Epiroc discovered a true diamond in the rough

Epiroc discovered a true diamond in the rough

The collaboration with Epiroc is a success story of what happens when the right person ends up in the right place. Pia Liljenroth, Global R&D Manager, describes an impressive journey of professional development and the importance of diversity in the workplace.

In recent years, Unicus has had a partnership with Epiroc, a provider of innovative solutions for the mining and construction industry. Today, several Unicus consultants work in various parts of the company.

We met with Pia Liljenroth, who is the Global Manager R&D TIN Surface Automation. She was the first person at Epiroc to hire a Unicus consultant, who quickly progressed from a junior developer to becoming a crucial part of the team.

– He is one of our key players in the team now, says Pia. It’s great when things turn out that well!

The collaboration started with the consultant conducting tests with Python, which quickly developed into software programming in C++. The initiative to learn a new language came from the consultant himself. It didn’t take long for Pia to see the outcome of that decision.

– At the end of the internship, he completed the introductory task that all of our developers must do. It involves a codebase with a fairly advanced software that autonomously controls drilling rigs. Many find it challenging and daunting at first, but he didn’t seem to experience it that way; he just showed up and got started.

“He thinks outside of the box”

The recipe for success is an organization based on trust. Paired with a clear strategy for diversity it truly has created an open work environment. Pia explains that this culture opens up for employees to dare to have different opinions and bring new perspectives to the table. This is something that the Unicus consultant is particularly good at:

– He thinks outside of the box. So when we encounter problems, he is able to come up with unique solutions that aren’t coming from other people on the team. He is incredibly skilled at identifying underlying structures and thereby understanding what to do next.

During our conversation, Pia returns to the consultants’ rapid learning curve – both technically and socially. She says that the consultant initially found it difficult to talk to people outside the team, but that quickly changed. Today, he accompanies them when they visit machine operators for tests as well as at the customers’ worksites.

– He is very appreciated both for his competence and for being talented at explaining the details of the operation. I wouldn’t have been able to pick up the extent of his capacity in a first recruitment interview.

Diversity in the team contributes to inclusion

Already during the first meeting with the Unicus consultant, Pia noticed that she was presented with a talented individual. In Epiroc’s recruitment process, there is a significant focus on the person and potential. The advantage of diversity in the team is nothing new for Epiroc, which has long had a clear strategy for inclusion and diversity. The autism spectrum is an aspect of diversity that has been on Epiroc’s radar for some time. This means that the teams already have an open attitude to differences, and everyone understands the value of proposing different solutions.

With Unicus, autism became a topic for all employees in the same organization during the onboarding of the consultant. The onboarding process includes a lecture by Unicus. It illustrates examples of common challenges for someone with autism, and suggestions on how clear communication can contribute to increased understanding of each other’s differences.

– In addition to getting a competent consultant, it’s an excellent way to work with diversity, says Pia. It has made everyone more open about individual strengths and weaknesses. We all have our challenges and benefit from defining our strengths and personal areas of development.

About Epiroc

With groundbreaking technology, Epiroc develops and provides innovative and safe equipment such as drilling rigs, mining and construction equipment, and tools for surface and underground applications. The company also offers first-class service and other aftermarket support as well as solutions for automation, digitalization, and electrification. Epiroc is headquartered in Stockholm, had revenues of more than 60 billion SEK in 2023, and has approximately 18,200 passionate employees who support and collaborate with customers in about 150 countries.

Karolina Örsta
Text: Karolina Örsta