dcsimg

Career Story: Engineering Manager For A Jet-Engine Contractor

Engineering Manager For A Jet-Engine Contractor

Job Title: Engineering Manager

Type of Company: My current company provides coating and welding services for gas turbine engine airfoils. These coatings provide oxidation and hot corrosion resistance to the turbine blades and vanes during jet engine operation.

Education: BS, Materials Science, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute •• MS, Materials Science, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Previous Experience: My first job was as an R&D engineer for an aerospace conglomerate but I later took a job at a small, start-up business, with a focus on the manufacture of advanced coatings for gas turbine engine airfoils.

Job Tasks: As the Engineering Manager in our small facility, I have many different roles to play during the course of the working day. Our day begins with a morning meeting, where the plant leadership team briefly reviews all aspects of our activity for the past 24 hours and the day ahead.

After the morning meeting, I meet with my engineering team to review their latest results and the status of their projects, and then we discuss the steps they'll pursue in the days ahead. Our engineering activities typically focus on qualifying new part numbers or processes for manufacturing application, or on process improvements, or on solving process and quality problems that have plagued us. My key role is to support them in the technical activities, provide input & assistance in overcoming barriers to success, and also keep them on task in meeting the goal(s) of the projects they are working on.

After my meetings, I walk the shop to see what is going on; I ask questions of the shop associates regarding their activities and issues, and I answer their questions about all aspects of the business.

Other parts of my day include discussions with suppliers and customers. In a smaller facility such as ours, I am exposed to all aspects of our business. All of these activities require "people skills". I do not sit in my office isolated from all activities. I have constant interactions with all of the stakeholders in our business each day.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best parts of the job are the daily interactions with my colleagues. We have a camaraderie that's very pleasant and we want to be successful as a team. I also enjoy solving problems. Getting to the root of an issue is often challenging and difficult, but when the cause has been identified and the problem's been solved it feels great.

Dealing with people is both the best part and the worst part of the job. Although most of my dealings are fun and productive, there will always be a few people who are difficult to deal with, and are often roadblocks to success. How you learn to deal with them will be critical to your career and personal development.

Job Tips: If you would like to be a successful engineer, then I recommend that you find a college or university engineering program that interests you. Enjoy your years in college but keep your focus on your goals. Consider post-graduate education to enhance your skills.

When interviewing for employment, always learn as much as you can about the company you are interviewing. Ask questions during the interview, and be prepared to discuss your prior experience on projects and programs, including situations where there were problems to be solved and what your role was in solving said problems.

Everywhere you go, find a mentor who is willing to share his experiences with you. This is more than just someone "showing you the ropes"; it is about your continuing education as an adult and as a leader.

Additional Thoughts: Be open-minded to the possibilities before you. Avoid pre-conceived notions and certainties or you will be disappointed throughout your journey. Learn every day, and find the right mentors at each stage of your career. Listen before you speak, and acknowledge everyone's opinions and perspectives before sharing your thoughts. And finally, have fun at what you do most every day.

Popular Schools offering General Engineering Programs

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

Matching School Ads

Earn your Master's degree online from Norwich University.

  • Programs: Master of Civil Engineering Online
  • Degrees: Master
Milan Institute
Bakersfield

Prepare for an exciting new career at the Milan Institute.

  • Programs: Electrician, Oil and Gas Instrumentation Technician
  • Degrees: Diploma

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

  • Programs: BS in Aeronautics
  • Degrees: Bachelor

The University of California, Riverside
Transforming Engineers into Leaders

If you’re seeking to elevate your technical expertise and take on leadership roles in today’s global workplace, the UC Riverside online Master of Science in Engineering can deliver the highly calibrated balance of scientific and business knowledge to help you reach your goals.

  • Programs: M.S. in Engineering, Data Science Specialization, M.S. in Engineering, Electrical Engineering (Power Systems) Specialization, M.S. in Engineering, Environmental Engineering Systems (Water) Specialization , more...
  • Degrees: Master

Making the decision to earn your degree and pursue your career goals could be the best decision you ever make. Enroll at ECPI University and you’ll join a collaborative and fostering learning environment, surrounded by faculty and staff who are there to support you through the entire process.

 

  • Programs: Mechatronics - Bachelor's
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Want to earn a bachelor's or master's degree in the high-demand business field?

  • Programs: M.B.A. with an Emphasis in Project Management
  • Degrees: Master

You can get started on a new career with Institute of Technology.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.iot.edu/disclosure

  • Programs: Industrial Maintenance and Automated Technology
  • Degrees: Certificate

You've found Ashford University, where school comes to you. Earn your bachelor's or master's degree online.

  • Programs: BA/Project Management, BA/Public Relations and Marketing - Project Management, MA/Organizational Management - Project Management, more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Master
The Art Institutes system of schools
North Hollywood, Santa Ana

With an education from an Art Institutes school, imagine what you could create.

  • Programs: Industrial Design (BS)
  • Degrees: Bachelor
San Joaquin Valley College
Bakersfield, Ontario, Salida, Visalia

San Joaquin Valley College - A Private Junior College.

  • Programs: Certificate - Industrial Maintenance Technician, Degree - Industrial Maintenance Technician, Certificate - Electrical Technology
  • Degrees: Certificate, Associate
Matching School Ads
You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Engineering Managers, including:

Back to Top
SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104