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Career spotlight: manufacturing engineer
Through our series of blogs highlighting people who have found careers at Takara Bio, we hope to show you what it's like to be a team member contributing to the advancement of "good science." We perform and enable good science, and this mission to provide top-quality products and services informs everything we do.
Here, we’ve interviewed Stephanie Pats, a Manufacturing Engineer I in the systems manufacturing department. Manufacturing engineers at Takara Bio USA are responsible for instrument manufacturing and substrate processing. They must follow procedures closely to ensure our products pass quality control prior to being released. In her role specifically, Stephanie works with liquid-handling instruments that are used to prep oligos and assay components into various plate configurations that will be eventually printed onto chips for the SmartChip Real-Time PCR System.
Prepare to be hands-on [in biotech manufacturing]. There are no useless skills—just a lack of imagination on how to apply them."
How long have you been with Takara Bio and what drew you to work here?
I have been with Takara Bio for a little over two years now. I was interested in real-time PCR and especially high-throughput real-time PCR along with the manufacturing aspect of it all. I also know more about the products that Takara has to offer.
How did your previous education and experience prepare you for this position?
I completed my bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering along with a minor in Chemistry. During college, I studied manufacturing processes. My education gave me a good foundation in the methods of manufacturing and taught me how it is important to pay close attention to the tiniest details even while doing something that seems simple, such as filing regulatory documents. I also served as a diagnostic technician at another company for a short period. In that position, I picked up many good manufacturing practices that I have since brought with me to Takara Bio.
What kinds of things do you do during your typical workday?
I usually start the morning by going through my current job lists to see what has been assigned to me. After I assess my task list, I gather the materials needed to print onto our SmartChips, whether that be buffers or oligos. Depending on the product, prepping plates or oligos can take several hours. Once prepping is complete and the SmartChips are printed, I transfer a chip to the Quality Control (QC) department. Once my chip has passed QC, I package the rest for inventory. When I’m not in the lab, I support my team by creating documentation. I also use my extra time at work to learn new topics and through podcasts and LinkedIn Learning, which we have a subscription to through Takara Bio.
I understand you are driven by a sense of accomplishment after completing challenging work, like reaching the next step in production following an overnight run. What else motivates you to wake up and come to work?
My team! We all get along very well, and pre-COVID, we went out for group lunches.
What do you do in your spare time?
In my free time, I listen to podcasts, cook, and learn new photograph editing techniques.
Maybe you can provide photography for our office space! Thanks, Stephanie, for telling us all about being a manufacturing engineer at TBUSA.
Stay tuned for more career spotlights.
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