Meet Juliandri Grobler, Systems developer and debtors clerk

Systems developer and debtors clerk, Juliandri, joined the Lithon family in September 2021. In fact, as the daughter of Lithon founders, Adriaan and Adri Grobler, she was really born into the family! Despite having never intended to work with her parents, Juliandri is feeling right at home, and loving her job.


1. Tell us about your background and why you decided to join an engineering firm like Lithon?

I didn’t originally plan to work with my parents as I never wanted to become an engineer. My dad said I should consider studying processes or industrial engineering because I’m good at that kind of thinking. Instead I graduated with a BCom Honours in Quantitative Management in 2020. I decided to have a gap year before starting work and was already helping out a bit with admin at Lithon. While I was away on some travels, a full-time position opened up for a system developer role, and I decided to give it a shot. It’s given me a chance to put my systems brain to work on improving some processes at Lithon.


2. What does a typical day in your role as system developer and debtors clerk look like?

There’s no such thing as a typical day in my job! I provide systems and financial support for all projects at the company. I support the backend processes, ensuring projects run smoothly and on time. Part of my role is making our systems more user friendly for our engineers. I look for ways to merge the business and engineering needs. 


3. What do you love most about your job?

I love creating visual representations of data and I build dashboards. These help the engineers to visually understand what’s going on. They bring the data to life!


4. What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned during your time at Lithon?

How to do tenders well! To write a winning tender, it’s so important that you have all the correct documents, are accurate, and pay attention to detail. Sometimes a small error can be the difference between winning or losing a big tender. 


5. What are the challenges and benefits of working with your parents?

I find it challenging not saying “Mama” in meetings! 😂 A big benefit of working with my parents is that I grew up understanding the purpose and values of Lithon, so I’m easily able to engage with them about work in a meaningful way.


6. How do you think engineering can contribute to building a better future for all?

Engineering has a big physical impact on the world but it also has a social impact. For example, engineering can contribute to building a school and that has bigger benefits than just the building. It has a long-term impact on the surrounding community.


7. Do you have any favourite projects at Lithon? Why are they favourites?

I often enjoy the structural projects. We’ve had some interesting ones like a glass container for a swimming pool. I’m also really excited about the Snail Farm project for Namsnail Farming. 


8. Who has been your greatest inspiration (both in your personal life or your career)?

I can’t think of a particular person but I’m often inspired by people who tell me that I can’t do something. And I like to prove them wrong! For example, I didn’t like swimming so I decided to become a lifeguard. I was also told that I couldn’t work at an engineering firm and that the engineers wouldn’t listen to me. So here I am at Lithon! 🙂


9. What is a personal goal you’d like to achieve this year?

I’m very keen on crossfit and this year I’d like to take part in more competitions. There are five in total and I’ve competed in two so far!


10. What is something most people don’t know about you?

I have bungee jumped before at Bloukrans Bridge in Nature’s Valley, South Africa. On my solo trip in the US, I did a train trip from LA to New York all by myself!


11. What do you get up to while you’re not working?

I love reading, traveling, hiking, and learning new things. I’m also very passionate about building up and creating safe spaces for young people in my community and I am one of the founding members of an organisation called Frive. Our goal is to show young people how to thrive while having fun, and we organise regular events like dancing, camps, hikes, and more.


12. What would your ideal project look like?

A client that pays on time!