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Meet Katrina Garbutt, Doctor of Electronics

Jun 9, 2023

Meet Katrina Garbutt, Doctor of Electronics

This week’s Look on the Bright Side features a female breaking the gender bias in STEM. If you think of someone fixing electronic devices, you might not put a female’s face to the job, but I met one such person that’s not only fixing broken gadgets, but her specialty in the field has earned her the respect of her customers and competitors. Here’s our story.

Katrina Garbutt

Katrina Garbutt, Electronic Technician

“So for me, um, I love technology. It helps us every single day. It makes our lives easier. Um, the thing is, for me, I fell in love with it because I wanted to know the intricacy of, uh, that device. I wanted to know how it worked, what components needed to have what voltage so that it can light up or give your device, uh, a certain color, or certain features of your phone. Um, I wanted to know what went into it.”

This is Katrina Garbutt. She is a self-taught electronic technician. She fixes everything and whatever she doesn’t know how to repair, she figures it out. Her specialty is motherboard repairs, a line of work many technicians shy away from because of the degree of difficulty.


Katrina Garbutt
“It’s very technical because of the small components that are required to be soldering off and onto a board. Um, let me show you. These are, these are, uh, if you know this, this is like the size of my fingertip. This is a chip. Um, that you would, that is required to be soldered onto a board that gives that board the capability of, um, powering different parts of the board. Let’s say, um, for this, for this, this is the basement chip for an iPhone xr. Uh, what this does is it gives the phone capability of having a signal.”

Garbutt initially wanted to become a doctor. Her knack for micro-soldering allows her to see the intricacies of an electronic device in much the same way a physician would see the internal organs of the human body.


Katrina Garbutt
“That’s like, for instance, you know your body, it has veins. Right, and those veins go to certain ligaments in your body. So you take that same concept when it comes to a motherboard, it’s the same way.”

Sabreena Daly

“So you’re a doctor, but for devices? Yes.”

 Katrina Garbutt

“Uh, well, From when I was young, I originally wanted to go into helping people. Um, being a doctor was one of my thoughts, uh, but, uh, due to financial situations, um, I didn’t go that route. Um, so I did so in this aspect, um, everything has a fixer. And I’m the doc for electronics.”

Her mother, Martha Garbutt, shared with us that she recognized her daughter was different at a very young age.

Martha Garbutt

Martha Garbutt, Mother

“Well, I knew that she was into technology from a very early age because I remember when they were playing games and then she would notice that, um, something was wrong, she would be the first to run there and see how she can fix it, you know and was always interested in how this work and how that work. Whenever she start talking to me about this or saying this, that I, I tell her, I said, you know something that’s a different language. You know what to do.”

Garbutt showed us her workstation where she also fixes televisions. It’s not a job she cares for much because of the fragility of screens.


Katrina Garbutt
“This is a small 32 inch tv, right? Mm-hmm. So this here is the screen for, uh, television. And this board is the driver board that communicates with another board that is hooked up to the back of a television that gives this piece of glass the image that you would see on a television. Mm-hmm. So if you break this, The TV’s not just get a new tv. And that’s the risk you run when you fix tv? Yes.”


Katrina Garbutt

“The way that I started with this, I started with one soldering iron and a couple screwdrivers, and I started repairing or replacing screens on phones, and at that time, The quality of phones. If you could remember you had those little Nokia’s, um, those, those would just pop apart and you just need a Phillips screwdriver to take it and open it. Mm-hmm. But now, um, as technology progresses, uh, we find that, um, you need, uh, better equipment to do the job.”

The upside to having someone in the family who is tech savvy is the fact that everyone takes full being advantage of Katrina’s knowledge.


Sabreena Daly

“You know, When you have a tech person in a family, you tend to go to them for everything. What do you go to her for to fix?”

Martha Garbutt

“Everything. The washing machine, the refrigerator, the television. Everything. My phone has something wrong with my phone. What? You know, that’s, that’s what I do.”

According to Katrina, the downside is that family members become complacent.

Her love of fixing electronic devices extends to motor vehicles. In her youth, Katrina became the first female certified technician for Toyota in Belize.


Katrina Garbutt
“Yeah, I did a certification test in mechanics at Belize Diesel, which I passed. I was the only female, uh, in the entire country that was certified in Belize. And to my knowledge, the Caribbean at that time. When it comes to mechanical, um, electronics, like you said, we don’t find most females doing this type of work. And it’s a social bias when it comes to society looking at females in terms of what they can and cannot do. And as you said, it’s something that I strive to break and show the male community or society that females are as good as males in, um, whatever field they choose, whether it be a male driven or female driven field.”

Looking on the Bright Side, I’m Sabreena Daly.

If you would like to reach Katrina, you can contact her by cell at 614-2259 or her Facebook page, KG’s Phone doc.