An Interview with Rob Henson, Gilero’s Director of Design & Engineering

How long have you been with Gilero and what was your background prior to working with us? 

I have been with Gilero for almost seven years now. Prior to Gilero I was at TransEnterix, working on design and development for a minimally invasive robotic surgical platform for laparoscopy. I was originally based in Gilero’s North Carolina headquarters, then in 2019 I moved out to Carlsbad to start up a second design center for the organization and establish a presence on the West Coast.  

What will your new role at Gilero entail? 

My role as Director of Design & Engineering is to be a team leader for the design group and act as a technical advisor across the large portfolio of projects that we’re managing. I also ensure that we have the right engineers working on the right products and technologies and make certain that those engineers have the appropriate tools and resources available to succeed in their work. I will continue to be involved in brainstorming sessions, design and drawing reviews, design strategy discussions, and the like, but those days of doing detailed CAD (Computer Aided Design) work are now handed off to our incredible cast of design engineers. As the site lead for our Carlsbad office, it is also my job to make sure our facility can accommodate the growing team, and that we have the tools and equipment necessary to be effective in our design and development projects. Having an appropriately fitted facility becomes especially important as we continue to broaden the types of products we develop.  

With the rapid growth of our team, how involved are you in the recruiting efforts? 

With the dual responsibility of my new role and existing role of growing the site here in Carlsbad, I’m very much at the front of our hiring efforts and am actively participating in interviewing candidates for multiple roles. So not only design engineers, but also product development engineers, quality engineers, and project managers, as well as the electrical and software engineers that make up our Integrated Systems team. The goal is to grow a multi-disciplined team at our Carlsbad site.  

How has the Design & Engineering team grown throughout your time at Gilero? 

The people we have brought onto the team have been instrumental in broadening our experience and strengthening our capabilities and expertise. We have a great diversity of backgrounds within the group. For example, we have designers that have been in medical device development for 10-20 years and the tribal knowledge they bring is extremely valuable. The assortment of products they have been a part of and the various development cycles they have collectively worked through, while adhering to the strict regulations with which we need to maintain compliance, are experiences that provide so much benefit to the team. We also have a lot of team members that come from different industries such as automotive, energy, industrial, and others, who bring fresh perspectives and experience to the design and development process. Having that diversity of individuals makes our team stronger. Our team also consists of a range of experience levels, with a healthy distribution of both junior and senior level engineers. Our senior team members do a fantastic job at mentoring and transferring their wealth of knowledge to the greener engineers, which enables us to internally promote folks into those senior positions and nurture an environment of personal and career growth within the company.  

What does the future of Design & Engineering look like for Gilero as a whole? 

With the work our Business Development team is doing by bringing in so many new projects, we hope to continue to grow our team to support that work and further expand our capabilities. The culture within Gilero is very strong, collaborative, and supportive, and we want to maintain those values with the growth we are trying to realize. We absolutely want to preserve the high standard of design work the company has established and our clients expect as we move forward and grow. We have also greatly diversified our skillset over the years and want to continue to broaden the types of projects we work on and products we develop. From things such valve technologies, injectors, instrumentation, drug delivery devices, to expanding even further into the electromechanical space with products that require full integration of mechanical, electrical, and software elements.  

What can Gilero’s Design & Engineering team do for our clients? 

I strongly believe that there isn’t a challenge that we can’t overcome or can’t solve. We have an incredibly talented team of engineers, that are intelligent, curious, and driven to succeed. When you couple all of that together, you get a culture of people who will do everything they can to figure out any problem and find a solution. They are true engineers at heart, and those are the people we like to hire. When a client or prospect comes to us with any given challenge, within reason, we are going to figure out the best way to solve their problem and develop a solution that meets their needs. 

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