Engineering, University of Rochester
Technology Services Engineer, working with distributors,
original equipment manufacturers, and end-users to solve
installation and service problems with engines. Also develops
applications to meet special customer requirements.
Noah feels that he
was well prepared in college, but his job calls for the ability
to work in teams and a blend of hands-on and CAD skills that one
may need to learn on the job. He urges students to look into
co-op programs, for that experience has helped him to get a job
and to adapt quickly.
"Seniors in high
school should take science and math, as much as you can. If you
can get calculus in high school, take it. Even if it's just a
brief course or doesn't go in too much detail. Take physics,
chemistry, and a lot of math."
"I answer calls from customers or distributors about service problems with
engines. Somebody might call up and say, well, I've got this engine and
it's doing this and I have no idea why it's doing that and spewing out
metal parts out of the exhaust or something. We'll sit down and figure it
out and see how we can help them in the field."
Q: Is this your first job?
This is my first job out of
school. I graduated about a month and a half ago.
Q: Coming fresh out of
school and just being here three weeks what would you say your first
impression was then?
I had a little bit of a
benefit in terms of working here fresh out of school because I was a
summer intern here last summer. So I wasn't coming totally cold turkey.
But it's a little overwhelming at first, just trying to figure out what's
going on, what your responsibilities are, the kind of things you're
expected to do, expected to know. Sometimes there's a language barrier
between your co-workers and yourself, depending on what terms were used in
your education. So you have to sort of figure out at first what people are
talking about. And then things start clicking after your first couple of
Q: Tell me a little bit
about what you're doing?
Well, the technical-service
part of my job is basically I answer calls from customers or distributors
about service problems with engines. Somebody might call up and say,
"Well, I've got this engine and it's doing this and I have no idea why
it's doing that and spewing out metal parts out of the exhaust or
something." We'll sit down and figure it out and see how we can help them
in the field. It also includes making trips out to see the customers, to
help them either service the engine or perform tests on the engine. Like,
we'll test coolant and oil and the turbo-charging system or fuel system
and figure out what's wrong for them and see how we can help them remedy
the situation. The applications-engineering part of my job is basically we
deal directly with OEMs, which are Original Equipment Manufacturers, who
make all different kinds of machinery or equipment and that use our
engines. And what we do is we work closely with them, developing
installations of our engines into their equipment and providing either
special brackets or designing new flywheels or new mounting systems, so we
can help them install our engine in their products. There's about six or
seven of us. About half of us do technical service and half of us do
applications, and usually, some of us do a little bit of both. Since I'm
new, I'm going to be doing a little bit of both. And we work in groups.
There's a lot of teamwork involved because, obviously, every different
perspective brings new light to a problem and a new way to solve it. So we
always usually work in groups, in teams. Everybody in my group has a
mechanical engineering background.
Q: What technical skills
did you learn in college that you find it very useful now or did you not
In college, I guess, I had the benefit of when I got to school, I had a
lot of mechanic skills and training that I had done in high school and
before that, due to my own interests. In school, I guess I learned a lot
about, in my lab classes, assembly and manufacturing. A little bit about
technical writing and drawing. It's always important. It's always good to
know a little bit about screws, nuts, and bolts. You think it's really
simple stuff that, you know, "Oh, everybody knows that," but there are a
lot of different things out there that are always good to know.
Q: Are there other skills,
other than the technical ones that you talked about, that you find
really helpful, that you learned when you were in college?
Definitely, interpersonal skills,
communications skills, being able to work in a group. It's very
important to be able to develop that skill because everything you do
in the professional world is going to be group-oriented, whether
you're making a presentation with another co-worker or you're
working with your boss on something. It's always good to be able to
communicate clearly with others and be able to work in a group and
not feel threatened or uncomfortable working with others, because
that's the way things work.
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