Nazmiye Parlak heads R&D and Quality Control at Sika in Turkey. Her team specializes in developing TBM products and solutions for Tunnel Boring Machines. Mechanized tunneling has become more critical with underground construction's rapid growth and expansion in recent years. Therefore, Sika provides a wide range of products designed specifically for use with a variety of TBMs, throughout the whole tunnel excavation and construction process. The TC Tuzla mainly focuses on cementitious products, epoxy-based products, fiber-reinforced polymers (FRP), concrete products, and efficiency projects.

"The value of data depends on what you do with it."

Nazmiye Parlak, Head of R&D and Quality Control, Sika Turkey

What's your main motivation for leading the Regional Technology Center
in Tuzla, Turkey?

Empowering people to find the best solution for our customers is most important. To achieve that, we are striving to create an environment in which our people can bring forward and put into place ideas. That's a complex task. Creating, innovating, and transforming innovation into a business success requires the best teams. The multiple challenges we face today are far too complex to be solved by one person alone. The best innovators are usually knowledge brokers involved in networks to gain access to specific knowledge that can bring answers to complex challenges.

What are the biggest challenges for you?

The path to innovation can be challenging. However, as already mentioned, it's necessary to create a particular atmosphere where individuals and teams are encouraged to develop ideas, which may move initiatives ahead. However, a good idea alone is only half of the story. To transform a good idea into a real innovation with business impact, perseverance is needed and data. Managing data effectively requires having the right tools and reliable methods to access, integrate, govern, store, and prepare data for analytics.

In our digital world, data pours into organizations from many sources. But the value of data is not only based on its source or quality. Its value depends on what you do with it. At Sika, collaboration tools and innovation platforms are in place - for a creative approach to provide the most benefit. Every day we are handling these tools, and we keep up with the latest developments. 


To launch a new product, collaboration is key. What is your recipe for success in this regard?

To ensure the success of product launches, we always rely on a sound launch strategy that outlines key objectives, activities, goals, performance indicators, teams, and responsibilities. To put a launch strategy into place, we operate in cross-functional teams. It's my task to ensure that the team is embedded in the right network of managers, specialists, and market experts. 


Do you have any recommendations for young scientists to make the most of their job?

The best way to perform and proceed in your career is to start, learn, and acquire new knowledge when necessary. When there is an urgent need, we learn faster and more efficiently. At the same time, success requires communication and collaboration. You never get it done alone. Good teamwork is closely related to commitment, productivity, creativity, and satisfaction.