Monthly Archives: March 2019

Mechanical Engineering Job Search

When looking for a job, ask yourself three questions

  • What do I want to work in?
  • Where do I want to work?
  • Which company is most suited to my future career?

Do a simple search on LinkedIn for mechanical engineering jobs and you’ll see the diverse fields in which a mechanical engineer can work, such as product design, manufacturing, HVAC maintenance, piping systems design, etc… Since there are so many different types of jobs, I started evaluating my preferences. There are two fields that I’m really keen on, first is automation services that will enhance my control and system modelling skills. I also want to get more practice with logic programming and instrumentation coding. The second field is power systems regulation and management, particularly in the renewable energy sector, despite it being more related to electrical engineering. I also like to work on CAD/CAM, skills that are mostly related to product design, validation, and development.

Company size, culture and established locations are also very important to me. Jobs available in the United States and Europe intrigue me, but my top locations are Seattle, New York, and Toronto. In terms of company size, I prefer a global company with job openings everywhere in the world. A globalized company will also allow for more internal mobility, in case I want to switch jobs across departments. A dynamic work environment and a motivated and cooperative team are what I look for in company culture. All these contribute to which jobs I apply to.

A couple companies are on my radar. Siemens is a German conglomerate company with heavy emphasis on automation. Some of their notable divisions are industrial automation, energy automation, building technologies, and drive technology. They have major branch offices in Germany, US and China. They have a prominent division called Gamesa Renewable Energy that have provided wind turbines to offshore and onshore wind farms in the UK and Denmark. An exciting recent development that Siemens Canada acquired is designing the power grid for New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, formally called the Smart Grid Atlantic Project. This project aims to analyzes challenges and opportunities involved in integrating renewables and improving the grid’s reliability and efficiency. I hope that by landing a job with Siemens Canada that I can transition to Siemens in US and participate in their engineering training programs. Another company I would be excited to work for is General Electric. GE is along the same lines as Siemens, a global product-focused company, except they started in the States. In terms of innovation, I think Siemens is a bit more sustainability centered.

There are also lots of regional and local companies I could apply to, not to mention the consulting field is another huge area for engineers to work in. I will explore these in the next blog.

Talk to you soon!

 

 

Engineering Mentoring: Tour of Corvus Energy

As I mentioned in the previous blog, my mentor is a senior engineer at Corvus Energy. This Monday, he showed me and another engineering mentee around their office and factory. Corvus Energy is a company that makes energy storage solutions, with their most novel product being arrays of battery banks for marine applications, from yachts to ferries. Their ingenuity comes from the robustness, reliability and modular ability of their product. Moreover, it has the flexibility meet different demands of various sizes of marine vessels, from small yachts to large ferries like Scandlines M/V Berlin, a Scandinavian fleet that travels between different ports of Denmark, Germany and Sweden. Seeing a Canadian technology emerge and be competitive in the global market was really impressive, especially when you consider the context. Scandinavia contains some of the world’s most sustainable countries that have made strides at implementing sustainable technology. Yet, it’s a Canadian company that has helped them make their ferries hybrid. Following this trend, I’m hoping that Metro Vancouver, with it’s Renewable City Action plan, will become one of Corvus Energy’s strong corporate client and partner down the road.

The tour gave me such an inspiration. The space was very bright, colorful, and full of energy. When I arrived at the office building, I could immediate tell it was an engineering work space. A section of the building was dedicated to testing and product improvement, with prototypes and instrumentation equipment laid out on work benches. What I also loved about the space was the openness. There was no barrier, no cubicle, allowing the engineers to exchange ideas, and to collaborate.

At the factory, my mentor showed us their product assembly line. On the roller table, there were numerous unfinished products, each representing a stage in the assembly process. Not only were the battery units assembled in the factory, they also underwent stringent testing and validation at every stage. A number of quality control gates were especially designed to ensure the final product will have zero defects before they are deconstructed and shipped off to clients. The cool thing about the factory was how it was expanding. Since Corvus Energy is a growing company, it required more assembly and storage space to accommodate new products. My mentor showed us how they had to build a second level in the warehouse and a new assembly line for new generation product.

With this sort of clean and organized work environment, both in the office and the factory, Corvus Energy employees can truly exert their full potential. My mentor also expressed the importance of connecting the office and factory so engineers can work more cohesively with the technicians on the floor. In my future work space, I would like to work not only with the products I design, but more importantly, establish a strong relationship with the people whose decisions I make affect.

If you want to check out Corvus Energy, here’s their website: https://corvusenergy.com. They have internships and Co-op positions available, so don’t be afraid to reach out!

Tune-in next time for more updates.