Martin Tapankov Talks About The-Department-Where-Magic-Happens
Martin Tapankov is a part of Walltopia’s R&D team, which deals with different aspects of the development of products. Check out the interview below to learn about his work and the everyday challenges he faces.
Tell us a little bit about your background and how you ended up at Walltopia?
Martin – Product Engineer from The-Department-Where-Magic-Happens (shortly R&D). Young, handsome, decently thick, in his prime – like Carlson would say. A certain amount of chance and curiosity led me to my first meeting with Walltopia and some of the most important people here. I was sufficiently impressed by the company’s vision and and aspirations and I decided to check if I could find a place within the team of one of the most dynamic Bulgarian companies at this moment. As it turned out – I was not wrong, it was love from first sketch.
For how long have you been with the company?
Exactly 618 days, 7 hours, 46 minutes and 29 seconds (by the time this interview was written). Approximately. Without doubt, the most dynamic and diverse time of my professional life till now.
What are you doing currently?
This week, for example, are scheduled tests of prototypes of new products in our development center in Bozhurishte, followed by developments at the office for the rest of the time.
How are things here different from some of your previous experiences?
In the organizations I have worked in before, the focus was always on a very small part of the production cycle. In Walltopia I have the opportunity to deal with all aspects of the development of a product – conceptualizing, designing, prototyping, testing, as well as preparation of technical documentation for manufacturing, assembling, installing, serial production, operation and maintenance. Working on all these aspects allows a global view on the product and different approach to design – this is when you are lead not only by the terms of reference, but also by the wider economic, ergonomic or other special considerations that are difficult to be described and defined exactly.
What’s exciting about the work that you do?
The nature of the entertainment industry that Walltopia seeks to conquer suggests the creation of a wide variety of products and systems that draw from various branches of technology and engineering – pneumatic and hydraulic systems, moving machinery, management and control, hardware and software – there is almost no branch of the engineering that is not used in any of the company’s products.
What about your job makes you jump out of the bed in the morning?
Coffee – the main engine of the scientific and technical progress…and the alarm clock at 06:50. Most importantly however, the dynamic working environment; the open informal atmosphere in the office and last but not least – the daily challenges and the desire to achieve more rapid realization of the ideas I am working on.
What do you love the most about your job?
The ability to create something new from a vague concept and transform it into a real product that you can see on your desk. Nothing gives greater professional satisfaction than seeing your efforts and work rewarded with an innovative product that has the potential to change the industry.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced throughout the years?
Introduce new and advanced working processes in designing – increased use of simulations of movement and loading, as well as specialized software that assists the design process. The engineering work is no longer synonymous of drawing, and one could learn lots about a product before it is even produced.
What is the one thing the company helped you develop as a skill?
Definitely the “can do” attitude towards new projects. I do not mean conceit, but enough confidence in yourself and your team to achieve seemingly high and hard to reach goals.
How did you change throughout the years?
I gained a bit of organizational and social skills. The different processes that accompany my work requires coordination between production, subcontractors, suppliers and consultants – to run everything smoothly – a little bit of diplomacy, good planning, arm twisting and Olympian calmness are needed.
Why did you choose Walltopia?
I had some information about Walltopia from friends that are connected to the climbing sport. I liked the ambition of the company and I saw an opportunity to apply in a Bulgarian company, what I already acquired as knowledge and skills abroad and develop truly innovative products and systems.
Describe working here with one word.