The final post in our “New Talent Series: Why Engineers Come to Aero Gear” is written by Kevin, a Manufacturing Process Engineer, who has been with us since 2012:
My interest in Aerospace began at a young age. I enjoyed model rockets and airplanes and in fifth grade wrote a creative research report on World War II aircraft. Throughout high school, in Simsbury, CT, I excelled in math and science classes. Because of this and my interest in building and figuring out how things work, I decided to pursue an Engineering Mechanics and Astronautics degree at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
The beginning of my degree program focused on generalized engineering courses – statics, physics, dynamics, thermodynamics, mechanics of materials, drafting, and other similar courses. I gained the bulk of my aerospace background in my last two years at UW with courses such as aerodynamics, flight dynamics, satellite mechanics, finite element analysis and fluid mechanics. These last two years of coursework and my senior design projects, one a design for an automated ladder lift platform the second a sub orbital spaceplane concept, formed my career goals of becoming a design engineer in the aerospace industry.
After my sophomore year, I began looking for engineering internships in the Hartford area. I wanted an opportunity that would give me exposure to several different elements involved with working as an engineer. I discovered that Aero Gear was looking for a summer intern to assist several different projects, and was offered my first internship for the summer of 2010. I began by working on projects that involved basic solid modeling for tooling. This was an excellent introduction to both Solidworks and engineering standards; I had no prior experience in either area. During that summer I also worked on various Continuous Improvement initiatives which gave me a perspective on how things run in a manufacturing setting, another field in which I had no prior experience. The following summer, after my junior year at UW, I returned to Aero Gear. This second summer gave me exposure to my main interest, design engineering. I worked with design engineers creating CAD models and drawings for various prototype projects.
Before my graduation from the University of Wisconsin in May of 2012, I was offered a full time Manufacturing Process Engineer position at Aero Gear. In this role I began with simple process changes on operation sheets and have grown in two and a half years to having responsibilities that include creating processes for new jobs as well as project managing lead time and cost reduction initiatives for Aero Gear’s leading production parts. During my time here, I have had the opportunity to expand my skills by working on projects that tap into all aspects of manufacturing. Whether it is in engineering, continuous improvement, tool design, or quality, there is always something to get involved in that will highlight a wide range of skills. This diversity has provided me with an incredibly strong and versatile skill set to help set me up to become a Design Engineer, whether at Aero Gear or elsewhere down the road in my career. My experiences at Aero Gear also provide me with a solid foundation to pursue another goal of mine: a Masters Degree in Aerospace Engineering. While there are many factors that got me to where I am today, the driving factor in my success early in my career can be attributed to the opportunities Aero Gear has provided me.