Anne has been working with antennas her whole engineering career, which has earned her the nickname “Antenna-Anne”. Her free time Anne spends with her private zoo of three horses, dog and and a sacred birma cat. At TactoTek she works in R&D department with antenna projects, but also runs the pre-build 3D simulations of the products.
“My antenna engineer career began from my summer job in RF duplex filter production of pioneer-of-the-field-company, Kempele 1995. I had already started my studies in electrical department of Oulu University during autumn ’94 and I was lucky enough to get studies related summer job already after my first university year. Next spring I got a summer job in same company’s ceramic filter R&D and during my 3rd university year I already worked full time in company’s antenna R&D. In spring 1997 I started my Master’s thesis on Internal handset antennas and graduated during summer 1998.”
Being Part of the Technology Revolution
After graduation Anne was in the midst of the cell phone revolution and creating one of the first internal antennas. She worked for the same company she entered already in University for 19 years. Although the name of the company changed in accordance with the owner change, the organization remained relatively same.
“In 1997 all mobile phone antennas were external, whip or helical antennas or combination of those. However, there was a big demand from the market to hide unpractical and easily breakable external antennas into the phone chassis. My first customer antenna project was Nokia’s Zippo phone, 8810, the second mobile phone ever with internal antenna. Quite often it is referred to being the first, but actually the first was Danish Hagenuk’s GSM phone MT-2000 in 1994. After Nokia’s example other mobile phone manufacturers followed its lead, sooner or later. The boom was enormous and it was amazing to be apart of this development! Everybody wanted to have an internal antenna in their mobile phone ID and my company was doing a great business. For me already back then it was really exciting and inspiring to participate this world change from external mobile phone antennas into integrated ones. I worked as an antenna designer, research engineer and RF group manager, also a period in China as well.”
After the downturn in the economy Anne was laid off in summer 2015, like many of the professionals working in the cell phone industry. After realizing her career at the company was going to end, Anne started to look for other companies with antenna engineer positions, but did not find the available positions appealing, since she wanted to start something fresh and new. At this point Anne remembered hearing about TactoTek and its technology from Katriina Otsamo, SVP of finance at TactoTek, who she knew from the riding club. Anne sent her a LinkedIn -message, which led to interview and a job at TactoTek.
“The next day after my layoff I sent a LinkedIn -message to Katriina to ask her if they happen to have a need for an antenna engineer in TactoTek. She replied shortly and wrote that TactoTek’s Engineering Manager Marko Suo-Anttila will call me soon. Marko called, we had an interview on next day, next week CEO Jussi Harvela also interviewed me and then I started in TactoTek less than two weeks after leaving my previous company. Actually I did not apply anywhere else, because after 2 hours discussion with Marko my thoughts were crystal clear, I wanted to be a member of TactoTek crew. Technology was unbelievable for me and I wanted to be involved in this transformation. So only one message in LinkedIn and then my journey in TactoTek began.”
Creating the Disruptive Technology is Teamwork
Anne has been part of TactoTek team over three years now. Since the products are multi-functional, they have to be created and designed by a multi-talented team. The powerful R&D team consists of experienced and passionate professionals of many different fields, such as electronics, illumination, software, mechanics, printing, injection molding, tooling, chemistry and so on. At TactoTek the experts and specialists work closely in customer interface and the cooperation with different parties is extremely educating and excites new ideas and applications of IMSE technology.
“I feel very privileged to be a able to enjoy this open and innovative atmosphere during my daily work. It is also very nice to see how compelling this technology is, all the time new people are getting into IMSE technology. At TactoTek we have a strong team spirit. Although specialists of different fields, we are all IMSE-engineers, we around the world are like one (big) family. We have a team with entrepreneurial and owner mindset, and individuals do not hesitate to reach out of one’s specific expertise box, instead we are active and help each other.”
While Anne is creating new in her everyday work, she is also able to get the estimate of the real product and electrical functions by running electromagnetic 3D simulations to predict the performance of IMSE product before anything is built. As IMSE technology integrates many different electrical functions into the same, thin plastic structure, it is pretty complex system from electromagnetic point of view. With EM simulator we can deep dive and study for example interactions between different electrical operations. With simulations we can save both time and money by building virtual prototypes and running performance calculations.
“In TactoTek the most inspiring fact for me is that we are really changing the world, how the things, products are built. We are bringing something totally new, fancy, multifunctional manufacturing technology into the world and everybody seems to just simply find it extremely tempting. There are hundreds and hundreds of different applications from many different fields where one could use this technology and obtain benefits and achieve something new never seen before. The possibilities are enormous and it feels that there is no limit. For me this is already second time during my career when I am involved in this kind of technology transformation and changing the world.”