Posted on 1 July 2019

At bGrid Thomas Collomb finds the balance between operational activities and design

bGrid makes tailor-made smart building solutions, and not only that. We are constantly developing new functionalities and possibilities. As a Product Development Engineer, Thomas Collomb plays an important role in this process. He is responsible for the mechanical aspects of the projects, from product design to manufacturing. We asked him what drives him and what he enjoys in his work at bGrid.

In close cooperation with the hardware team, Thomas designs devices that allow the functionalities of the bGrid system to perform as expected. It’s of great importance that sensors collect data very accurately. Therefore one of Thomas’ core activities is to design enclosures that “wrap up” the hardware, making sure the hardware performs as expected and the devices are well integrated in the building. Besides this, he also has supply chain responsibilities, such as participating in production process optimization.

Sharing the office with colleagues from other fields of work
An aspect of the job that Thomas likes, is having a balance between two different types of activity: operational activities and design. He loves getting deep into development work but finds it refreshing to also have more routine tasks. Thomas: “Taking a step back or taking a break from development work is a hard task when you are deeply involved.  The alternation between both types of tasks is the perfect solution for me.”   Besides switching between two types of activity, he loves the fact that he shares the office with colleagues from other fields of work. Currently he is sharing a room with programmers. Thomas: “Having people around me that are working on different things and have different knowledge and skills, makes it easy and fun to share thoughts about the products and get other perspectives. It takes a lot of people with different skills to develop the products at bGrid, so it’s nice to work spatially close to them to always keep in mind the bigger picture.”

Different nationalities and personalities working together
Thomas finished his master studies in mechanical engineering and design engineering in Twente, where he met his girlfriend. After working in a small start-up in Paris for one year, he joined his girlfriend back in the Netherlands. Thomas: “Because the main language of business communication is English, the Netherlands is a great place for international couples to settle. Evalan caught my attention because I like the fact that it’s a small and fast developing company, but because it exists for several years, it is not bothered by the financial challenges that startups face. The projects, like the smart building project that gave life to bGrid, are very innovative and are involving a wide variety of fields.”  
“Being able to work in English without any problem and having so many different personalities and nationalities in a company is rare for smaller companies and it leads to an open mind. You expect everybody to be different, so when someone does something uncommon we think it is natural. It also helps in thinking of solutions from different perspectives.”

Hard work is being done at bGrid, but there is also room for relaxation and enjoyment. Because bGrid is located in a quiet and green neighborhood in the center of Amsterdam, you don’t have to go far for pleasure. Thomas: “Strolling around the very nice neighborhood where the office is situated is my favorite kind of break! It helps me in maintaining a positive mindset.”

Taking a step back and realize the work that has been done
Thomas is most proud of the product portfolio of bGrid. Seeing the products in the various types of ceiling of the clients in nice looking and innovative buildings, is something he is very proud of. “The bGrid projects were just starting when I first joined Evalan, and it is nice to take a step back once in a while and realize all the work that has been done since then, for example having designed various enclosures, finding nice suppliers to work with, improving supply chain and production processes.” Seeing the bGrid products in the ceiling, well integrated and fitting with the style of the building is one of his aims and it is rewarding looking at these results.

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