Adi Diner is a Project Manager at Spectra-Physics, an industrial and scientific laser company in the San Francisco Bay Area. Adi’s profile stood out to me because I wanted to highlight someone from the Eazl community with a science and engineering background. I also really liked how her passion for science was developed as a child because I think it’s something so many of us can relate to.
Check out Adi’s wise words about teamwork and perfection, which is applicable to you no matter what industry you’re in:
Ludell Jones: In 2-3 sentences, tell us about your career and what you do.
Adi Diner: I started my career designing lasers. Later, I advanced to leading a team of physicists, and now I work as a project manager at Spectra Physics. I lead a team of engineers from different disciplines (physics, mechanics, electronic and software). Together we turn an idea into a product: high-end lasers that are used in leading research labs. The lasers we develop are used in physics, chemistry, and biology research labs.
LJ: What inspired you to pursue your profession/industry?
AD: Since I was young, I have wanted to understand how things work. As a child, I wondered why natural phenomena occurred and invented new devices. [In] high school, I chose to do a research project in a real lab at a research institute. I was so excited when the theory I learned in class came to life in the lab.
LJ: What is one of the toughest challenges you’ve faced while building your career?
AD: When developing new products, there is a constant conflict between ‘perfect’ and ‘good enough’. There is always one more thing that can be done in order to improve the product further or make sure that it is as good as can be.
But as an engineer and a manager, I have to aim for perfection while meeting practical demands with limited time and resources. The different considerations must be adjudicated upon.
At the same time, I must balance the sometimes contradictory input of different team members. I found that, when working individually in the lab, it is hard to see the bigger picture; in most cases, an open discussion brings all team members to understand the limitations and to prioritize correctly.
LJ: What advice would you give to your younger self if you knew then what you know now?
AD: When I just started in the industry, after spending years in grad school, I felt I [was] supposed to have answers to everything. I wish I learned earlier that, even after many years in the industry, you do not need to know everything. Asking other team members and brainstorming as a team has proven to be an amazing way for all of us to learn and find innovative solutions.
LJ: What other people in your field do you admire and why?
AD: I admire people who have the passion and ability to take their own idea from theory to product.
Adi welcomes your connection requests on LinkedIn.