Happy and Excited to have Her Work Recognized

Interview with IdeaConnection Solver Lucy Qin
Now working in industry, Lucy Qin was based at the University of Illinois when she took up a challenge from IdeaConnection. The microbiologist has a PhD in plant pathology and worked at the university for 14 years. Her research focused on plant promoter regulation which matched well with the challenge that she took on; identifying regulatory components of promoter regions of plants.

photo of Lucy QinShe first heard about IdeaConnection from an email that her university department received. She decided to visit the website and was impressed with what she saw: “that’s something I would probably like to do,” she said.

Although Lucy didn’t sign up straight away, she took advantage of the opportunity when she was between jobs, thinking it would be a good way to earn money for her family.

Lucy has worked on one challenge and her team delivered a successful solution.

When her team first met online, members studied the problem statement and realized they needed the solution seeker to be more specific about what was required. “We needed to understand what the seeker really wanted as the definition was not so clear.”

This is actually standard procedure with IdeaConnection R&D problem solving teams. Before knuckling down to solving a challenge teams reiterate the problem statement in their own words, and an anonymous conference call is placed with the seeker to add further clarity.

Lucy enjoyed working in the virtual team environment, and overall the experience was a good one for her. When it came to the exchange of ideas and corresponding with her colleagues, she felt that some members were more organised than others, and that the facilitator did a good job of getting everybody to work well together: “He kept everyone on the same page,” she commented.

“You need somebody to have that authority in the team, especially when one person says this way is right, and someone else says the other way is right.”

One day, when she was back at work, Lucy received the call that she was hoping for. It was IdeaConnection telling her that her team’s solution was successful and had won the financial award.

“I was happy and excited because I felt my work was really recognized. I really put a lot of effort into the challenge, and so did the rest of the team.”

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