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Semcon StoriesProduct Development

The project engineer with a passion for problem solving

From designing electric motorcycles to renovating cleanrooms at pharmaceutical companies, Sandra Palm started her career in Australia and now works as a project engineer at Semcon's office in Uppsala. Read more about Sandra's journey and she uses her different experiences to become an even better problem solver.


It all started with an interest in designing and developing products. I completed my degree in Australia, studying product development in mechanical engineering, and then worked for a start-up in Brisbane designing electric motorcycles of the future. It was in Australia that I encountered the life science industry (technology and health) through my own start-up via a Robotics Accelerator program. My business idea was helping children in hospital by integrating technology with healthcare and health. This resulted in a change of direction and a desire to study biomedical engineering in Uppsala. After completing my studies, I discovered Semcon and decided to apply.

Not a direct route into the engineering profession

I chose a generic college course because I was interested in several different subjects, such as biology, maths, and health. For a while, I thought about becoming a physiotherapist, but after working in the industry for a few years, I decided that I wanted to work closer to technology. So, I took the engineering route instead. Working with problem solving and taking advantage of my curiosity has been important to me. I want to create something that solves problems and helps people through technology and development.

My three Semcon assignments

The first was as a project engineer where I worked with renovating cleanrooms. The second assignment was also as a project engineer where I assisted in implementing a new machine in a production line. Right now, I have left life science for a shorter assignment in radio and mobile coverage. In this assignment, my role is project administrator where I am helping to structure projects and implement a new project management system.

Experience in understanding the end user

My previous experience has enabled me to gain a better insight into people's behaviours and how to create good user experiences. Together with my previous assignments in project management, this makes it easy for me to understand how a new project management system should be implemented to benefit both the company and users. I can more easily understand how users perceive problems and setbacks when they work with a new system and new processes. With this knowledge, I can develop more user-friendly processes – that results in what is implemented actually being used.

Adapting to life as a consultant

It's really fun to work in a team with problem solving, especially in my current assignment where we all sit together and analyse setbacks, results and progress. Everyone gets to talk and be heard. It's fun to dig deeper into a problem where everyone in the team has the same goal.

Consulting life in general has been a challenge because it's completely new to me. It takes time to adjust to each assignment as they can differ. But even if it takes time, it's fun and you develop quickly. A year as a consultant almost feels like three years as an employee because you learn so much.

The advantage of a consultancy role is that you get to try lots of different things within each assignment. That is especially rewarding as a recent graduate when you don't have a complete grasp of all the roles that working life offers. It was a gut feeling that led me to choose Semcon where I started in September 2021 and continue to enjoy it. I was also interested in projects and project management, to continue to learn and develop, and Semcon is a good place to work for that reason.

When people run into problems they can come to me

If I had a crystal ball and could see five years into the future, my dream assignment would be to work with product development for a small company in research and development and create a solution within in a team. I like to jump between different roles, learn new skills and develop, and could imagine becoming a specialist within a specific area. I want to be the one people go to when they run into problems.

About Sandra
Job: Project Engineer
Education: Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering. Product Development, Mechanical Engineering.
Worked at Semcon since: September 2021
I have most fun at work when I...: am surrounded by positive people and when there is engagement and a feeling of community.

About Semcon Stories
A series of articles for everyone wondering what it’s like to work at Semcon. With Semcon Stories our employees get to highlight certain exciting aspects of their jobs.


Lina Jäderborn


Sweden East & South