Love of machines

Updated: 2016-02-19 09:40

By Zhang Li and Liu Xiangrui(China Daily)

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"It has always been my dream to build a world-class R&D Center in LiuGong," says Beatenbough, now the company's vice-president in charge of R&D.

A research unit should be a place where people sit down together regularly, brainstorming plans to get every detail right, he says.

Although Beatenbough cannot speak Chinese, he says language barriers largely don't bother him.

"In term of engineering, the ideas are quite similar. It involves numbers and graphics a lot, that's why we have whiteboards everywhere," he says of the company's meeting rooms.

He has paid great attention to the design of the R&D center itself by even buying books on office decor.

He has made a "wall of history" with photos of products from LiuGong.

"Actually it is a history of our industry rather than the company's history," he says.

"If you don't know where you came from, you also don't know where you are going."

Devoting himself to the development of a new generation of wheel loaders in the past year, he has helped the company successfully launch two core products that are globally competitive.

"We are on our way. That goal will definitely come true before my retirement," Beatenbough says of his and the company's ambition to become a world-leading player in this field.

His work in the sector has been recognized by the Chinese government as well.

In 2015, he won the Friendship Award, a top honor for foreigners who make significant contributions to the country's development in different fields.

"The award is a great honor. It's an important event in my life," Beatenbough says.

For him, Liuzhou, small as it might be, is nice to live. He enjoys riding his bike to explore different aspects of life in the city.

But some famous local delicacies are hard for him to handle as they are spicy, he says. He prefers to buy raw ingredients from the local markets and cook Western food in his apartment.

Many of his local friends and colleagues describe him as the "best steak chef in Liuzhou", Beatenbough jokes.

He has quite a few hobbies, such as cooking, reading, gardening, working with wood and taking or collecting antique industrial photos. These activities not only help him relax but are also sources of inspiration for his main job - machines.

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