Building extraordinary futures at Marshall Futureworx
Daniel Gortat has recently joined Marshall Futureworx and he shares his motivations and inspirations working for this innovative team.
Marshall Futureworx is a team of 16 people, based at St John’s Innovation Park in the heart of Cambridge, UK. Alongside driving their own start-up projects, the team works closely in the Cambridge Ecosystem, strategically engaging the University and other local start-up companies to identify opportunities for growth in both emerging and existing technology markets.
Daniel Gortat joined the team in September of 2021. We take this opportunity to understand a bit more about Daniel, his motivations for wanting to join the business, experiences so far and what opportunities he sees for the future.
Daniel obtained a double-bachelor’s degree from Finnish and Danish universities in Mechanical Engineering and Production Technology. Whilst studying there, he did his practical training as a mechanical engineer in Germany. After that, he moved to the UK to undertake a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Design at Manchester University. Daniel reflects - “I’ve always had a strong interest in nanomaterials and Manchester University offered just that. I was lucky to have been one of those who studied first-hand the recently discovered new material at this university - graphene.”
Afterwards, Daniel was admitted at Cambridge University onto the Centre for Doctoral training programme in Precision Engineering and subsequently did a Master of Research in micro and nano manufacturing. Following that, he did a PhD in Industrial Photonics, working with the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate at USAF. He published 8 papers on laser induced modifications of metals for increased electrical and thermal conductivity. He then joined Imperial College London as a post-doctoral researcher where he supervised students in the Aerial Robotics Lab and worked on aerial-aquatic drones, publishing on the topic of ‘Superhydrophobic surface modifications’.
COVID hit everyone in 2020 and Daniel then started to look for new career opportunities. Daniel recalls - “I discovered Marshall Aerospace on LinkedIn. I was impressed by the company’s portfolio and the notion of Futureworx as the incubator for innovative ideas.”
Daniel applied and experienced a really engaging interview with Kieren Patterson (Head of Futureworx Engineering), Steven Tweddell (Head of Systems Engineering), Chris Hoe (Senior Futureworx Architect) and Chris Walton (MD) – “What struck me the most was how the interview panel, besides ascertaining whether I was a good fit for the team and the job, also placed a great emphasis on making sure that I will enjoy and thrive in this environment.”
After accepting the job, Daniel is now almost a year into his role as a Futureworx Architect. With being close to deploying and testing his first prototype in the company, Daniel reflects on the great corporate culture that continues to inspire him – “The role gives us creative freedom within a safe environment to learn to see what works, with lots of team guidance. Great ideas are rare and that requires visionary thinking to help develop those golden ‘nuggets’ that are commercially viable and that’s where teamwork becomes paramount. Once a week we brainstorm new concepts and ideas which is an excellent approach to stimulate your mind. The development of our independent learning is highly encouraged and you really feel that Marshall as a company invests in and values you. My work with them even motivated me to take up flying lessons to further nudge my imagination.”
“Being part of the Futureworx team, you are equipped with all the tools necessary to succeed in the start-up world. One of the opportunities I see for myself is to continue broadening my knowledge by acquiring an MBA. This will help me to successfully take off the ground an idea of my own which, in turn, might become a new business in the Marshall Group.”
Daniel concludes – “You won’t be able to get bored at Futureworx – I feel privileged working in the Marshall Group – a strong heritage with an exciting future.