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Meet our people – Phil Webster, Director of R&D

Thank you for joining us, Phil. Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you found your way to Datapath?

I began my career as a Software Engineer, working in the Civil Aviation industry for Rolls Royce, writing software to track aircraft engine performance data. I worked my way through various roles there, ending with senior management positions in programme and project management.

This ended up with a move into the rail industry with similar roles, followed by Datapath – where I joined because I wanted to get back to being much closer to the technology and teams doing the work.

What does a normal day look like for a R&D Director at Datapath?

This is one of the beauties of Datapath – no two days are the same. But regularly in a single day I can go from high level strategic product planning, resource and programme management meetings, to discussing how to implement low level features with engineers and then using our products on the biggest test rigs we have in the building, after lying on the floor cabling new kit up in a rack! You really do get to stay close the technology here, as well as all the senior management responsibilities.

What are the most rewarding and most challenging parts of your role?

Most challenging is definitely understanding some of the really low level details of our products and how our algorithms work. When you get to the lowest level of detail there can be some extremely tricky maths involved. Luckily I’m surrounded by people who are much cleverer than me in this department, but are also more than happy to help and explain. 

Most rewarding is seeing the R&D Team succeed, delivering new products and adding features to our current products. We’ve put a lot of effort into building a really strong team with more efficient processes to deliver on time – and these are really paying off now, which is extremely satisfying to see – watching the team members get a sense of satisfaction is really great.

How do you spend your time outside of Datapath HQ?

Usually you’ll find me trying to keep up with my two young boys (or being “educated” by them on the latest console games!). Otherwise, I’m likely at the go-kart track, working out which car I can’t afford next, or shouting at some Formula 1 drivers on the TV…

Tell us something people may not know about you…

Another hobby of mine I enjoy outside of work is DIY – I can happily spend far too much money on the right tool for the job (not long ago I was looking at mini diggers on eBay), and so far I’ve built 2 garages and 4 extensions (not all on my own house!), with only 2 minor A&E visits involved.

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