Portfolio Snapshot: WYKO/Veeco Instruments, 1997-2005
I joined Veeco (then WYKO Corporation) as a technical writer in 1997, then expanded my role to include marketing communications for the optical metrology division. During this time the company grew through acquisitions; eventually I oversaw a $500k budget to support facilities in Arizona, California and Colorado, as well as managing a team of technical writers. I met regularly with the corporate-wide marketing team to develop our branding and marketing strategies.
Veeco's products served applications in numerous technical fields, including semiconductors, data storage, telecom, biology, automotive and forensics. My ability to quickly understand and convey information to professionals in these widely varied fields helped me provide a steady stream of sales leads to our worldwide sales force and to give them the materials they needed to aggressively pursue new markets as well.
During my tenure at Veeco we placed several dozen articles in prominent trade journals, won key industry awards for innovation and won the Society of Technical Communicators award for outstanding manual design and content.
In addition, I worked with engineers to design/redesign several product lines for consistent appearance, ease of use and serviceability. We redesigned the system shown below, a high-speed scanning system for detecting protein crystals, which had proved cumbersome to operate and nearly impossible to service. The resulting system solved these problems as well as cutting overall system weight in half.
In an interesting turn of events, our redesigned system was chosen as part of a futuristic laboratory sequence in the movie Avatar.