Introducing our next interviewee in our ongoing look at the people behind the B-Secur brand - Field Applications Engineer, Mark Lilburn
Mark, who joined the team back in September 2018, shares insight around skills, responsibilities and duties of a Field Applications Engineer as well as his perspective of the tech industry and predictions for the future.
Tell us a little more about yourself, Mark
I grew up in Carrickfergus and attended the Ulster University in Jordanstown and now live in Belfast, so I am very much a local boy.
I love all things sports, especially football and the NFL and I have played many sports over the years from football to rugby and athletics. I now enjoy keeping fit through running and going to the gym.
I am also very passionate about music and (attempt to) play the guitar. In my uni days I also used to DJ and would often DJ at club nights in Belfast.
Can you tell us more about your professional background?
As part of my BSc in Biomedical Engineering at the Ulster University I completed a placement year at the medical devices company Boston Scientific, in Galway. I took on a role as an Industrial Engineer within the Operational Excellence team, aimed at implementing lean manufacturing principles across the manufacturing teams on site.
I then graduated from the Ulster University in the summer of 2018 just prior to joining B-Secur as a Data Analyst. Within this role I handled much of the algorithm validation testing and research, with the aim of proving the medical grade performance of HeartKey.
From here I then took on a temporary role as the Data Team Lead for 6 months in which I managed the testing and project work for the team. This was a steep learning curve but a great experience as I was working alongside a great team. Now I am in the FAE role within the product team.
How would you define your job as a Field Application Engineer at B-Secur?
The FAE role is great as I am in constant communication with various stakeholders, whether they are the internal engineering team members at B-Secur, or working directly with customers and partners.
Much of my day-to-day job role is based on providing technical support to customers, across a variety of the projects we have going on at B-Secur. It is challenging but rewarding as I help provide solutions to customer issues whilst assisting them with their own development.
Within my role I also take on the management of internal and external customer projects, tracking progress and ensuring the projects are set up for success.
How has your interaction with customers and businesses changed over the last year?
The last year has been a challenge as we have had to get to grips with a very different way of working, although at B-Secur we are very flexible in our working anyway so we have adapted well.
The biggest change obviously being the move to online working and the challenge this brings with effective communication. It’s much easier to build solid relationships with colleagues and customers in person, as the majority of our communication is physical rather than verbal, so the move to online working was not an easy one.
Particularly for demos and tradeshows, we at B-Secur have had to get creative in how we demo our technology. We have produced videos which enable us to demo our software and evaluation kits, in a way that is much more effective than standard user guides and documentation.
We have also used video calling to our advantage, hosting demo and walk through video call sessions with customers to provide the insight and information needed that previously we would have delivered in person. Although we can’t wait to get back out meeting customers and partners in person again!
From working with some of the biggest players in the tech industry have you encountered any similar challenges amongst the organisations that B-Secur solves?
At B-Secur we are a very flexible company and can work to meet the requirements of the customer. We have worked across a variety of industries within our space from automotive to healthcare and so have a great deal of experience with big players. Although across all industries working with ECG as a biometric we have realised one of the main challenges companies encounter is the ECG signal chain, and optimising the signal for medical grade analysis.
B-Secur are experts in all things ECG, particularly in regards to optimising the ECG signal chain which includes electrode material choice, electrode design, and assisting customers with their hardware choice and design.
Our knowledge enables us to scope out and effectively capture the necessary requirements for the the customer proposal in order to ensure the project has the best chance for success.
The landscape of biometric technology and its applications is changing exponentially. How do B-Secur keep ahead with such fast-paced development?
We have an extremely experienced, hard working team who are passionate about all things ECG.
We pride ourselves on our performance and the quality of our product, whether that be HeartKey or the professional services we provide to customers. Thus as a team we want to be at the forefront of ECG and biometric development, constantly pushing the boundaries on the level of achievable performance and what is possible.
The B-Secur team come from a wide range of backgrounds, enabling idea generation and new ways of thinking which continue to drive us forward and set us up for success.