Robert Szulc

Technical Product Owner, Wärtsilä Development Centre Unit, Digital Engineering Department

Drunen, the Netherlands

3 years at Wärtsilä

Originally from The Netherlands


Innovator of elegant software and mind-blowing electric guitars

During his three years in the Wärtsilä Data Collection Unit development team, Robert Szulc has got to design elegant software solutions and deliver enhanced solutions for the end users. In his words, his Wärtsilä experience has been incredible: “It has not been a straightforward ride, but I've learned an incredible amount, and have been granted amazing opportunities. I'm surrounded by people who have great passion for what they do, which only drives me even further.”

Together with these passionate team mates, Robert’s task is to gather and refine requirements with various stakeholders and innovate these ideas into new features for Wärtsilä’s solutions. Each working day is different, but some of Robert’s most memorable days in Wärtsilä were when he and his team were in Vaasa to test their first software, connected to a real Wärtsilä engine. The days were not only most memorable, but longest, as they worked over 12 hours for three days to learn and iterate their solution. Despite the days being hard and exhausting, the trip was worth their while – especially now, as the team has recently reached the general availability milestone with the Wärtsilä Data Collection Unit after only a year of development. “Helping the team evolve is one of my greatest contributions in Wärtsilä”, says Robert proudly.

Robert appreciates the flexibility, freedom and opportunities that Wärtsilä offers. Great colleagues contribute to the daily work, but in addition to that the appreciation towards each other has been phenomenal, as he says: “When you present your case, people listen, and you can take action to achieve your goals”. Robert’s team is supportive, and there aren’t many days without a good laugh. “Without good colleagues, the rest wouldn’t matter,” he reminds.

Wärtsilä Data Collection Unit development team’s work aims at creating a flexible, future proof solutions in a continuously developing world. “Once I worked on a project for six months, but we needed to cancel it. Then, I learned not to get too attached to things you create," he tells. "You always strive to make a great product, but if you need to move on to something else, then so be it. Just take the things you learned and use that to make something even better. That’s the spirit of being agile.”

This kind of continuous development is increasingly needed, Robert assumes, as Wärtsilä grows to be an even larger player in the smart technology sector in the future. Already now, Robert has seen Wärtsilä changing; the Wärtsilä today is better equipped to act and innovate fast, regardless of its enormous size. “Also, I have changed here. Initially when I joined as a Software Test Engineer, I was just focusing on my daily tasks, and my scope didn't go much beyond my own team. Now I'm dealing with people all over the company.”

Robert is quite an innovator on his free time too, “At home I am often busy designing and creating my own electric guitars. I love combining more traditional materials and designs with technology of today. I've made my own 3D printer which I also tinker with frequently. Next to this, I also write, record, mix and master my own music as well as the music of my band, Polar Fever.”

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