Rodrigo Alvarez

Tinkering as a way of life

My story

Hi! I’m glad you dropped in by my personal site. My name (as you may have guessed) is Rodrigo Álvarez and I am from Spain. I built this website as a way of keeping a record of my personal projects and findings about the tinkering I do on my spare time.

As you may have noticed I have a strong technical background, this is because I am an Industrial Engineer. Although I specialized in Mechanical Engineering, I am also very passionate about electronics design and I like putting both together. I really like tinkering with stuff. Let’s say if I had to choose the colour of a lab coat, it wouldn’t be white!

Back in 2013 I started tinkering with drones (They weren’t as common as nowadays!) and I designed and built a quadcopter using RC gear. Why? Because I could! I used this knowledge later on, and I developed for these guys a low cost quadcopter for medical use in rural areas, which then became my bachelor thesis (where I obtained Honor distinction).

I later continued working on it just to realise the aircraft choice wasn’t optimal. They still needed vertical take off and landing capabilities like a helicopter, but with the endurance of a fixed wing aircraft. This then became my Masters thesis (link to post about it) where I was awarded a prize by ICAI National Association of Engineers. Unfortunately, as I moved out of Madrid I couldn’t finish building the first prototype. Hopefully one day you will see a blog post about it.

Just as I became an Industrial engineer, I was hired in Barcelona by HP Inc. in their graduate programme as a Mechanical Engineer, developing ink delivery systems for printers. I had a blast there! I helped develop and design the first line of their Jet Fusion line of industrial 3d printers and then for their line of white latex printers. I am really proud of the work I did there and would really like to mention all the great and talented people whom I worked with there!

Rodrigo Álvarez Multi Jet Fusion
HP Multi Jet Fusion – One of the projects I helped develop at HP

While working at HP I was also given the time to study a Master in Project Management. As per se, I find there isn’t a great complication in managing projects (you just have to be organised!), however, I find that we were made aware of the soft skills required, not only to develop a successful professional career, but to help others do the same. I really believe nowadays engineers who have soft skills can be ten times more successful than their counterparts.

Unfortunately, when I had to renew my contract at HP, management had forced a hiring freeze, and although I was given the option to stay as a contractor, I decided to change jobs.

I am currently a Manufacturing Project Manager at INDRA. I am mostly involved in Transport projects, where we work as an independent part of the company, coordinating our own engineering and supply chain teams to serve our internal customers.

Having a background in mechanical engineering and design, I really do like getting my nose into the technical stuff, and I believe the engineering team really likes having a project manager who “speaks the same language”. However, most of the time I spend on the phone dealing with unforeseen scenarios and putting fires out. I bet anyone who has worked in the manufacturing industry can relate. This job is really testing my ability to come up with creative solutions to meet both time a cost deadlines.