Women in ACR: Anna Carrera - Hitachi

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Published: 07 December 2015


Anna Carrera Hitachi
Anna Carrera, Hitachi
The ACR Journal met  Anna Carrera, Department Manager of Quality Assurance at Hitachi in Spain to ask about her career in the industry.

​Where did you study and what qualification did you gain?

​I have a Technical Degree with a postgraduate in statistics and QA application.

​Are you a member of any institutions and what benefit do you get from them?

As a personal matter, it is not applicable. But as a company, we are a member of the most important group industry associations in Spain and Europe.

​For example, we participate in voluntary independent product testing programmes that provide the foundations for fair competition – on equal terms and based on comparable data. This ultimately contributes to the improvement of the image and integrity of our company and the whole industry.

Tell us about your employer, Hitachi

 
 
Hitachi
 
Johnson Controls
 
 
Our factory is located in a small village in Vacarisses, around 35km north of Barcelona.

Since the 1st of October 2015, two large companies have joined forces: Japanese Hitachi and American JCI, thus forming Johnson Controls – Hitachi Air Conditioning. The two have very different cultures, so it will be an exciting challenge for us to integrate the best of both worlds.

Our activity is the design, production and sales of air conditioners and heat pumps for commercial, industrial and residential use, with capacities up to 50kW; we also produce water chillers for space cooling or industrial processes, with capacities up to 1200kW.

The company has 350 employees, of which 20 staff members work in R+D and 11 in testing laboratories.

​What attracted you to the industry?

A lot of things: I like my job a lot, I like to work together with people with very different profiles, and I like to investigate and understand why something happens. Almost every day, I go back home having learnt something new.

​The most negative side is that there are almost no women in this industry field, both when I attend meetings in Asia, or even here in Europe. It is a shame because I think this largely male dominated atmosphere could truly benefit from a greater female influence.

What do you specialize in now? Or, what type of projects do you work on?

​I have been working on two major projects since February. The first project is the reinforcement of testing in electromagnetic emissions and immunity for our units. We have constructed a Faraday chamber and developed enhanced technical competence for superior testing performance.

The second project is the creation of a testing room for central controls. Here, we can validate the performance of newly developed central control devices combined with air conditioning units in any virtual environment. The system is completely flexible to simulate any real condition.

What do you know now about the industry which you wished you had known before?

​The industry has become much more technical and professional, and the required degree of expertise and knowledge is incredibly complex. Group management to coordinate the diversity of cultures is becoming more and more necessary.

What excites or interests you about the industry and your part in it now?

​The evolution towards a more global world, with solutions becoming increasingly local.

Also, the ever-accelerating evolution of new technologies and how this effects our jobs on a daily basis.

​What would you say to other women who are considering coming into the ACR industry?

​Their minds should be open to continuous learning, since our field and our world in the wider sense are evolving very quickly. The HVAC world is very interesting, with its deep interaction of industry fields, distribution, customers, R+D – all of which foster the development of different professional skills.

They should be brave and be confident that any job done by a man can be done just as well as by a woman. You may sometimes feel lonely in a meeting room full of men, but in my case, I have never felt lacking in recognition or attention.


Where do you see your career developing?

​On the one hand, it requires a deep specialisation, which I have already acquired during my career at Hitachi. On the other hand, it also requires generalisation. I think that the evolution will be towards more management-oriented positions, without forgetting those day-to-day operations that require follow-up and improvement.

The new joint venture between JCI and Hitachi brings a lot of opportunities for global knowledge. There are some uncertainties in Europe, but I understand that everything will progress and ensure a better future for the company and its staff.

​What are the challenges of this industry?

​To contribute to higher comfort standards in society with our HVAC equipment, with units allowing perfect temperature control. Also, to contribute towards significant environmental improvement, supplying products with low noise level and high energy efficiency.

What are the benefits of being in your role?

​The variety of technical knowledge gained will be permanently mastered for decision taking in the future. I face questions and challenges continually, and the satisfaction of successfully solving them is extremely rewarding. Finally, to see the daily breakthroughs of the work team that I am leading.