Rafael Lee

Rafael Lee

Funding Engagement Specialist

Funding Engagement

Driven by purpose to bring innovation to life

I'm one of the Funding Engagement Specialists interfacing between Callaghan Innovation and our customers. My core skills lie in system thinking, process design, and facilitation. These enable me to engage effectively with our stakeholders and navigate the complex project challenges that arise.

I've explored a plethora of paths before finding my place within the Callaghan Innovation ecosystem. I describe my diverse background as being like a takeaway restaurant menu – it's filled with different items from unrelated industries. From manufacturing engineering to R&D, oil and gas safety system programming, and even running my own social enterprise. My chameleon-like adaptability and my love for embracing new challenges enables me to thrive in uncertain situations, as they provide the perfect opportunity for growth and learning. Stepping outside my comfort zone is where I feel most alive, and I believe it's crucial for personal and professional development.

I owe a great deal of my wisdom to my mother, who has been my beacon of inspiration. Her life experiences have taught me valuable lessons and the art of being street-smart.

When it comes to what motivates me professionally, it's the camaraderie and dynamic energy within the Funding Engagement Team. Our morning stand-up meetings are filled with great banter and a mutual respect for each other's capabilities, making the work environment truly enjoyable. We collaborate and bring innovation to life together.

Areas of expertise
  • System thinking
  • Process design
  • Facilitation
  • Master of Engineering, Auckland University of Technology, 2008
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