STEM Professionals

Jason Patch - New Product Development Engineer
Patch

Keywords: engineering,prototype,forces,motion

Parker Hannifin

Ohio State University

Career Description

I’m currently a new product development engineer working for Parker Hannifin – Tube Fittings Division. I love my job because I get to come up with new ideas and see them turn into reality! We talk to customers to learn about any issues they’re having, and then we brainstorm about ways we can help them. I then take some of those ideas and model them in three dimensional computer-aided design (3D CAD) software. Next I create “prototypes” using 3D-printing and/or machining so that we can try the designs out. The prototypes help bring our ideas to life. I also get to perform destructive tests on the parts – we literally blow them up! By testing them to their maximum pressure and beyond, I find out if the design is going to work for what the customer needs. Then, I either rework the design or approve it for production, which means working with our manufacturing teams to create the parts in order to sell to the customers.

What is your educational background and motivation to pursue your field of study?

MS in Engineering Management, Ohio University BS in Mechanical Engineering, Ohio State University I’ve always enjoyed building things, such as models and Legos and K’nex as a child. Math was a strength and I enjoyed the sciences, so when I entered Ohio State I started out doing pre-med. However, my favorite subject in high school had been Physics, so I also took an Intro to Engineering course to see if I liked that field better. After a year, I decided I enjoyed engineering more and gave up the pre-med route. I love learning how things work and finding ways to improve them, which is basically what you do as an engineer.

What have you struggled with or overcome in your educational or life path to your current job?

What is the best part of your job or research?

I love problem solving. I get to talk to customers to find out what problems they have that I might solve for them and then brainstorm how to do that. I get to take those ideas and turn them into real-world products and solutions.

What is the worst part of your job or research?

There is a lot of “busy work” involved in any project, like creating detailed drawings, filling out reports, and making presentations – that’s probably the most boring part of my job.

What is the most exciting part of your job?

3D-printing prototypes and testing prototypes are both very exciting because you get to see your idea come to life and also see how well it does.

What is your most memorable career-related moment?

I’ve been able to file multiple patents for my ideas. A patent is a document issued by the federal government stating that the idea is mine and only I can make, use or sell the idea for a certain time period. Patents are exciting because they are published world-wide and they say “I came up with a new idea that no one else has thought of before!”

What has changed about your profession in the past ten years?

Cultural change: Many companies have historically had a culture that expects engineers to work lots of overtime. I believe that more and more companies are starting to realize the benefits of their employees having healthy work-life balances where both their private life and career can thrive. Technology change: 3D printing (or additive manufacturing) makes it so much easier to innovate because you can print your idea and hold it in your hand the same day you thought of it! This makes ideas evolve much faster.

What do you think will change in your industry in the next ten years?

I can see additive manufacturing becoming more and more of the standard, both in prototyping as well as in manufacturing.

Cody Yarletts - Product Manager
Yarletts

Keywords: engineering,aerospace,forces,motion

Parker Hannifin

UCLA Anderson School of Business, Miami (OH) Univ.

Career Description

I am currently a Product Manager for Parker Hannifin Tube Fittings Division. As a PM, you tend to get involved in all areas of the business – sales, marketing, operations, supply chain, engineering, and accounting – all while being the customer-facing lead for your product. In any given day, I may be visiting a customer to solve an engineering problem, pitching a new product to internal and external shareholders, working on new product development with engineering, or creating a new marketing strategy. It is a very dynamic role—it requires active listening and understanding of the customer and their pain points as well as internal communication, collaboration, and leadership to get things done. One of the best things you can learn from Edheads is a framework for critical problem solving (you will have to solve problems no matter what your future holds).

What is your educational background and motivation to pursue your field of study?

MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Business. MS in Mechanical Engineering from Miami (OH) University. My strengths in school were always math and science and I was always driven to understanding how things worked. I remember being the 5 year old that took everything apart down to the circuit boards just to see how it all went together. I ended up following my strengths into a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Engineering was a great degree because it combined what I was good at, but more so, helped me realize an interest in creating things and leading teams. In my undergraduate and later during my MBA I always found myself helping to lead small teams to create new products or proposals. I wasn’t always the “best” engineer or designer, but I did always have a way of finding out how to bring people with different strengths together to form great teams.

What have you struggled with or overcome in your educational or life path to your current job?

What is the best part of your job or research?

I love that no two days are the same and that I get involved with such a wide range of projects and departments. I always knew I never wanted to be a traditional design engineer and wanted to get more immersed with the customer and helping to solve their problems.

What is the worst part of your job or research?

It can be challenging to have a great idea but maybe not have the resources or the time to invest in it.

What is the most exciting part of your job?

I love working with people and seeing a new product from start to finish. It’s really great to see something you’ve worked on be appreciated by a customer and used for the benefit of others. It’s even more rewarding when you can do that within a collaborative team environment.

What is your most memorable career-related moment?

One of my favorite customers I got to work with was SpaceX. We worked very closely over the years and I got to visit their facility many times and work with some very smart people on a specific design function for their launch pads.

What has changed about your profession in the past ten years?

There has been a lot of changes in the Motion & Control space. First, the industry is aging quite a bit and we’ve seen a huge influx of the younger generation getting involved in a historically mature industry. With workforce turnover you certainly lose a lot of expertise, but it’s also given the industry a bit of exciting energy around the future. Second, the technology itself has changed and we’re seeing a major trend in electrification, Internet of Things (IOT), electronic controls, etc which will be very interesting to see how it all develops in the years to come.

What do you think will change in your industry in the next ten years?

Certainly, there will be more advancement around Internet of Things (IOT) and integrating large-scale industry with the cloud. I also think the electrification trend will continue across mobile vehicle platforms.