23 Nov “Seeing my designs come to life is an incredible feeling.”
Today we shine the spotlight on our Production Manager and Engineer, Nicolas Hogan, and his journey at Australian Portable Toilets so far.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I think I wanted to play AFL as a kid, but then I always had Dad in the background as an engineer and so decided to follow in his path.
And when you decided to pursue engineering, did you ever think you would be designing portable toilets?
Nope! Before Australian Portable Toilets, I was working for a company that modifies vehicles for wheelchair access.
So how did you go from cars to toilets?
I was interested to learn more about running a successful business, and the engineering position at Australian Portable Toilets allowed me to combine my passion for engineering with my desire to learn. After meeting with Daryn and Jude, I could tell it was going to be a really great company to work for.
You’ve now been with the team at Australian Portable Toilets for 12 months. What are some of the projects you’ve worked on?
One of the first projects I worked on was making design improvements to our single and double trailers, specifically around the coupling. I’ve also been focused on designing a new headboard for our portable toilets to make the overall units stronger and prevent racking or twisting when lifting.
We have also made a number of changes to our warehouse operations so we can build customers’ orders more quickly and effectively.
What would a typical day look like for you then?
It could be anything. At the moment, I am focused on our ISO 9001 accreditation to identify Australian Portable Toilets as a quality manufacturer formally. Otherwise, you will generally find me on the computer using a modelling program to design new parts or prototypes, visiting suppliers or out in the warehouse with our builders.
It sounds like no two days are ever the same for you. You’ve also had the opportunity to travel internationally?
Yes, that’s right. I have been fortunate enough to travel to America and China twice. The purposes of those trips were to meet with some of our suppliers, understand more about where the portable sanitation market is going and see what new technology is emerging.
Amazing! What do you think has been the most rewarding part of your role so far?
It would be seeing my prototypes come to life. Being able to design something, manufacture it and have customers use it is an incredible feeling.
I can imagine! Before we let you get back to your designs, we’ve just got one last quick question. What’s your favourite product?
It would be the Statesman.
It is just a very well-designed, high-quality product. The Statesman was actually introduced just before I started at Australian Portable Toilets but from a design point of view, I was really blown away by the amount of effort and consideration that went into its concept.