling next-generation connectivity. She sees every challenge as an opportunity to continuously improve. After obtaining her Ph.D. in Chemistry, she spent nearly half her career developing optical components and designing processes and products for both communications systems and sensing applications. Having worked in companies ranging in size from startups to large multinationals, Erin has developed the breadth to solve many types of technical challenges and the depth to lead different business models, helping her teams and customers win by connecting strategy to execution. With all her success, Erin finds great professional reward and personal satisfaction in empowering others, enthusiastically supporting them in building their careers and developing different perspectives that create personal opportunities.

1

Which dynamics are making possible advancements in connectivity?

For me, it's signaling speeds. These are always increasing, as is the data density that our customers require, and which their customers expect. To solve for this, we focus on supporting ever-faster speeds in ever-smaller volumes. This challenges our capacity to control manufacturing processes. It means we must constantly look for ways to push the limits of process control, all the way down to micron level and below. These increases in speed and density are also opportunities to design better performing thermal-management solutions, which is an area we are exploring.

 

Enabling innovation requires a careful balance of open, divergent thinking and brainstorming with a focus on the specific problem to be solved. In the beginning we want to welcome all kinds of ideas and thoughts related to the challenge, or “provocation”. Then comes the work to narrow the ideas into an actionable plan, the convergent part of the process. Getting this right requires two things: Knowing each team member's strengths; and combining these strengths to effectively develop the best possible solution.

2

Which connectivity trends are you watching?

In my focus area, Data and Devices, our teams are actively solving cutting edge connectivity challenges, so that we can help customers achieve ever-higher data rates in cloud computing. We are active in 5G networking on the infrastructure side, and increasingly in the RF space where we are finding that more integrated solutions are addressing density challenges. Additionally, the Internet of Things is creating opportunities around mass customization, which require a different approach to both product design and go to market.

 

I continue to watch the evolution of 3D printing and generative design for their potential to provide flexibility and new design approaches. The impact of ubiquitous data and machine learning/AI will be felt by our customers and these tools will also change the methods we use to design and manufacture our products.

3

How do you approach tough problems?

Since my early research days, I have approached every challenge with a simple idea: “If it were easy, it would have already been done.” Once a customer need is identified, no matter how tough, we begin surveying the existing or most logical solutions, looking for ways to help the customer achieve differentiating value. Often these tough problems also have solutions from other industries or disciplines. Having already been proven in another context, these solutions enable us to propose options for our customers that are lower risk, address their requirements, and offer additional benefits.