Switching Lanes to Drive Innovation

Sep 11, 2019

By Melissa Dirth

Tom Foran’s interest in mechanical design started at a young age, fixing equipment on his family’s farm. Later he would go on to pursue a successful career in the automotive industry. Today, he is a production manager for capital equipment repair operations at Boston Scientific.

Transitioning from car engines to clinical equipment might not be an expected career path, but Foran’s background gives him a unique perspective that brings value to the team of engineers and technicians he leads.

Diversity is essential to drive innovation, and building a workforce that reflects the patients, customers and markets that we serve also includes a focus on diversity of thought. His experience shows us how fresh perspectives and learning the best practices from other industries can drive business performance.   

Switching Lanes

As a software engineer in the automotive industry, Foran developed firmware, a software used for controlling things in day-to-day life that often go unnoticed to most people.

“This could be software that controls traffic lights, the engine in your car and wind turbines or pacemakers, defibrillators and electronic medical equipment,” said Foran. “While completely different industries, my experience developing firmware gave me the confidence to move across industries and think creatively about new applications to apply my skills.”

He admits that making a shift to a new industry pushed him outside of his comfort zone. “Everything was new, and I was entering a completely different work environment, and that came with reservations and doubts. I expected the medical device sector to move at a slower pace than it does,” said Foran. “My team at Boston Scientific is focused on continuous improvement and has a strong sense of urgency to address unmet patient needs. This creates a fast-paced work environment, where I am encouraged to bring new ideas, challenge the norm and work collaboratively to drive innovation.”

Since joining Boston Scientific, Foran has led key projects including developing software applications for inspection and manufacturing test processes and managing capital equipment repair operations. Today, he leads a team of six electrical/electronic engineers and technicians.   


While working on the development of the climate control system in the Jaguar XK8, my team performed cold environment testing in Kiruna, Sweden – about 140 miles inside the Arctic Circle.


Finding Purpose

Job satisfaction is integral to productivity and success. For Foran, understanding and witnessing the impact of his work is a driving force in his career.

“My team recently reviewed and modified a field installation and 15 minutes after our work was done, a patient was brought into the catheter lab and underwent a successful procedure.  Seeing how our work directly impacted this patient was extremely gratifying, and it really drives home the importance of what we do.”

Foran is just one example of how we are applying diverse backgrounds, perspectives and experience to fuel innovation at Boston Scientific. To hear more stories from Boston Scientific employees, visit our careers page.