Women in Tech Series: Meet Hexagon’s employees who are enabling reality capture

At Hexagon, we believe in celebrating and acknowledging the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). This blog series showcases just a small selection of the many women at Hexagon who are making history and leaving their mark on our company and industry.

Reality capture enables the digital capture of the physical world, from distance measurements (point A to point B) to attributes of physical world objects (e.g., auto parts) to the creation of entire physical world environments in 3D (e.g., the complete infrastructure of a city). Through the visualisation of the physical world in a digital format, stakeholders in industries such as architecture, engineering and manufacturing can access accurate data for design, planning and production processes, for example.

This week, we’d like to highlight some of our employees who are working behind the scenes to bridge the gap between reality and the digital world.

Amanda Iglesias, Senior Product Engineer, Mobile Mapping Systems

Image of Amanda IglesiasIglesias’s interest in science began while she was in high school in Madrid, Spain. “I had a teacher who would let us explore our curiosity by having us build electric circuits or hydraulic systems,” said Iglesias. “Slowly I realised this could be something I would like to do!”

Today, she is a Senior Product Manager on Leica Geosystems’ Mobile Mapping System team, where she gets to satisfy her curiosity by understanding market needs and user problems and converting them into software features that improve the customer experience. While the typical market for these solutions may have been for surveyors, part of her task is making these solutions more accessible and user-friendly — especially for non-experts.

Iglesias believes that a snowball effect will occur as more women and girls see themselves represented in technology careers. “The mirror effect is really important — if you don’t see or know something, it doesn’t exist for you,” she said. “And we need women in STEM to bring different perspectives and solutions to the world.”

When asked her advice for women who are just starting out their careers in STEM, she said, “Your view of the world is so valuable and needed — be outspoken and don’t let society silence you!”

Simona Hriscu, Senior Product Engineer, Field Software

Image of Simona HriscuSimona Hriscu’s love for technology started early in life. “I’ve always been fascinated by new technology — I would seek out the newest phone and review its specs just for fun.” This infatuation led her to take things apart and put them back together, and eventually, to pursue a career in technology.

As a Senior Product Engineer, Hriscu aims to provide high-quality field software solutions that meet the requirements of her target customers in the most user-friendly way possible. Her customer demographic spans from experienced surveyors to beginners, and she develops two distinct applications to cater to these diverse user groups.

Hriscu credits her decision to join Hexagon four years ago as a defining moment in her career — and her greatest accomplishment so far. Despite the challenge of going back to engineering after working in a different field for several years, Hriscu took the leap, and it paid off.

Thanks to her career in STEM, Hriscu has had the opportunity to participate in unique and excitingImage of Dracula's castle experiences, such as surveying Dracula’s castle while studying in her home country of Romania. “Although it was a challenging task due to the castle’s fortification and the steep road leading to it, being able to contribute to the preservation of such a historical site was both rewarding and enjoyable.”

For young girls who are interested in pursuing careers in STEM, Hriscu has one piece of advice: “Simply pursue your dreams. In today’s world, nothing can stop you from achieving what you want.”

Makenna Murray, Senior Product Engineer, TLS Software

Image of Makenna MurrayMakenna Murray’s journey into a technology career was accidental. She holds a dual bachelor’s degree in history and art history, but her first job after college was working for a non-profit that used 3D laser scanning technology to document historic sites. This experience led her to reality capture and eventually to her role at Hexagon.

As a Senior Product Engineer, Murray works within the product management team, where she supports product managers, wears a marketing hat as the in-house product expert for terrestrial laser scanning software and manages product licensing.

Thanks to her experience in historic preservation and laser scanning, Murray was invited to gTedX stageive a TEDx talk regarding the potential applications of technology and reality capture for the greater good. She firmly believes that reality capture has a positive impact on the world by increasing efficiency and sustainability in the construction industry and promoting the safety of people.

Murray encourages women and girls who are just starting out in their careers in STEM to be open-minded and curious. “Being a life-long learner and being curious is going to be your best asset as you’re starting a career in STEM because the industry is going to continue to evolve and you need to evolve along with it.”

She also emphasises that there is no single path to a career in STEM. “My path may be considered non-traditional, but STEM is increasingly intertwined with everything we do today.”

Iga Pepek, Senior Product Engineer, BLK

Image of Iga PepekA surveyor by education — who specialised in 3D laser scanning and photogrammetry — Iga Pepek began her career at a surveying company where she handled the technical processing of point clouds, with a heavy focus on Scan-2-BIM projects. That was until a new prospect came her way. “I had the opportunity to join Leica Geosystems and I realized it would be great to be part of a company that creates the tools I use every day — both hardware and software.”

Today, she is a Senior Product Engineer responsible for the development and management of the Leica BLK ARC, an autonomous laser scanning module that is designed for integration with robotic carriers, most notably the Boston Dynamics Spot. Autonomising the process of capturing reality, including data collection, processing and transformation of measurement data, has the potential to drive progress across many industries. Autonomous reality capture can accelerate processes, reduce work-related risks, enable faster and more informed decision-making and free up time for users to pursue other interests.

When it comes to increasing the representation and participation of women and girls in STEM, Pepek believes it is important to start promoting technical fields of study and encouraging young people with real-life examples of successful women in these fields. Her advice to girls who are interested in pursuing a career in this field is “invest in your personal development, be brave and try new things.”

Hexagon is committed to bringing different perspectives and solutions to the world, and this series is a testament to that commitment. Thank you to all our employees who are driving innovation across the ecosystems that we serve.