JOAN MEYER: Research & Development Manager at CGI

#AutomotiveAllies: Joan Meyer, nominated by Shaun Rosenstein, is the Research and Development Manager at CGI. Joan was fortunate to have grown up in the beautiful town of Stellenbosch, where she completed school as well as her B.Sc Polymer Science Honours Degree.

Joan’s career starter at (then) Somchem, in 1989. Her work involved product development and project management in the area of bonding systems for composite-based missiles.

Joan then joined Vynide in 1992, a manufacturer of a wide range of flexible PVC substrates, including calendared and cast films, self-adhesive vinyl’s, etc. Her responsibilities included product and market development in these fields. Extensive research was done on formulating, application, and testing development, which resulted in an integral understanding of plastic and coating technologies.

During this time, she worked closely with their customer Omnigraphics, a supplier of decals to the Automotive industry. This allowed Joan to become involved in development projects specifically aimed at the Automotive industry, with general screen and digital print technologies.

Joan left Vynide in 1999, to join the Omnigraphics team as their Research & Development Manager.  This allowed her to gain further key experience with specific focus to the Automotive Industry, involvement in strategic supplier development projects, as well as management of laboratory processes to automotive standards.

In 2005, Joan temporarily parted from the plastics and automotive industry, to be part of the Xanita founding team, an innovative start-up company manufacturing engineered fiberboard, as Research & Development Manager. This enabled Joan to realize a new passion and understanding of the great opportunities for value-added eco-friendly kraft (paper) based products.

Joan rejoined the Automotive industry in 2015, as Research & Development Manager of CGI. Introduction of new standards created new technical challenges, but opportunities for the local industry development.

CGI Face Shield Initiative was a great example of the company’s synergistic team efforts. Joan’s role was to manage raw material availability, outside their standard scope of products. Their strength was to align with strategic and committed supply partners, to ensure optimum quality, fit for purpose, and reliable supply.

#ThingsIWiishIKnew: The Automotive sector allows for such a wide field of product development and technical opportunities, which makes it a very exciting industry to be part of, with great potential for local, as well as international careers for young women.

#TheFuturersFemale: Align yourself with strong leaders and mentors, both women and men. Learn from those who are willing to teach you! We are never too young or too old to learn from each other.

Acknowledge and build on your weakness but utilize and further develop your strengths. Find your passion and live your career as part of a balanced lifestyle, allowing yourself to grow, impact those around you positively, and have fun.