#FutureInYourHands – This motto properly describes how TÜV SÜD empowers its employees. It’s best to hear from TÜV SÜD executives and staff members what their personal experiences are working for TÜV SÜD.
Can you describe your role within the company?
I am a Senior Engineer for the industrial machinery group. My role consists of mainly field evaluations of industrial machinery, along with inspections and certifications of cranes and MEWP’s (mobile elevating work platforms) in the US and around the world. I spend most of my time on the road, as I average approximately 250,000 miles each year in air travel. Last year I ranked in the top 5% worldwide for all Delta Airlines passengers, with over 275,000 miles and four trips around the world. Since joining TÜV SÜD America 15 years ago, I have accumulated over 3 million miles, traveled to over 21 countries, done thousands of inspections and certifications, and made a friend or two along the way. Having the ability to speak and understand multiple languages has been a definite plus when traveling to foreign countries.
How did you choose this career path?
In 1999, I was working at an aluminum smelter in Vancouver, Washington as a Chief Electrical Design Engineer for a renewal project. Then, from one day to the next, power regulators raised the price of electricity from $25 dollars per MWH to $250 dollars. So, after 50 years, the company basically went out of business, which resulted in me being laid off. A few weeks later I managed to get an interview for a Safety Compliance Engineer position in Portland, Oregon, so I started my career in the compliance industry with TÜV Rheinland. After six years, I moved on to TÜV SUD America, where I have been continuously mentored by a great group of managers and engineers. I’m celebrating 15 years with TÜV SÜD America.
What do you enjoy most about your job and working at TÜV SÜD?
That’s easy. The fact that I get to do a job that I love almost doesn’t seem fair. The team I work with, along with the people and clients that I meet are incredible. It’s like a family to me, and we all have learned the best ways to communicate with one another in order to be on the same page. No one person is bigger than the combined efforts of the team. In addition, I have various clients whom I’ve been working with for nearly twenty years. This job has allowed me to travel all over the world, from Alaska to Singapore, and Hawaii to Northern China. The number of places I’ve been to, and friends that I have made over time can’t be counted. Most of my clients around the world are not just my clients, but also my friends, and even though it may be years in between inspections for some of these clients, they all somehow remember me very well.
It’s also very gratifying to know that the work I’m doing to protect people and help companies reach the next level of safety production really matters and makes a difference.
Are there challenges you've faced in your career that have taught you important lessons?
Since I've been at TÜV SÜD, I've learned several vital lessons, both professionally and personally. The hardships I have encountered have taught me that life is very precious and not to be taken for granted. I've learned to enjoy life, including my job, as much as possible. People who know me know that I'm always joking around - except when I'm doing my inspections, I take those extremely seriously.
Professionally, I've determined that in this industry, you must never stop learning, and you must be able to accept change, which isn't always easy. My work’s challenges have taught me to always associate myself with the best people in this industry. I've managed to become the only engineer that does industrial machinery inspections, along with crane and MEWP certifications. As such, I cross over from various groups within TÜV SÜD. It's proven to be a challenge at times, but the collaboration and work ethic created what is now known as ONE TÜV SÜD, which spans the entire company.
What do you think the industry will look like 20 years from now?
I think technology is consistently evolving and expanding at an exponential rate. Looking back to 20 years ago, it’s amazing to see the difference between then and now and understand how much of our lives have changed. Many items that we use daily today didn’t exist 20 years ago; for instance, the iPhone, Facebook, eBay, Twitter, YouTube, Amazon, and many more did not exist. Fast forward 20 years into the future, I believe we will see a shift towards autonomous automation. For the inspection industry, I think we will see drones being utilized more in order to conduct remote inspections. There might be one technician, engineer, or even drone that goes on-site to gather information with a recording device and then sends that information back to a group of engineers. It would increase efficiency and save time on travel for engineers.
When not working, how do you spend your spare time?
I spend most of my spare time doing volunteer work. I help out at my church, I volunteer at Hearts and Homes for Veterans, as well as Habitat for Humanity. Lately, I’ve been donating PPE to engineers, friends, family, and clients. For fun, I attend craft beer festivals across the US and around the world, including places like Michigan, Colorado, Germany, Hungary, and Denmark.
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