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Mechanical Engineering Success Stories

About me:Matthew Brady photo
Matthew Brady
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (2015)
M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania (2017)
Amazon Robotics, Boston, MA

Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as a HDE I Mechanical:
My job at Amazon Robotics involves doing new product development for fulfillment center robots and the associated infrastructure, as well as sustaining work to maintain and support existing and legacy products. This entails doing mechanical design for new concepts, designing and building prototypes, and completing long-term durability testing and system-level dynamic analysis.

Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
My role at AR requires me to have a good understanding of fundamental engineering principles, be able to make changes and iterate quickly, and think creatively to solve some rather unique, domain-specific problems.

As far as technical skills, a thorough understanding of GD&T drafting standards, as well as a comprehensive knowledge of SolidWorks, associated work-group management products, and good CAD modeling practices are critical, simply due to the pace of the work we do.  I also find myself regularly referencing my machine elements textbook to do bearing, weld, bolt, spring, etc calculations.  Finally, the ability to quickly go back in the shop and machine a quick prototype makes testing new ideas and concepts a lot easier, so machine shop experience is definitely valuable.

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Mechanical Engineering?
I've always had a passion for making things and that, combined with the breadth of knowledge a ME degree provides you, was what led me to go into mechanical engineering in the first place.  After completing two internships, I also got a pretty good idea of the type of work I wanted to end up doing, so I catered the classes I took in undergrad to best prepare me for a career in design engineering.

After undergrad, I immediately went on to do a MS, also in ME.  During grad school, I curated my course load to be heavily robotics focused, which taught me a lot of the foundations in the technologies we use in our robots (motion planning, perception, control, artificial intelligence, etc).

The biggest takeaway I have is to really spend the time up front figuring out what you like and what you don't so you can get the most out of your course work.  Doing a co-op and a few internships helped me figure that out early, and gave much greater meaning to my course work because I could see what I was learning in the classroom being applied in the "real world".

About me:Katherine Brush photo
Katherine Brush
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (2014)
Marathon Petroleum Company, Texas City, TX

Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as a Refining Project Manager:
As a project manager, I provide technical expertise and project management services for medium sized capital and reliability projects within the refinery. I am responsible for tracking a project from early front end design development all the way through to implementation and start-up.  I am able to not only be involved on the mechanical side of projects, but I am also able to participate with some of the process chemistry and process controls and instrumentation within project management.

Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
Within my role, I often work with a diverse team including process chemical engineers, electrical engineers, operations, accountants, and environmental and safety professionals with one single goal in mind. Communication and team work are required skills to work with various team members and disciplines. In order to drive a successful team, I also need the leadership skills to make decisions in a timely manner and to keep a project within scope, on time, and on budget.

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Mechanical Engineering?
Learn daily and get involved! Mechanical Engineering offer a board range of engineering career options, so gather experience and explore different paths. Get involved in clubs/organizations or intern/co-op where you can learn what an engineering job may look like daily. There are many different disciplines including project management fields to more technical design paths that each offer a unique experience with Mechanical Engineering, so explore what sparks your interest.

About me: Aakrit Sanghera photo
Aakrit Sanghera
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (2015)
NASA Glenn Research Center SSC, Cleveland, OH

Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as a Pressure Systems Engineer: 
I manage the certification of complex engineering systems and ensure that they are being operated safely to support research testing. 

Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
As a Pressure Systems Engineer (PSE), effective communication and the ability to multi-task are some of the core skills essential to one's success. PSEs work on systems consisting of components that may be designed by one team, manufactured by other, installed by another, operated by yet another, and finally recertified by us at the Pressure Systems Office. This necessitates effective communication amongst all involved parties in order to successfully recertify a system. Each PSE also handles multiple systems at a time, making it important to be able to multitask and easily switch between projects as needed.

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Mechanical Engineering?
Mechanical Engineering is a very rewarding major. I encourage you to reach out to companies that interest you and apply for internships and co-ops. This is a great way to explore the different sectors within ME whilst learning more about where your interests lie. 

About me:
Matteo Muratori photoMatteo Muratori
B.S. in Energy Engineering, Politecnico di Milan (2007)
M.S. in Energy Engineering, Politecnico di Milan (2010)
M.S. in Mechanical Engineering (2012)
Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering (2014)
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO

Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as a Transportation Engineer:
Perform analysis of sustainable transportation systems to inform strategic decisions facing policy makers, industry representatives, State and Federal government agencies, and R&D portfolio managers. In particular, my responsibilities include analysis and quantitative evaluation of new technologies and policies related to plug-in electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and advanced biofuels.

Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
Being able to properly synthesize complex problems into clear and logic frameworks and communicate results of detailed engineering analyses, both orally and in writing, to inform decision makers. Ability to understand big-picture implications of the deployment of alternative technologies and extract meaningful insights from the complexity of model simulations.

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Mechanical Engineering?
Be curious. Always challenge yourself to understand the ramifications and implications of the different subjects that you learn at OSU, and make an effort to connect the set of notions that you learn in different classes. Try to understand the impact of what you learn in real-world applications.

Michael Junker photo

About me:                                                          
Michael Junker
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (2015)
Ford Motor Company, Livonia, MI

Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as a Powertrain Manufacturing Engineer – Ford College Graduate (FCG) Program:
As a manufacturing FCG, I will be taking on different engineering roles throughout a three year rotational program within Ford’s Powertrain division. For my current role, I am an Assembly Systems Engineer assisting in the development and launch of the newest assembly line for automatic transmission operations. Day-to-day responsibilities include daily trouble shooting, process improvement, and basic project management. I work a lot with suppliers, product development, and production teams to fix or improve the assembly process as we near the launch of our new line. 

Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
Manufacturing Engineering at Ford is a fast-paced role that requires quick responses to real-time problems. To be successful in this role, the engineer must be quick to react to issues causing production halt, possess the leadership and personal skills to work with all members of the production and engineering teams, and have a solid technical background and understanding of common place manufacturing processes to identify and correct root cause problems.

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Mechanical Engineering?
Mechanical engineering is a very broad and challenging program at Ohio State that can take you in any number of directions. As you are exposed to a wide range of disciplines throughout school, take this time to learn what you like and don’t like to do. I would also strongly recommend utilizing the internships and co-ops through ECS as this will also help you get a better understanding of your own career goals.

About me:
James RenJames Ren photo
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (2014)
TS Tech, Reynoldsburg, OH

Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as a Product Engineer:
I work as a Product Engineer in R&D, managing and coordinating various projects on the car seats of Honda vehicles. I ensure that engineers and technicians have the components, materials and correct specifications for their daily work, because each day is  different and there are different requirement for each vehicle mode. When there is a problem that requires troubleshooting, I will dig into the specification corresponding to the seat components, figure out a solution, and report them either to the design engineer or manufacturing team.  

Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
In my opinion, I don't think there is one or even two specific courses that will help you be successful in your career. College is more about teaching you how to think and approach solving problems. I do remember a time at my job where I was excited to see something I learned from an engineering class. However, it turned out that I faced more diffiulty with the topic in class then at work. At my company, we simply used the software to work for us instead of hand calculating 7-8 pages worth of work. In addition, I think it's most important to learn how to communicate with people professionally and how to prepare a clear, concise presentation. It's great to possess advanced engineering knowledge in your head, but it's not of much value unless you can express that idea to a client, team member or manager.

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Mechanical Engineering?
Consider learning more about the FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) exam. There is a NCEE Reference Handbook for people who plan to take the FE exam. There are over 250 pages of equations and formulas which cover almost every course you will learn in your undergraduate degree. Whether you are planning to take the FE exam or not, I'd recommend reading it. Another piece of advice is to collaborate and seek help from your classmates. Unless you are a genius, you are unlikely to finish the degree by yourself. I spent the first two years building friendships and forming study groups. These same classmates will be a big help to you during your senior year.

About me:
Derek Riddle
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (2015)
M.S. in Mechanical Engineering (2017)
Cummins Inc., Columbus, IN

Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as a Systems Analysis Engineer:
In my current role, I am responsible for creating, calibrating, and using engine and powertrain system models to perform system level analysis. I am asked to provide, through simulation, results such as hardware recommendations, how environmental changes impact powertrain performance, and predict outputs such as fuel efficiency over a drive cycle. A secondary part of my job is to perform analysis on current product operation during field tests to help catch and solve potential issues during the product validation process.

Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
As a systems analysis engineer, I need to be proficient at using modeling and simulation tools such as MATLAB/Simulink. I also use GT-Power which is more specific to engine and thermal system modeling. Second, I have found that in my role and most engineering roles today, communication skills are the most important thing to your success after your technical knowledge. I constantly have to share and present my work to people who may not be familiar with the exact topic, part, or process I am working on. I am still required to communicate why, what, and how I did what I did. Also, the importance of clear communication increases when dealing with coworkers who are on the phone all around the world and you may never meet in person.

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Mechanical Engineering?
Mechanical Engineering is such a broad field that it is important to identify a specific section which you are most passionate in and focus your efforts there. There are many ways to go about that. I would highly recommend getting involved with an engineering student organization. I was involved with the Formula Buckeyes team during my time at Ohio State. The knowledge I gained there allowed me to meet people, identify what I wanted to do in my career, and gave me the real engineering experience that I credit with most of the opportunities I have gotten in industry so far. And there are so many student organizations at OSU that there really is something for everyone. You attend the greatest university in the world so take advantage of all there is to offer!

About me:CJ Walker photo
CJ Walker
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (2016)
General Motors, Warren, MI

Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as a Safety Performance Engineer:
I am part of GM's Vehicle Engineering TRACK (Technical Rotation and Career Knowledge) program, a 2 year rotational program. My current position is Safety Performance Engineer for two of our next-generation Cadillac vehicles. I am responsible for 2nd row occupant performance in frontal crashes, which includes restraints integration and optimization, integration of child seat accommodations, and performance validation through CAE simulation and physical testing. I am also responsible for ensuring that electrical systems maintain integrity throughout a crash event in order to prevent shock or fire hazards and to allow for post-crash functionality of automated crash notification, hazard lights, door locks, etc.

Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
Each vehicle component or subsystem is connected to many other parts, and being able to effectively communicate with other engineers, teams, suppliers, or leadership is critical to the success of the product. Additionally, vehicles are highly complex and performance can vary, so critical thinking and the ability to devise robust solutions to problems is a must. Time management and the ability to multitask are also important as the environment is fast-paced and program timing is highly valued.

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Mechanical Engineering?
Keep an open mind. Mechanical engineering is a very broad field and can provide you with a wealth of opportunities. Utilize your time in school and in internships to explore some different options and find out what you enjoy doing. You might be surprised by what you find. Also, take advantage of the resources at your disposal. Identify those professors or TA's who are willing to go the extra mile to help you and learn as much as you can from them. Utilize ECS to help you with career development, and make sure to attend career fairs and networking events to improve your chances of obtaining internships and jobs.

About me:
Tyler Wasserman
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (2015)
Trane, Bellevue, WA

Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as an Account Manager:
As an Account Manager (Technical Sales), it is my duty to maintain and develop new customers. This is done by working closely with Mechanical Engineers and Mechanical Contractors as a technical and business consultant. On an average day, I am able to jump between high level engineering process, from helping to design system solutions for commercial buildings to business and relationship development.

Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
Communication is paramount. In this role, you need to clearly and concisely explain an opportunity and its solution to owners and managing partners of firms. Second, you need to excel in accountability/follow through. Setting/receiving deadlines and hitting them is extremely important to build yourself as a trusted adviser.

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Mechanical Engineering?
Diversify. Getting good grades is extremely important, but without other marketable skills/life experiences, it is hard to get recruiters to take a second look at your resume. Ask around. As I was entering my 5th year, I had a couple internships under my belt and the one thing I knew was that I did not want to end up in a manufacturing plant. I was lucky enough that I walked by Trane's booth and was introduced to an opportunity I never knew I had. Take time to  talk with career advisers at ECS. Dont just follow what fellow classmates are pursuing -research your options!

About me:Suzie Woods photo
Suzie Woods
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (2010)
Shell Oil Company, Houston, TX

Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as a Completions & Well Interventions Engineer:
I work as a Completions & Well Interventions Engineer supporting an onshore shale play in the Permian Basin in West Texas. As a completions engineer, I'm responsible for the design, planning and management of completion and well intervention operations. I'm responsible for writing the engineering procedures on how to "complete" a well to most efficiently and economically extract oil and gas.

Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
I work closely with the asset development team that examines the subsurface rock properties and identifies optimal locations for drilling. I also work closely with the operations team executing work outlined in my engineering procedures. I get to play an active role in the contracting and procurement of goods and services required to complete the wells we design. Some of the skills I rely on daily are basic project management, technical writing, fluid mechanics, and torque and drag modelling.

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Mechanical Engineering?
Majoring in mechanical engineering opens up so many doors for you. It provides such a solid base for so many different fields and industries, you can work almost anywhere you'd want to! Since I didn't elect to go into manufacturing with my ME degree, I wasn't sure how valuable the specifics of my engineering classes would be in the industry that I chose. I have found that there are more ties to daily life than I would have expected and more than anything, mechanical engineering school taught me how to problem solve and manage my corporate projects efficiently.