Meet Bruno Kimura, a Tenacious and Ambitious New Member of the Next Generation of Electrical Engineers. Kimura, who recently joined Festimport, NOJA Power's distributor in Brazil, may be only 23 years old, but his long-term career aspirations include being the CEO of his own company. Considering how much this young professional has achieved in just a short time, his dream may become a reality sooner rather than later.
Born in Maringá, in southern Brazil, Kimura's family moved to São Paulo, Brazil, when he was a young boy. “Although I come from a humble family and my parents had to work hard to give me and my two sisters the opportunities we had, I can't complain about not having a good childhood,” he said.
Nevertheless, the family's financial circumstances forced Kimura to attend public school, which he said lags far behind the country's private schools in educational resources. His father eventually opened his own business, a drugstore, and the children enrolled in private school.
“My father's dream was that I would become a doctor,” recalled Kimura. “But by the end of my second year of high school, I knew what career path I wished to follow and what university I wanted to attend: electrical engineering at the University of São Paulo (USP). USP is my country's equivalent of Harvard and getting in is no easy challenge. Every year more than 140,000 students take the entrance exams, and in late 2002, I was one of them.”
Despite the odds, Kimura was accepted to USP, where he spent long hours studying to become an electrical engineer. In late 2005, the would-be engineer decided to put his studies on hold in order to travel abroad.
“At first, all I had in mind was to visit an English-speaking country where I could test my language skills,” he said. “During the process of asking myself ‘where, why and how,’ I stepped into a travel agency that specialized in trips to Australia and New Zealand.”
Among the options offered was an internship program at NOJA Power — a company that specializes in the research and development, manufacture, marketing, sales and service of low- and medium-voltage switchgear products — for which Kimura eagerly applied. But after gathering the proper documentation and selling his car to finance the trip, he was told he wouldn't be able to intern within the electrical engineering field because he had no previous experience.
“I wanted the internship so badly I wrote a letter to the NOJA Power to convince them that, although I had no field experience, I had been involved with many technical activities in the school's laboratories,” said Kimura. “The outcome couldn't have been better: I was accepted as an intern.”
Kimura arrived in Australia on Jan. 11, 2006. One of his first tasks during the six-month internship at NOJA Power was to translate the man-machine interface strings from English to Portuguese, along with the translation of manuals and other documents. In addition, he assembled reclosers, manufactured cables and tested communications between modules. Kimura also provided technical support to Festimport.
“Two months before the end of my internship, I was asked to design a new low-voltage test bench and a 20-kV high-voltage test source,” Kimura said. “I not only had to design the equipment, but also build it and train the staff, going through the stages of selecting and ordering the parts as well as writing the suitable documentation. It was exciting to be able to construct real equipment, for a real purpose and with a real budget.”
After returning to Brazil, Kimura continued his studies but never lost touch with NOJA Power or Festimport. Not long after graduating, Festimport offered the new engineer a job, which he gladly accepted. “I'm excited to get my hands on work, as I see my country seeking better and more reliable solutions for protection of the electricity distribution network,” Kimura said.
His present job responsibilities include final customer training on automatic reclosers, writing technical documentation such as manuals, ensuring after-sales support to customers, coordinating workshop activities and conducting routine tests on equipment.
Aside from enjoying the typical activities many young men his age do, Kimura devotes time to studying foreign languages. In addition to his native Portuguese, English, Spanish and German are the other languages he hopes to master.
Despite his lofty goals, Kimura remains grounded in the present. He spends his weekends volunteering as a physics and math teacher at several of his hometown's public high schools, trying to ensure those students who are eager to learn have the opportunity to do so.
“Professional growth is important,” Kimura added. “But I think the biggest challenge for any man is to be a good father and a good husband at all times, no matter what. That being said, I should add that I have no kids and I am still single, but this is my main aspiration in life.”