Tell us your name, where you are currently and what it is that you do?
My name is Hoyma Mazara, I live in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in the Caribbean. I am an Industrial Designer by Profession and I have worked my entire career in new product development, innovation, and introduction of new products and processes in the Electrical Sector. Specifically Power Distribution. Today I focus on process engineering and industrialization.
Have you always wanted to be an engineer? Or was there something else that you had wanted to be?
I don’t think I recall ever wanting to do anything else than to create and make stuff work. From the start going to college for Industrial Design was the only thing. Because it is inside the School of Engineering I have always had a good relationship with engineering. Plus being raised by two engineers (my father is a Civil Engineer and my Mother an Electro-Mechanical Engineer) I think it was always there.
What was your earliest encounter with innovation? Was there a time in your childhood that you can remember where you had applied engineering?
I would always get in trouble because I would tear apart all of my toys just to see what was inside. I was always good at art projects and science projects at school. I would tear down my bicycle and “overhaul it” without anything being wrong with it. I guess I was always doing something even in the kitchen where I would create food dishes from what was available.
How many patents do you currently have? What was one of the most memorable experiences you have had working on one of these patent projects?
Right now I hold 5 patents in the US Patent Office. The most memorable experience for me was a patent for a circular array load center. Me and a group of co-workers at the design center I worked on were, I would say, kind of bored. We wanted to create something completely different. Everything was square and had been like it for decades. We wrote there ridiculous requirements for the design and set off on the journey. Did a couple of brainstorming and design blitz. Everybody got to work on their craft. From 3D designers, electronic PCBA designers, and industrial engineers. It was a very unique Idea. Hasn’t made it to production yet. Maybe someday. Click Here to view patent
What part of your job is the most satisfying?
That moment when, after weeks of thinking that requirement or that design feature seemed impossible, you can say: wow! We made it work! Yes, innovation is a product of hard work and teamwork.
Over the years where have you received the most inspiration?
I guess it is a mix of going back to basics, those things that we learned in school that we have forgotten over time because of the work. Design Philosophy, engineering tools, and methods. The other part of it is from looking at the competition in and objective and humble way: they do pretty cool stuff. Acknowledge it, try to understand the way they got there and that will give you a new perspective and sufficient energy to come up with something better. Then, do it all over again!
What influence does living in the Dominican Republic have on your work? Does it pose certain challenges or have any advantages?
The DR is a 3rd world country where natural beauty converges with underdeveloped scenarios. Where technology meets unmet basic needs. The contrast of being creative to get ahead with the challenge of making the most of the resources creates a kind of creative warrior mentality. Creative advantages are that you can escape quickly to a great place and find inspiration in nature or just meditate, the culture, colors, and textures everywhere you look and limited resources create innovation challenges every day.
For anyone traveling to the Dominican Republic where is a place they must go and what must they eat?
That is a difficult answer because I could make a 2 page list, but definitely a quiet, almost untouched beach and eat fresh fish, the catch of the day. My places are Las Terrenas and Cabarete. Fried Red Snapper with Tostones (fried plantains) is a must.
Is there any special interest you have or anything you advocate that you would like to share?
I believe that Innovation and Design Engineering go hand in hand and are a Global Field. Inclusion and Diversity are a big part of it if not fundamental. I think that every culture can bring a small piece of innovation to make a world a better place and to advocate to jumpstart or support innovation systems around the world will make the world a better place. I have worked with people in Canada, USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, India, China, Taiwán, Sweden, and others. The innovation language is one we all speak. It is the voice of a better future.
Do you plan on working on innovation until you retire or is there another passion you see yourself pursuing?
I plan on projecting my creativity and innovation to my hobbies. Right now I’m doing some innovation work for my field but mostly engineering. I’m focusing my creativity now with one of my friends in Motorcycles. Just did my first project last year and really enjoyed it. I’ll try to balance it out with work.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Just to share that the Dominican Republic has great people, very capable engineers, and designers and a lot of innovation is coming out and will continue to come out of here. It is a great place to invest. Keep an eye open for the Dominicans.