MEET THE TEAM - John Downey

Meet the Team: John Downey

1. Describe your job as if you were explaining it to a five-year-old.

I manage projects for various medical and life science clients. My role involves supporting commercial activities, understanding customer requirements, and building a project team and scope to deliver to those requirements.

2. What types of projects are you working on at the moment?

My project areas at the moment would be focused on digital transformation. I am involved in the consultation, design, development, and validation of OT (operational technology) projects or OT systems for use cases such as OEE (overall equipment effectiveness), batch control, paper-to-glass, and statistical process control.

Digital transformation is a priority with all customer organizations I work with. Customers have resources and teams in place to support digital transformation initiatives, where they identify the main pain points that can be solved by digital transformation.

The main drivers for implementing any digital transformation project are increasing compliance, meeting regulatory requirements, and the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of the client organization.

3. How did you get into the industry?

I came into the life science industry and into SL Controls following 19 years in electronics manufacturing. My first role was a project management opportunity in SL Controls focused on an Industry 4.0 consultancy engagement.

I found the data-driven approach in life sciences was emerging in some respects, whereas the data-driven approach was already prevalent within the high-volume electronics industry. So, I saw big opportunities within the life sciences sector for the integration of systems to provide insights and enhance data-driven decision-making capabilities.

4. What is your proudest moment (work life or personal life)?

Having two kids and seeing them grow, learn, and develop is what I’m most proud of.

5. What’s the best advice you could give to someone thinking of coming into this industry?

Probably the best advice I could give is to use your experience or education. Especially if you are new to the sector or you are transitioning into the sector, don’t forget the experience and education you have.

Ask lots of questions. Leverage the resources that are available to help you grow within the business. Utilize the strong mentor network within SL controls to grow in your career.

And have fun along the way.

6. Outside of work, what are you most passionate about?

Enjoying time with family and getting regular exercise, which is good for mental health, particularly in the hybrid working environment. I also help coach the local under-11 soccer team. That’s very rewarding as well.

7. What’s the best thing about working for life sciences customers (pharma, MedTech, etc)?

I think being able to see the vision of a project being implemented in a healthcare setting and connecting that vision with the benefits at the end of the project. Also, in everyday life when you see the client’s products or services benefiting patients and being able to connect that back to projects that SL Controls has delivered – those are the best things.

8. What is the best thing about being on the SL Controls team?

There’s a great team culture within the organization. It’s supportive of individual needs and your career path or your career direction.

But probably the best thing is seeing the growth of the teams and individuals within SL Controls along the journey of projects and client engagements.