Carolina Ruiz is the manager of the fluids and formulation laboratory at the Repsol Technology Lab. Its facilities, where lubricants and fuels for competition are developed, have been adapted to manufacture hydroalcoholic gel for use in hospitals.
Tell us about your daily work.
My daily work is mainly focused on managing one of the technology centre’s labs, where 25 people work. We participate in a variety of research projects for the Company’s businesses.
What additional safety measures have been taken as a result of COVID-19?
For example, each morning when we enter or leave the centre, we go to the medical centre to take our temperature. Group meetings are held on Skype to avoid several people coming together in the same space. We have also implemented a safety distance of over 1.5 metres. Furthermore, we are working in rotational shifts and only 50% of the workforce is operational at any one time.
We have introduced additional hygiene measures like constantly sanitizing parts of the lab that we regularly touch, for example door handles and screens. We also wash our hands regularly and sanitize them with hydroalcoholic gel.
What benefits does the work of the Repsol Technology Lab provide to society?
At the Repsol Technology Lab, we have quickly adapted the labs where we develop lubricants and fuels for MotoGP to produce hydroalcoholic gel for hospitals. In the first two weeks since this change, we delivered 15 000 litres of this product to hospitals, and we are currently developing solutions to increase production to approximately 10 000 litres per week. We are proud to be able to help healthcare professionals that work on the frontline. When I applaud them at home in the evening, it’s moving to think that our work helps them. I feel like, in a way, we are doing our bit to help overcome this situation.
Do you have any anecdotes from the past few days?
In these busy days, I’ve been struck by my colleagues’ commitment and generosity. Many of our colleagues from other areas have contacted us to offer their help in the gel manufacturing process. They have offered to work all shifts — morning, afternoon, or night — and even to help with any other tasks, however small, such as applying labels or filling up containers. It has been very moving.
Lastly, I would like to thank you all for staying at home. Together, we can do this!