From Beetles to Heavy Vehicle Lighting

Dr Lia Fernandez is on one of the optic specialists at TYRI. She is the person the company turns to when the Development department needs advice on, for example, how a light lens should be improved, or when sales representatives need help and insight into light and optics. But Lía has not always worked with lights. Before joining TYRI, she wrote her PhD thesis on optical phenomena in beetles.

“For my PhD thesis at Linköping University, I studied the structure of beetle exoskeletons from an optical perspective. It may sound a bit odd, but it was a perfect way to try to understand light reflections at an advanced level because some beetles have exoskeletons that reflect light in very interesting ways. Beetles move between light and dark areas of the rainforest, and the variation in exoskeleton colours and reflection in different light conditions can confuse predators, which therefore avoid eating them,” explains Lía.

Lia was born and raised in Madrid, Spain, and studied in Sweden through the Erasmus student exchange programme at the university. After a year, she enjoyed living in Sweden so much that she didn’t want to return to Madrid.

“I wanted to stay in Sweden! Fortunately, I received an offer to earn my PhD in Linköping, and not long after that I
met my boyfriend who also studied there. I learnt Swedish, moved to Gothenburg after completing my studies, and discovered TYRI, who were looking for an optics specialist to join their team. It suited me perfectly,” says Lía.

TYRI values knowledge and expertise highly and therefore endeavours to surround itself with experts from different fields in order to offer world-class lighting solutions. Lía provides expertise in the field of light distribution and optics, which are important aspects of TYRI’s development work.

“If a light does not shine as it should, I will try to determine the fault. To do this, I use a microscope to look at the
lens, among other things, in order to confirm that it has been manufactured correctly. It involves comparing the physical lens with the model and then considering how we can improve it,” says Lia.

The Sales department is also interested in Lia’s knowledge of optics. Because account managers have a close relationship with customers and are expected to present the products in an informative yet straightforward manner, they need to understand and be conversant in optics so as to represent TYRI’s lighting expertise and recommend suitable lighting solutions. The account managers frequently ask Lia for assistance in simulating how a light and the light distribution thereof will function, which helps them to more easily demonstrate this to the customer.

“It’s great to be able to share my knowledge of optics and how light works. It’s important for TYRI that everyone understands why lighting works the way it does. I look forward to continuing to educate both my co-workers and TYRI customers, sharing this knowledge with them for improved lighting solutions,” concludes Lia.