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EW BrightSparks 2022 profile: Ana Reis – Electronics Weekly

22nd August 2022

Now in its fifth year of awards, EW BrightSparks sees Electronics Weekly partner with RS Grass Roots to highlight the brightest and most talented young engineers in the UK today.
EW BrightSparks 2022 profile: Ana Reis
Here, in our series on the latest EW BrightSparks of 2022, we highlight Ana Claudia Reis, a Software Engineering Manager at Imagination Technologies.
Ana is part of the application programming interface (API) team at Imagination, and she works together with engineers and developers to deliver APIs for neural networks that run on different platforms. This helps drive optimisation for the networks as well as the software execution.
During 2021 her team underwent dramatic changes, which left a significant gap in leadership and posed a considerable challenge when it came to delivering against customer deadlines.
Ana was the person with the most knowledge and experience and felt it was her responsibility to step up to the challenge and lead the team. Thus, one of her biggest achievements is leading a brand-new team of engineers and developers to deliver successful projects that met the demanding deadlines of major automotive customers.
Aside from using her technical expertise, another key element was learning to manage a team efficiently and effectively. Filling in the gap in leadership meant having more visibility in senior planning meetings and needing to understand how to manage resources on broader timescales. This approach was drastically different to the team sprints that she was used to, Ana told us.
The change in her role was different and exciting, however, motivating her to push forward by expanding her knowledge and skills, while also enabling her team to be successful.
One of the significant challenges she faced with when becoming the team lead was entering projects mid-way through, she shared. This required a lot of adaptability and fast thinking, while coordinating a brand-new team of engineers and developers.
Rapidly approaching deadlines also posed a considerable threat. However, by deploying an Agile working framework with a strong emphasis on clear and detailed communication, Ana was able to lead the successful completion of the projects on time, with positive feedback from the customers.
Her contribution to Imagination has been recognised by senior management, which supplied this commendation:
“While significant changes took place within the team Ana managed to step up her work to cover both technical and leadership roles. Ana has a good informal network with other colleagues in the organisation, making her able to interact with peers from other departments to find a solution when the team reaches a bottleneck.”
“While the team lead was away, she took on the role of leader, acting as the main collaboration interface with other teams on technical matters, helping as well in managing both Product and Sales expectations.”
In terms of showing initiative, the EW BrightSparks judges learned that working remotely with team members from offices in Romania, India and the UK was challenging and required an enhanced Agile approach.
One of the key elements was keeping clear communication throughout the project stages. To achieve this, Ana ensured every task in the tracker had as much essential detail as possible. This meant all team members would have a clear understanding of complex project stages, regardless of when they joined the process.
In terms of outreach or community work, Ana has taken part in Imagination’s STEM outreach programme at Kings Langley, in Hertfordshire. This programme is aimed at schools and provides students with the opportunity to learn coding with Lego robots through live workshops.
The team’s work has met with great feedback from teachers, she shared, while students were truly engaged with the content.
This activity was a continuation of Ana’s work in STEM, with her having been part of the WIE group during her time at university in Portugal (she gained a Master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Universidade de Coimbra). There, she carried out similar workshops and lectures for local colleges, in order to help raise awareness about engineering
Ana’s passionate about offering young students the tools and information they need in order to understand and pursue a career in the industry, should they decide to follow that path. She’s a firm believer in equal opportunities and diversity in the field, she told us.
She is pictured above receiving her award from Isabella Mascarenhas (VP, Grass Roots & Shining Stars, RS Group), one of the EW BrightSparks judges, and Richard Watts (emap MD, publisher of Electronics Weekly). Congratulations to Ana!

We are very grateful to the companies and organisations that help support the EW BrightSparks programme, and make it possible. Special thanks to: TE Connectivity and the UK Electronics Skills Foundation.

TE Connectivity is a global industrial technology leader creating a safer, sustainable, productive, and connected future. Our broad range of connectivity and sensor solutions, proven in the harshest environments, enable advancements in transportation, industrial applications, medical technology, energy, data communications, and the home. With more than 85,000 employees, including over 8,000 engineers, working alongside customers in approximately 140 countries, TE ensures that EVERY CONNECTION COUNTS. We are delighted to be involved in the Bright Sparks initiative which allows TE Connectivity to learn from and inspire the next generation of engineers. Learn more at www.te.com and on LinkedInFacebookWeChat and Twitter.
The UKESF’s mission is to encourage more young people to study Electronics and to pursue careers in the sector. In the UK, the Electronics sector is big, valuable and growing; however, the demand for capable, employable graduates is currently outstripping supply. We are an educational charity, launched in 2010, with both public and private seed-corn funding. We operate collaboratively with major companies, leading universities and other organisations to tackle the skills shortage in the Electronics sector.
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