Since joining Vallourec as an intern in 2011, Ana Gomes, PhD has built her career with the Group. Today, as Head of Data Science and Analytics, Ana oversees a team of 12 people with her characteristic commitment and energy. We caught up with Ana to learn about her inspirations, passion and enthusiasm for the world of data science and engineering, as well as her involvement in advancing the role of women within the Group.
Hello. As a data science and analytics manager in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, my department is on a mission to create a culture of data science that supports the Group’s overall strategy. We are constantly exchanging ideas and best practices to develop data-driven technological solutions for problems such as carbon emissions and safety concerns within production facilities.
I did my undergraduate degree in control and automation engineering and was searching for a way to apply what I had learned in real life. When I learned about Vallourec and the large industrial processes it performs, I knew my education would be put to good use here.
I was also attracted to the company’s multi-national nature. Both of my parents were engineers, and we lived in the US when I was young. Being exposed to so many different cultures made me fall in love with traveling, meeting new people, and encountering new ways of life. In fact, one of my first Vallourec internships took me to Germany where I got to design an entire project. Today, I manage a very multicultural team as well.
If one day I have a daughter of my own who wants to be an engineer, my hope is that I could offer wholehearted encouragement without any reservations. That’s the change that we’re working to create.Ana Gomes Head of Data Science and Analytics at Vallourec in Brazil
One of the best parts of my job is the variety that each day brings. I’ve always been a naturally curious person, and I love to solve problems. This curiosity and love of learning is what led me to earn my PhD while working full-time for Vallourec. With a lot of focus and discipline, and the incredible support of my managers, I earned my doctorate in electrical engineering.
Another great part of my job is working with people. In 2015, I worked on the Shalyn program, an Industry 4.0 initiative to develop and install a digital platform in every Vallourec plant around the world. I was the main developer, and in charge of training my team.
When I was first offered a leadership role, I was hesitant. But I soon discovered a genuine passion for helping people find their purpose and become their best. I was amazed at how happy it made me, and now I get to reap those rewards every day as I watch my team succeed.
I remember when [email protected] first launched in 2016. I saw an ad on My Vallourec (the intranet) and immediately knew I wanted to be a part of it. It’s incredibly inspiring to work alongside these women and grow the program into something full of impact for women all over the world.
My mom was an engineer as well, and she helped inspire me to pursue engineering. But when I initially told her about my career choice, she was not thrilled. I couldn’t understand it at first, but then realized it was because of negative experiences she dealt with as a woman in a male-dominated industry. Now, she sees that I’m part of a women’s initiative at Vallourec and that we’re strongly supported by the Group, and she’s really proud of me.
If one day I have a daughter of my own who wants to be an engineer, my hope is that I could offer wholehearted encouragement without any reservations. That’s the change that we’re working to create.
My main piece of advice is that you don’t need to change who you are to fit your role. I’m not a person who raises my voice when something goes wrong, but I can still manage a team. There’s space for all the unique gifts we each bring to the table.
Also, staying active and engaged is really important. Whether I’m dancing, swimming, or doing Pilates, I move my body every day to feel healthy and motivated to accomplish my goals.