Jen Hearne, Project Manager, Hyperdrive Innovation

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Jen-Hearne 

What does your job entail?

I’m head of the project management team responsible for all project delivery from design, right through to manufacture. Our main project at the moment is the Hyperdrive Modular 48v battery pack. It can be used for things like autonomous vehicles. We’re the first third party company to source this Nissan LEAF lithium-ion battery technology for our own commercial products. This meant we had great success in the last year as we’ve taken this system and applied it to different fields and markets.

 

Why do you enjoy working in manufacturing?

The work is really varied, and you get to see both the design and manufacture side.

At Hyperdrive we’re developing so many innovative technologies to power electric vehicles, homes and businesses. It’s exciting to work on a huge array of products and applications, from airport ground fleets to warehouse robots with zero emissions.

 

What challenges have you overcome in your career?

Sometimes I’m the only woman in the room, but I don’t find that a challenge and it’s not at the forefront of my mind.

The challenge for me comes with the job. The market we operate in is new and emerging, so sometimes our customers don’t fully know what they want, particularly because we’re working with them to develop new technology. You have to manage their expectations about what they could have and develop a workable solution.

 

What advice would you have for women thinking of a career in manufacturing?

Do it! I think people from the outside are intimidated by the perceived gender gap, but when you’re actually in it, it isn’t a problem. It’s not necessarily a macho culture, so don’t be put off by how it might be portrayed.

Young women should feel encouraged to be part of the change.

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