#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?
In my current role, I wear many hats, overseeing and managing worldwide operations within our Infrared Engineering division, serving as a client Account Engineer to various customers and conducting Field Engineering surveys or performing special project work. Each of these roles helps me to best understand each aspect of the business and allows me the opportunity to work with many individuals within virtually all facets of the enterprise, which is an extremely dynamic environment. Working and collaborating with so many highly skilled individuals is one of the best aspects of the position.
Within the global management world, I oversee an incredible group of highly talented staff, our fleet of equipment from purchasing, equipment, service contracts, hardware/software, working with numerous vendors, to all aspects relative to the delivery of our service package to our customers. I also interact frequently with customers at all levels of the organization. Within the Account Engineering world, I supervise the delivery of services to those customers, serve as the liaison between corporate, regional and local customers and our internal team of consultants.
I would also provide in-depth stewardship presentations to summarize and trend detailed aspects of our work to allow the customer the ability to focus their maintenance/reliability and risk management budgets in the most effective way. Finally, within the Field Engineering world, I would conduct strategic infrared and/or property protection surveys at key facilities to support customer demands. This is the best way to maintain sharp engineering skills in all aspects of the business and helps put a much better perspective relative to the many challenges the field engineering team faces on a daily basis. We pride ourselves on the value of our highly talented/skilled field team members.
Why did you choose to pursue this career path?
The Engineering and Math/Science fields always intrigued me, with a particular focus on electricity, engineering, maintenance, the marvels of machinery and utilizing mathematical formulae and critical thinking for problem-solving. My early employment within the pulp and paper industry helped to solidify this interest by becoming immersed in complex equipment, electrical systems, schematics and various engineering/maintenance projects. I’ve gravitated toward the problem-solving and analytical side of the engineering world, yet have always enjoyed working on projects within a team structure. Being able to collaborate with other individuals and team members in engineering, maintenance as well as other departments such as management, business, accounting, and customers was an important aspect for me.
My career path took a unique twist with an internship opportunity within the risk engineering world, which fascinated me by allowing an immersion into not only one, but virtually all of the heavy industrial manufacturing operations. I was able to combine dual skills in the field of property HPR engineering with my electrical background into infrared thermography. Blending these skills provided a unique career path into dual-mode engineering service options to utilize my skills and background to support global customers.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Working together with team members, coupled with utilizing the technologies and applying the fundamental theories, principles and core concepts to adapt to the many changes within the industry makes every project yield a high degree of challenge and excitement within this career. There isn’t always a single or obvious solution to any given project, where deficiencies or anomalies must be identified via close and careful scrutiny using our training, knowledge and technology. Anomalies are not always readily visible, so we must rely on the senses of visual, thermographic, and acoustic and a level of skill and diligence to uncover or identify, predict and forecast potential failures on the DIPF curve.
Working both with the wide range of experienced/skilled professionals internally, tapping into select resources on specialized subject matter and our customers provides a fuller spectrum of collaboration and teamwork to deliver a high-quality product.
I truly enjoy working and communicating with individuals both internally and with our customers to solve problems, whether it is at the managerial level, working with team members or co-workers on projects, at the account engineering level presenting trends, putting together a full-blown program or delivering knowledge, or working at the field level role within a particular facility.
Is there an engineering-related innovation you are fascinated by?
I’ve always been intrigued by engineering marvels, such as large-scale facilities, machinery/equipment, modes of transportation, architecture and technology. My fascination of these marvels became a fulfilled reality for me, as I’ve had the opportunity to work on several projects in this regard, travel to remote places within the world to conduct field engineering work within this arena. This has included but not limited to working on immense lattice boom or tower cranes, heavy mining equipment, skyscrapers, unique professional sports stadium, large airport and flight simulation operations as well as numerous unique large-scale industrial manufacturing equipment. The technological innovations, such as electronic operator aids and software, within each of these major assets are an inspiration and a source of fascination.
How do you think this industry will look 20 years from now? How will it have changed?
We’re seeing many innovations on the technology platforms, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), the expanding utilization of drones, software enhancements and algorithms which will produce desired outputs for computations, cloud-based systems, and numerous advancements in maintenance/reliability technologies, including route-based and intriguing software tools to allow enterprises more robust analysis of the various engineering, maintenance and reliability data points needed to increase up time of equipment and systems.
With exponential equipment advances, wireless technologies, etc., the present and future will enable more robust data acquisition and sharing to user interfaces in real-time mode. This technology is already in place with fixed-in-place and portable equipment, via Bluetooth wireless mobile platforms to allow real-time viewing of thermographic technologies to share real-time data. The world of virtual reality technologies is also ever expanding and advancing.
What advice do you have for young people considering entering this field?
I’ve always encouraged the younger generation to dig deep for what truly interests them, then immerse themselves in developing the skill-sets needed through self-studies and opportunities to acquire the expertise to offer their best input into the profession. Further, developing a dual-skill level or multiple certifications in two concurrent fields would offer the individual a competitive advantage over another similarly qualified individual. Ultimately, strive to maintain core principles of getting into the fundamentals, hard work, be innovative and creative, use technology to your advantage, learn from the best and last but not least, be a good listener.
When not working, how do you enjoy your spare time?
I’m an avid cyclist and enjoy outdoor activities year-round, despite the cold Midwest weather. I’ve recently acquired a “fat-tire” bike which allows me to ride year-round and hit the snow-covered and lake-front trails. Traveling has always been a passion of mine and I’m always intrigued by nature, landmarks, architecture and have amassed an interesting collection of digital and thermographic images. I enjoy cribbage, chess, movies, books, and most of all, spending time with my family.
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