Finding success in collaboration
Garry Churm joined Cathelco Ltd, a subsidiary of Evac Group, in August 1992 at the age of 17. His 30 years long career started as a machinist and has led to his current role as a Lead Product Engineer. Garry’s knowledge of the Cathelco® products is unique; however, he feels there’s always something new on the horizon and new possibilities for him to grow.
While in the production role, I learned all aspects of our Cathelco® products used for Corrosion Protection and Marine Growth Prevention in the maritime industry. This gave me an opportunity to re-design products to make them easier to produce and install. Many of the designs I did as a machinist are still used today.
After 10 years of working in the Production area, taking a role in the manufacturing process, I was promoted to the technical department; I had very little computer knowledge and no office experience at all. I was basically the first-ever staff member to progress from the “shop floor”, but surely not the last. Many more have followed in my footsteps since then.
My job is to develop new products and to ensure the viability of the current product line. Even though the technology we create is relatively simple, the variations of the application are vast. Each job is unique, and understanding how we take something from an enquiry or concept to a product is difficult for people outside of our department to understand. It’s our job to try to teach fellow staff members how we achieve this.
The old saying “many hands make light work”, in my experience, is very important when trying to achieve our goals. Working with others always teaches you something brand new. Engineering is an ever-evolving process, and the aim is never to reach the “end version” but to examine it and improve it constantly.
We truly find success in collaboration, as one of our recently launched values states. Listening to others who can suggest different directions makes the product lines better year after year.
What inspires me to work in the Evac Group is that I love the challenge of overcoming obstacles to win orders or solve problems when they occur, either individually or when working in a team. I like teaching newer coworkers how to overcome issues by guiding them in a direction that makes them think outside the box instead of having others think for them.
Recently I really enjoy the prospect of newer technologies and products we are researching. We have been looking into technologies and possibilities that are totally different from the ranges we currently produce, and it is really inspiring for us as a team.
I am proud to have designed so many products over the years and even seen them fitted onboard vessels. Having great feedback on a face-to-face basis with customers is very satisfying. Throughout the years, I have travelled all over the world and trained customers on our product line, and built good relationships in the process.
There is an old saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but in my relatively new role that I now have, I feel I have more to offer than ever before; learning about new technology and the range of products in the entire Evac Group means you can never know everything. However, there’s always something new on the horizon and new possibilities for us to grow.