An Interview with Dave Rapaport of Siemens Corporate Technology US

From being a coach on his son’s baseball team to spearheading the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing consortia, Siemens Corporate Technology’s Head of Research and Collaboration in the US David Rapaport has sure found a way to do it all. His demonstrated history of working in the electrical and electronic manufacturing industry has brought him where he is today, and it has been fascinating to listen to him speak about his past, present, and future.

Born in Brooklyn, Rapaport focused on science during his school years and eventually decided to pursue a STEM-related career. With his initials quite literally spelling “DR” for doctor, this coincidence, combined with his love for medicine, was enough to convince him to enter the medical world.

Fascinated with podiatry thanks to the knowledge gained from a mentor he met in the 1980’s, Rapaport began his private practice as a podiatrist in 1990. However, when the Clinton administration implemented Managed Care, a policy in 1995 that altered healthcare policies and reviewing procedures, Rapaport’s clientele declined. While he loved the clinical side of medicine, Rapaport decided that it was time to shift to the business side of the medical world.

He continued to work part-time as a podiatrist to assist himself financially while he attended Colorado State University. One day, he found a position for a clinician at Siemens to evaluate new technology. This involved working on prototypes as Siemens wanted to see how users would react to projects in the field. As the years progressed, Rapaport began to work in many different fields for the branch, working on projects such as creating five-year strategies based on current and future trends. Currently, he is the head of corporate research collaboration as part of Siemens Corporate Technology, which is a completely internal organization that supports development of Siemens in areas such as power electronics and energy storage. He is leading a team of interdisciplinary experts that focus on securing the future of Siemens Corporate Technology’s research and external collaboration network.

Nevertheless, Rapaport has been an integral part on collaboration outside of the company, as well as being the executive stakeholder in the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute. By working with a variety of industries, governments, and universities, he is able to develop advanced technology to tackle the future’s two biggest problems: standards (the lack of interoperability) and the inexperienced workforce in this field.

When asked about a maxim that he lives by, Dr. Rapaport responded by assuring us that “you do not need to have just one career, and it is okay if you don’t stay in one.” As we all have one life to live, Rapaport has found a way to try everything, even as he hopes to pursue being an educator after his years in research and healthcare.