Meet the Mentor | Dr Marlon Cruz | December 2020

Each week we will be publishing an interview with one of our wonderful CAP mentors to highlight their background, experience and expertise, along with relatable insight into past triumphs, failures and the lessons learnt. This week we chat to Dr Marlon Cruz BEng, PhD, CSci, CEng MIMMM, MIET who is a a PhD Metallurgical Engineer focused on tribology and surface engineering.

Date: Friday 04 December 2020


Dr Marlon Cruz BEng, PhD, CSci, CEng MIMMM, MIET 

Tell us about your career to date and did you envision this is where you would be?

My professional background is Metallurgical Engineer followed by a PhD focused on tribology and surface engineering. Before staring my professional career, I gained interesting experience as industrial electrician and around emergency services.

My career started back in 2000 after a 5-years engineering degree program. At the beginning I followed an academic pathway by working in a research lab and starting a PhD but my inquisitive desire to bring the academia closer to industry and vice versa was the beacon for next steps on professional development.
On those times I had clear idea that my professional development would be around the fascinating world of materials engineering and science.

I have worked in three countries, in Latin America and Europe where have had the opportunity to build a +20 years continued and varied experience at Universities, non-profit Technological Centres and Industrial manufacturing.

From the point of view of my career development I would confirm that, after 20 years from getting my engineering degree, it has been pretty accurate how I saw myself in the future as professional. In my very particular situation from the location point of view, at the year 2000 I had not any clue that by 2020 I would be living and working from a upper latitude to 50ºN.

Currently, I am working as an independent engineering consultant where my business is driven by a unique strategic and unbiased approach for business development focus on offering a clear understanding about materials, surface engineering, tribology and game changing technologies.
Since 2019 as part as my reflective process to address my professional commitment, I have been focusing my skillset and expertise in offer solutions to business development, strategic advising, sustainability, and circular economy related needs for start-ups and manufacturing sector mostly.

Given your role and experience, what kind of advice and expertise could you offer a mentee who has signed up to the Chamber Advisory platform?

I would be more than happy on help people interested on explore ways to manage and delivery technical and innovative projects to boost productivity where are involved materials, coatings and there is growing needs to a rational use of materials. The above could sound as narrow and so specific but, believe me, is quite broad and cross-sectoral. Let’s talk and you will realise about it...!!

What motivates you?

The passion and love to my career, especially around how to help reducing waste of energy by applying my expertise around tribology (all those stuff about friction and wear of materials including lubrication), surface engineering and empowering people on those everlasting fascinating topics.

What is your biggest success and how did you achieve it?

I have an holistic vision of my professional development therefore, for me, it is quite hard to label just a single success as the biggest ones but by picking up one of the more recent I would say that one fantastic success on my career was to get my professional registration as Chartered Scientist (CSci) and Chartered Engineer (CEng) back in 2017.

Most of my professional development have been carried out abroad (outside UK) and for that reason it was quite challenging make all this reflective process to map my experience against the UK-SPEC. Six months of hard working were required to collect of evidence, prepare the CPDs register, draft the case of study and be ready for the interview.

Tell us about your biggest failure and what you learnt from that experience?

At this stage of my life I am realising that being a person with high tendency to be shy is something that has impacted at different levels my professional development. The more noticeable one was a few years ago where this sense of apprehension blocked a good opportunity to demonstrate in a specific audience what capable I was to work as leader in a novel project.

In some ways I have been constantly “fighting” against my shyness which is reflected on the continuous interest on keeping me outside of my comfort zone and such failure gave to me a unique opportunity to strategize a clear pathway to improve in that sense.

How do you balance your work and home life?

I could resume it as follows in this order: 1) understanding others; 2) setting priorities; 3) flexibility; 4) love for what is done and how is done.

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would that be?

Never give up on keeping learning and be curious. Push out your borders and move outside of your comfort zone.

Did you ever have a mentor and do you have any mentors in your life right now?

At different stages of my career and life I have had good mentors each one has offered to me valuable pieces of learning, advise and role model. My first couple of great mentors have been my parents who seeded on me the foundations of values, responsibility, compassion, and hard-working model. Following, during my high school studies in a technical college, I had three mentors where learnt how to be a very capable electrician. After, when I started my studies at the University, I was incredibly lucky to receive mentoring in twofold: volunteering in emergency services where I got great living experiences and engineering with focus in metallurgy and materials.

Currently, I could say that I am proud of having three fantastic life mentors: my two children and my wife…!

If you would like to connect with Dr Cruz or become a Chamber Advisory Mentor yourself please click here