Yuko - Innovation Lead and Product Manager

Yuko works to create modern software solutions that solve specific problems for the energy industry.

The Story

Yuko studied naval architecture in Japan before joining DNV as a trainee in the Maritime business area. As part of her traineeship, she spent time working on ship certification in four different countries for six months at a time, including Japan, the USA, Greece and Norway.

During this time, Yuko developed a network of contacts she still works with and benefits from today.

“As well as living in some fantastic places and meeting inspiring people, I also learnt the importance of working with customers. I got to take off my own shoes and put on a customer’s shoes and understand things from their perspective,” said Yuko.

After the traineeship, Yuko decided to stay in Norway and took on a role in the Maritime business area based at Høvik. This led to being involved in DNV’s Next Gen summit in 2019 and developing a future idea for digitalization in the marine industry.

That’s when a thirst for product innovation developed. Yuko soon jumped at an opportunity to join Digital Solutions and work on innovations that can drive digitalization and solve problems for customers. “I now get to come up with new product ideas that can solve problems based on customer insights.”

But was does innovation really mean? “It’s about transforming declining products into emerging ones, understanding the market, and catering to leading customer needs. For existing customers, we conduct interviews and perform desktop research about the new market and regulations. Unlike the UX team, we run experiments with our customers, testing value propositions, prices, and the target market. The goal after a successful experiment is to create a new offering.”

I really get inspired by working with passionate and motivated colleagues in both small and large product teams.”

When not designing the next great software products, Yuko plays bass in “Hot Play”, DNV’s rock group that practices at Høvik and plays at DNV events including end of year celebrations and summer parties. On special occasions the band also plays outside of DNV – in 2023 Hot Play performed on the TV show Norway’s Got Talent.

“Hot Play is a great way to meet colleagues from other parts of DNV and have fun practicing or playing together at the end of a workday. “