ONIee of the week - Continuous Improvement Manager

Posted by Chris Best on 10 Jul 2019
Chris Best

We're excited to reveal more about a day in the life here at ONI. This week we're talking to our Continuous Improvement Manager - James Cooney

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Introducing ONIee of the week

Name: James Cooney
Born: Harlow, UK
Title: Continuous Improvement Manager
Joined: November 2018

Introduce yourself...

I studied physics with Astrophysics at the University of Leeds, largely due to my keen interest in space. I then joined a company called Teledyne E2V who build cameras for satellites that go out into the solar system, which was very relevant to my degree. I was there for 3 years before leaving to join ONI and relocating to Oxford.

Why ONI?

I joined ONI for a couple of key reasons. The technology is amazing and really at the cutting edge of scientific discovery which really excites me. Also, once I had met with some of the team it was clear that the culture/outlook of the company was a good match for me. We are all very driven and motivated to succeed, everyone is willing to help one-another which makes for a cohesive and productive environment.

You mentioned earlier that you studied Astrophysics, why this specifically?

I have always been fascinated by space, so much so that when I was seven-years-old I created a PowerPoint Presentation all about the solar system and delivered it to my parents!

What does the Continuous Improvement Team do?

At ONI a Continuous Improvement Engineer (CI) identifies inefficiencies with the Nanoimager (hardware, software etc…) and tries to address them. It may be fixing the problem directly or speaking with people that can. In addition, we want to make the product as manufacturable as possible as we look to scale up our manufacturing operation.

What are the key challenges that you face?

There is a lot do and not much time to do it, which sounds like a problem but it’s one of the reasons I joined. I would also say that not actually knowing the answer but needing to decide how to proceed can sometimes be daunting, especially when our goals are so ambitious.

What do you enjoy most about being at ONI?

There are two key things, firstly the variety as no day is ever the same. Secondly, being exposed to the variety of problems that present themselves in a growing, deep-tech company. At my previous workplace things became a little predictable, which didn't work well for me. I really enjoy the wide range of activities, challenges and projects that I have access to here at ONI.

You've only been here for 9 months but you're now leading a team, why do you think you've been successful here?

The range of opportunities available allows you to take additional responsibilities if you want to. It was my short-medium term goal to lead a team and I was delighted when I was presented with the chance to do so. It also goes to show you how quickly you can progress whilst working in an agile company like ours, it’s so much fun!

Tell us something that we might not know about you...

I met Michelle Obama at The White House!

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Topics: People