Ed Serrano is the Managing Director of Vekta Automation. Born in the USA, he moved to Australia to study Mechatronic Engineering at Curtin University. Ed graduated in 2004 with Honours and then started working for PFP Technologies with the Razer Linear Saw. In 2009, Ed purchased the IP and rights to the Razer saw and formed Vekta Automation with his wife and brother. Ed has over 14 years experience with industrial automation projects specifically for the timber Truss and Frame industry. With a solid understanding of the conditions and needs of truss plants and his experience in industrial automation, he has helped many plants improve their production and business through automation. Ed’s success in combining his abilities as an Engineer and a Business Director was officially recognised when he was named the 2018 Winner for the Medium Business Category- 40under40 in the Business News Awards. However, if asked what he’s most proud of, Ed would always say his family! Two beautiful little girls, a cheeky son and an amazing wife are what really makes Ed tick! His family is the only thing that takes a higher priority in his life.
Darina joined Vekta in July 2018, as our Customer Relations Manager. She comes to Vekta with a wealth of customer service and management experience having previously worked at Swagelok and RAC. In 2015, Darina was named the RAC employee of the year. She has a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Taxation and has completed various Entrepreneurship, management and sales coaching programs. In 2016, Darina was involved with Jawun Indigenous Corporate Partnership that involved working on a project to help keep Indigenous families together. In her spare time, Darina enjoys camping and going on hiking adventures with her dog Jet, who is a dingo cross kelpie. For her holidays, Darina prefers to head North, with the Kimberley and Kakadu being her favourite places. Darina’s hidden talent is Ukranian dancing, and even appeared on television show, Australia’s Got Talent!
Shelena is Ed’s better half – married in 2006! A high school teacher before the days of Vekta and kids, Shelena has a strong personality and has always been up for a challenge. Teaching in some of the toughest conditions in Perth, she excelled and was well on her way to formidable roles within the education system. Despite her love for teaching, Shelena’s first priority is also to her family and she gave up the teaching career to raise her kids in the way that only a loving mother can. Today, Shelena somehow manages to look after the little ones as well as overseeing the Vekta accounts, marketing, and company growth strategies. As if this wasn’t enough, she is on the Executive Board for a large, Not-For-Profit organization (Communicare), has completed a Diploma in Business Governance, and is heavily involved in her children’s schools. She seems to defy logic when it comes to what you might think one person was capable of in a given day, but does so with grace and a smile (most of the time!)
Scott emigrated from Scotland with his wife in February 2009. During his time in Scotland he completed his Electrical apprenticeship in Marine Engineering and shipbuilding which took him to various places overseas. Scott joined Vekta in 2012 as an Electrician and was promoted to Production Manager in 2013. Scott has two direct reports and oversees a staff of up to 25 people on the Vekta factory floor. Scott’s personal pride is his two gorgeous children, Elennah and Xander with wife Claire. Scott believes his nationality is ‘Scozzie’- combining his two countries, Scotland and Australia.
Roeland is originally from the Netherlands, but moved to Auckland New Zealand as a child. After high school, he completed a NZ Certificate in Mechanical Engineering and worked for several years before realising the need to further his education and completed a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Design. During his degree, he worked for a robotic design company where he found his passion for automation and, for his final year project built a robotic arm that poured various drinks for customers at an engineering show, also showing his passion for a nice, cold beer!
Since then Roeland has travelled and worked in the UK, met his better half, Teresa, and started his family with two sons and a daughter. When he found the position at Vekta everything felt perfect and he is thoroughly enjoying his time back in the automation design seat and a fantastic team and workshop to support him.
Kallen is a cheerful and dedicated individual from a small town in country Western Australia. Growing up in his father’s workshop, which made its living designing and manufacturing agricultural machinery, he developed a keen interest in robotics and engineering from a young age. This resulted in Kallen completing a Bachelor of Engineering- Mechatronics at Curtin University in 2012. He joined Vekta as a Graduate Mechatronic Engineer in 2013, becoming involved in service and support,, research and development of new products and improvements of current products. Kallen has been instrumental in developing Vekta’s excellent reputation for customer service and technical support. In October 2018, Kallen with his wife Leandri and son Mathias; will relocate to Minnesota to manage Sales, Engineering and Customer Relations for Vekta USA. A loss for Australia but a massive gain for Vekta USA. As an avid ice hockey player, Kallen is excited about experiencing a true American ‘face-off’.
Matt is a highly skilled Mechatronic Engineer with a diverse skill set and experience covering electronic, software, and mechanical engineering. He has a keen interest in how things work, and is highly motivated to constantly improve everything he is working on. Matt studied at Curtin University in Perth and received his degree in Mechatronic Engineering with Honours before obtaining his doctorate. Before Vekta, Matt started out designing and building the embedded systems for tools and accessories for the Perth Bomb Response Unit’s robot. He then moved to a local aerospace company to lead the development team designing new unmanned aircraft systems. With this history, Matt has a strong focus, on safety and reliability being fundamental. On the weekend you would often find Matt camping, wakeboarding or just enjoying the great outdoors of WA with his wife Kristy and son Benjamin.
Thien graduated from Edith Cowan University with his Bachelor’s degree in Mechatronic Engineering in 2017 and started shortly after with Vekta. Thien has always had a desire to understand how things work- which naturally lead him down the path of becoming an Engineer and has suited him well to his role at Vekta. When he isn’t visiting our customers, Thien enjoys watching a variety of team sports and exploring the world with his wife Srey and son Oliver.
Ryan is a creative and hardworking problem solver with a flair for innovation and safety. Since 2017, he has brought a versatile engineering skill set to the support team evidenced by his passion for the continuous development and advancement of automated and integrated systems. Ryan holds two engineering degrees from the University of Southern Queensland majoring in Computer Systems and Electrical/Power. Ryan began his engineering career in the energy sector, working for a power distribution company in Rural Queensland for 6 years before moving to application development. If Ryan is not on-site on the weekend, he will be inside and avoiding the sun like a vampire with his better half Cill.
Simon is a man with many talents. From being a commercial helicopter pilot, serving in the Army Reserves, to graduating with first class honours in Mechatronic Engineering. In fact he has come full circle, with his very first job being in the timber industry and now experiencing first hand how technology is benefiting the industry. Simon has extensive experience in delivering technical support services in fast-paced, high pressured environments and making sound judgements when analysing problems and creating innovative solutions- perfect combination of skills for Vekta. Simon has undergone extensive training with Vekta Australia and is excited to bring those skills and benefits to Vekta USA’s customers. Simon has a passion for travelling and adventure activities- in fact he has even swam with freshwater crocodiles and camped under the stars in the Aussie outback.
In July 2018, Nick Tisdall (Bachelor of Engineering with honours in Mechatronics) joined Vekta’s support team. In November 2018, Nick will relocate to Auckland, New Zealand bringing with him the Vekta excellence, knowledge and skills Vekta’s technical Engineering team are renowned for. Nick has the perfect combination of being mechanically minded, experience servicing many different types of machines, workshop skills including welding, turning and CNC milling plus a passion for programming. At Vekta, he has enjoyed experiencing the amount of time and the level of workmanship from the engineers, programmers, fabricators, fitters and electricians, that goes into building an industrial machine as complex as the Razer. As well as the commissioning and installation process- seeing the Razer cut jobs was a satisfying moment. Nick enjoys fishing, hunting and diving and going on adventures with his partner Jade and their two dogs. His family come from Tavewa island in Fiji that is only 3 square kilometres with no roads.
Chad came to Vekta in 2013 as a software engineer with past experience in defence, telecommunications and the video game industry. Chad has a bachelor of Science in Visualisation with a keen interest in artificial intelligence and algorithm design which has benefited his role at Vekta. Chad is in charge of ‘Simple’- the Razer software. His friendly nature and caring attitude makes him a favourite with all staff and customers. Chad enjoys gardening, bush walking and photography and travelling with his wife Lulu.
David is a qualified Mechanical Engineer graduating from Charles Darwin University with Honours. He completed his degree living as an external student in Cairns. David has always had an avid interest in mechanical fitting, with many of his childhood weekends spent helping his Dad rebuild his motorbikes and tinkering with his Meccano set. As an adult, this translated into rebuilding broken motorbikes and reselling them, providing essential experience with mechanical fitting as well as supporting him through university.
When asked, “What have you found most surprising about the Timber, Frame & Truss Industry?”
David commented, ‘The versatility and prevalence in which timber is used in construction. Coming from the Northern Territory I grew up with homes and buildings that were steel and brick construction but with my introduction into the timber industry through Vekta I have realised just how important timber is with its wide spread uses in every level of construction.’