Sarah Duckworth
Global Director, Service Operations
Smiths Medical

“Playing a key role in a Medical Device manufacturing organization, my passion for manufacturing is driven by the knowledge that the products we're producing save lives every day. To be part of the design and implementation of a production line, and subsequently seeing the finished product in use in a hospital environment is ultimately rewarding.”

Sarah is a recognized problem solver who works quickly to understand issues and effectively communicate the need for change. She has successfully executed several complex product complaint investigations, continuously looks for opportunities for improvement and has initiated multiple programs targeting operational efficiency and reducing costs across sites globally. Following an earthquake in Italy that affected a major supplier, Sarah defined and implemented a validation plan that significantly reduced impact on component availability while adhering to quality and regulatory requirements.

Having led a global team for many years, Sarah’s ability to engage and support others has impacted the development of many employees. As a natural leader and champion for culture change, Sarah adapts her leadership style to suit the situation, geography and culture. She finds leading others to be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding parts of her role. A true leader by example, Sarah effectively challenges and motivates her team to exceed targets, setting clear expectations and helping each individual find a way to achieve the desired results. This was particularly evident when Sarah led her Advanced Manufacturing Engineering team to effectively demonstrate technical process design elements and production challenges to the broader organization at a large company event. Working closely with her team to develop a small-scale production line that enabled the audience to observe multiple stages of design and development in the production process, the presentation was voted best exhibit at the event.

Sarah has participated in numerous community initiatives including a local girls grammar school career fair and various events held at her daughter and nieces’ schools. Sarah is known for her passion for baking, which she has utilized to the benefit of many colleagues and fundraising efforts. Additionally, in the wake of a major earthquake that left many people injured and homeless, Sarah organized a fundraising challenge, supported by more than 20 of her colleagues, to climb the three highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales over a 24-hour period.

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