The Engineering Career Coach Podcast provides engineering career advice to engineers of all ages and experience levels. Engineering Management Institute and bestselling author Anthony Fasano, PE coaches engineers on the show ranging from recent engineering graduates to engineers from the best engineering consulting firms on different engineering career goals and challenges.
Each show includes a motivational segment, a live coaching session with an engineer on real career challenges, and an engineer career-changing tip. Topics covered include but are not limited to job search, goal setting, finding a mentor, communication skills, public speaking, networking, organizational skills, productivity, leadership and more.
TECC 249: Life Cycle Engineering and How It Fits Into Integrated Product Support
In this episode, we talk to Lucas Marino, D.Eng., PMP, CMRP, a systems engineer and integrated logistics support manager - entrepreneur, and owner of EAST Partnership and MCS, LLC, about life cycle engineering and how it fits into integrated product support.
Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About Life Cycle Engineering and Integrated Product Support
Military logistics engineering is everything you must do to sustain and care for complex weapons systems once they are built. It includes things like training the crew, supply chain, maintenance, and many more. Most of the analysis is during the logistics product development. The analysis provides data on reliability, the criticality of failure, how to design suitable maintenance programs, reduce the risk of failures, and maintenance strategies. The accumulated data contributes to the maintenance task analysis and level of repair analysis. In the military, having the asset available and fully functional is always goal number one.
Life cycle engineering can get extremely complicated very quickly. It must be brought to the fundamentals and the basics. Do not get caught up in making things even more intricate. Ensure that the correct level of maintenance and analysis is plotted in your plan before the work starts and is then iteratively updated during the work.
Communication is vitally important in life cycle engineering. Ensure you have the correct stakeholders involved to be sure you are communicating with the right people. When putting a team together, ensure that they will account for the end user, or the analysis will be flawed. To do this, you must select the right people based on how they will communicate and integrate into the team. Once you have a team, you need to put a routine in place with a pace and an expected level of interaction. When you have all these paths of communication, you are also managing expectations. Team leaders will gain trust if they are transparent and deliver enough guidance for the team to succeed.
You cannot spend a year developing a strategy that will not help the end user. If a task needs completing, it is sent to a particular team to get it done. For that team to get the work done, the maintenance task analysis then develops a step-by-step procedure, on that system, in that operating context. So, you do the maintenance task analysis in the operation or environmental context of the asset. You then develop the procedure with those people and resources and then find out what technicians, parts, supplies, consumables, training, and technical manuals are needed. The maintenance task analysis documents everything that was done and stored in your repository of logistics data. All the data captured over the years is then taken into consideration when putting a strategy together. Things like how much work there is, how long it will take, what equipment and tools are needed, and what it will cost are assembled and used to predict the resource demands that are given to the end users.
A master project programmer or manager figures out how to extract the most value from many project management methods and approaches and brings them together. Tailored ways on how to combine bureaucratic and agile teams are needed. You must assess the context operation of your project, figure out what is going to work best, and what tools you need to have in place—and remember that risk is the blanket that covers everything. You must bring the technical and business sides together in a way that supports the project. Time is of the essence, and the budget is not infinite. Work with people ahead of the charter development to properly account for the time you anticipate it will take.
When working for the different sectors of the military, remember that while they all have similar approaches, they are all entirely different
TECC 248: Growing as an Engineering Leader and the Experience of Writing About It in a Sci-Fi Novel
In this episode, I talk to Matthew G. Dick, P.E., an engineering leader working at a transportation technology company and moonlighting as a sci-fi author. Matthew talks about his career journey growing as an engineering leader and the experience while writing about it in a sci-fi novel.
Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About Growing as an Engineering Leader and the Experience of Writing About It in a Sci-Fi Novel
Matthew’s book, “SEED,” follows an engineer who is trying to kick-start the first interplanetary colony on Mars. They run into many problems, and ultimately must return home. On their journey home, the engineer has an epiphany about how to transport people to another solar system with technology that we have today. The book has a science fiction approach that is as scientifically correct as possible. It then moves on to show how the engineer is living and surviving on a new planet. By the end of the book, there is a self-sustaining civilization on the new planet. The book is set in a way that it parallels building and running a company.
Matthew has always been a big sci-fi fan. He thought of the sci-fi part of book during his travels for work. Matthew was experiencing a difficult time at work while he was writing his book. The leadership and business side of the book came about when he was thinking of ways to make his work situation better.
You could come to a point in your life where you start looking for things to make you not think of work all the time. Writing a book is a perfect way to accomplish this. Once you have completed the first chapter, you will be compelled to continue writing the rest of the book.
It is a good idea to use your own story as the baseline for a book. You can make a story out of what you have experienced and felt in the past, what you are doing to make it better, and end off with what you are striving for.
Dealing with stress, and not letting it eat away at you, is one of the more challenging things that someone can face. Stress management is an important thing and having a hobby can help you with it. If you continually think about stressful things, then you will be stressed all the time. Having a hobby will help you to think of fun things about your hobby, and not the stressful things all the time.
If you continuously get the same problems in your career, you need to analyze what is causing this problem to keep on popping up. Sometimes some self-reflecting is needed because it could be you causing this problem without you realizing it. You may find that you need to change things about yourself and the things around you to be happy.
As an engineering leader, you need to have the ability to self-reflect and implement change in yourself. You need to reform yourself as you are growing as a leader, because the tools and tactics you used earlier in your career will not work later in your career.
You can learn to become a manager and leader, but it does take work for you to be successful at it. You need be able to grow and change yourself. Do not be shy about asking your seniors questions and learn from them.
More in This Episode…
In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Matthew talks about how you can move through your career and become the leader that you want to become.
About Matthew G. Dick, P.E.
Matthew G. Dick, P.E., an engineering leader, has recently published his first science fiction novel, which has a great leadership growth theme about an astronaut building the first sustainable colony on an exoplanet. Matthew is a big fan of Patrick Lencioni's books, which teach leadership growth through fictional stories, and used them as inspiration to write a full-length leadership growth novel with STEM and humor themes mixed in.
“Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries...
TECC 247: How LEDs Changed the World of Engineering (Solid State Lighting)
In this episode, we talk to Prof. Russell D. Dupuis, Ph.D., an electrical engineer, and professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and co-winner of this year's Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, talks about the use of LED (solid-state lighting) in engineering and how LEDs changed the world and will continue to do so.
Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About How LEDs Changed the World of Engineering:
LEDs have been studied for many years but were only made available commercially in the mid-1980s. Today we have a wide variety of high-efficiency LEDs. They are in computer screens, cell phone screens, car headlights and taillights, indicator-type lights, and many more.
With LEDs being very energy-efficient and adopted and adapted across the planet for lighting applications of all kinds, they have potentially saved trillions of kilowatts of electricity. They could save many power plants and reduce carbon emissions by the 2050 time frame. Lighting has become so efficient and effective that some of it gets wasted. If LED fixtures are designed correctly, they can be utilized a lot more efficiently than sodium lighting. They are a great solution in rural and underprivileged areas by using them in conjunction with a solar panel and batteries. It is even possible to use LEDs for efficient indoor or remote farming of plants. It is the idea of how astronauts will one day grow vegetables on the surface of Mars.
Ultraviolet LEDs are now used to kill bacteria and various other pathogens. They are also used in water purification, air purification, and surface decontamination.
The biggest breakthrough in the journey of LEDs was when the three- and four-element semiconductors were invented. It opened a wide range of materials that could be used in the further development of LEDs. A method of light extraction from the materials then needed to be developed. Many variables are needed to co-optimize the light extraction from the materials. The materials used to create LEDs were needed to be efficient and cost-effective to produce. Mechanical organic chemical vapor deposition is a method to grow semi-conductive film on insulator sub straights, like sapphire. This method is the basis of the production of all the different colored LEDs that we have today. This process is also used for producing laser diodes and solar cells.
Russell D. Dupuis, Ph.D., was the co-winner of this year's Queen Elizabeth Prize for his work done on the application of materials technology, electronics, and high-frequency electronics. His work is widely used in things like the internet fiber optic cables that stretch across the globe as well as taking care of diseases at a distance. These are immeasurable in value to humanity.
Mentorship and collaboration efforts are critical in this field of engineering. Teamwork is the key to keep moving forward and pushing the boundaries of our knowledge.
More in This Episode…
In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Prof. Russell D. Dupuis, Ph.D., talks about our adoption and the importance of LEDs in technology now, and in the future.
About Prof. Russell D. Dupuis, Ph.D.
Prof. Russell D. Dupuis, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized expert in III-V compound semiconductor epitaxial materials and devices, including optoelectronic and electronic devices. He worked in the industry at Texas Instruments and Rockwell International. He was a Member of Technical Staff and a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff in the Physics Research Division at Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ.
Dupuis was appointed a Chaired Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin in 1989. He joined the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2003 as a full Professor in ECE and Materials Science and the newly established Steve W.
TECC 246: Engineering a Passion for People and the Development of STEM
In this episode, we talk with Charles Muse, a Program Engineering Manager at General Motors in Detroit, Michigan, about his career and some of the major projects he has worked on, including his passion for people and the development of STEM.
Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About Engineering a Passion for People:
Aerodynamics includes the study of the pressure of a fluid over a car. It is about redesigning a car to use its force as a purpose. There are two different ways you can do that:
You can focus more on drag reduction, which is more about energy efficiency. The less pressure there is on a car, the less energy you will have to expel to propel the car down the road.
For a performance car, you need to reduce the overall drag to a degree. However, there are areas of the car that you will need to increase. You will need to design the car from an aerodynamic perspective to take advantage of the forces that are present.
The most exciting part of being part of the General Motors team is that you have a team full of open-minded, can-do attitude people who are marching toward the innovation and the revolution of how we can move people by having a passion for people. The best part of the job is not necessarily what we are working on, but who we are working with and what our ultimate goal is.
When you want to make society a better place, you have to start with engineering because engineers are inherent problem-solvers and critical thinkers. Every time you open your eyes, you see engineering, no matter what it is that you do, whatever technology you use, or what utensils you use in the house; everything that you pretty much touch was engineered.
We all have a passion to solve problems, and problems are not going to go away at any point in time in this world. As long as you have engineers in the world, you will have an army of people trying to resolve those issues.
I think the ultimate goal that we all should have is being able to have the next generation start where we ended. There is a melting pot of diverse talents, ideas, and perceptions, and that is probably the most resilient thing you can build in any team.
It doesn’t matter where you start or what your background is — when you start to deep root in your passions and follow those things, everything else becomes so much easier. Make sure that everything you love to do, you are actually doing.
More in This Episode…
In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Charles provides us with an actionable tip on how you can take action and follow your passion.
About Charles Muse
Charles Muse joined General Motors (GM) in 2011 as a University intern at the Milford Proving Grounds. At the time, he was the only African American intern studying Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, an uncommon discipline in the automotive field. Since joining GM, Charles has excelled in various assignments, each growing in scope and responsibility. He has held positions across multiple functions and commodities, including Global Noise & Vibration, Chassis, Energy & Aerodynamics, Engineering Operations, Design & Release Engineering, as well as Autonomous and Electrified Vehicle Engineering. During this time, he was quickly recognized as high potential and promoted to lead roles as a result of his virtuous leadership, ability to innovate, effective team building, drive for results, and track record of exceeding business standards.
Muse holds the position of Program Engineering Manager within GM’s division of Autonomous & Electrified Vehicles. He is currently working on the Cruise Origin, which is a future autonomous ridesharing vehicle and collaborative project involving GM, Honda, and Cruise. As the only African American in his department,
TECC 245: The Three C’s to Working Through Difficult Life Events as an Engineer
In this episode, I talk to Michael Tranmer, PEng, MSc, PMP, a bestselling author, professional engineer, and TEDx speaker talks about how he worked through difficult life events and how those events led to opening some great opportunities in his engineering career.
Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About Working Through Difficult Life Events as an Engineer:
Sometimes things that happen in your life can cause a lot of pain, confusion, and changes. When these difficult life events happen, you need to look for new opportunities that have arisen because of the things that have happened to you.
The three C’s to working through difficult life events are:
Commitment: You must commit to making the changes that will make your circumstances better and begin to move forward yourself because nobody else is coming to save you.
Clarity: Get clarity on who you are, things you like to do, and try some new things to find out more about yourself. It will give you clarity on how to move forward and have a more fulfilled life.
Courage: Have the courage to continue with the new things you start to do, no matter what anybody has to say about the changes you are making to better yourself.
If you are changing and evolving yourself, you must still remember who you are. The people closest to you have things that they love about who you are. It should not be an exercise of completely shattering yourself and starting afresh on rebuilding yourself. You will sometimes need to change things in your life to better suit the new version of you.
The book "Satori Ananda – Awaken to Happiness" is about the time after difficult life events happened in Michael's life, and how he made changes to make it better. The word "Satori" means a flash of enlightenment, and "Ananda" means the bliss of being.
Things that you can do today to help you have a more fulfilled life are to be open and curious to try new things, be humble enough to ask for help, and treat yourself like someone you love.
There are two things you need to do to get out of being stuck in a rut: Do not fear what other people think of you when you pursue your passions, and have the courage to try new things and put yourself out there.
Courage is a muscle that you can build by learning from your successes and failures. As you do more courageous acts, you build the courage muscle and become more fearless every time you do them.
More in This Episode…
In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Michael talks about a great idea on meditation that he has created.
About Michael Tranmer, PEng, MSc, PMP
Michael Tranmer, PEng, MSc, PMP is the author of “Satori Ananda – Awaken to Happiness,” a memoir about his conscious awakening following the sudden end of his marriage. He is a leader in Western Canada in the highly specialized field of coastal engineering, where he designs and builds infrastructure along the British Columbia (BC) coast. Michael connects all his teachings to his experience adventuring deep in the BC backcountry. His TEDx talk, Re-engineer your life and awaken to happiness, is available to view on YouTube.
“A mind that is stretched by new experiences can never go back to its old dimensions.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Books Mentioned in This Episode:
Satori Ananda – Awaken to Happiness
Resources and Links Mentioned in This Session Include:
Michael Tranmer’s website
Connect with Michael Tranmer, PEng, MSc, PMP, on LinkedIn
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you might share on how you work through difficult life events as an engineer.
Please leave your comments, feedback, or questions in the section below.
TECC 244: Practical Problem-Solving Skills for Engineers
In this episode, I talk to Andrew Sario, an intelligent transport systems engineer and OT cyber specialist, creator of Engineering IRL, and engineering book author, about problem-solving skills for engineers. Andrew provides some great tips that will help you to master these skills and become the best engineer you could be. Be sure to listen to the end of this episode for a special offer from guest Andrew Sario.
Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About Practical Problem-Solving Skills for Engineers:
When working on many different projects, work on each one cyclically. It will make it easier to transition from one to the other and know what you need to do next. Breaking up each project into smaller chunks helps you not feel overwhelmed by the entire project.
The book, “10+1 Steps to Problem Solving: An Engineer's Guide,” is born from Andrew’s practical experiences. If you encounter similar problems repetitively, you begin to learn how to solve them quicker and easier. Many problems are solved by taking the same steps as used with other problems. Use this book in conjunction with the problem-solving techniques that you already have. It is a tool to help you think about the problem you have and solve it.
Engineering problem-solving consists of breaking down big problems into smaller, solvable, individual parts and then putting them back together to solve the bigger problem. Many engineering problems are bigger than what one person can solve. Using a team to solve this problem is beneficial. Engineers capture the best practices over time to solve problems more safely and efficiently than before.
If a problem has a known solution, then use it. Sometimes you need to use tools that give you a different perspective of the problem to solve the problem.
The two key things you need to do consistently to improve your reputation and recognition in your workspace are:
Whatever tasks are given to you, no matter how small or trivial, do them well.
Look for solutions to the problems that are standing in the way of your team moving forward. It will give people the mentality to see you as a problem-solver. When doing this, remember to keep step 1 in context.
To get better at solving problems, you need to practice solving problems. Be happy if you fail in solving some of the problems you face. It adds to your practicing, and you learn what not to do next time.
The 10+1 Steps to Problem-Solving for Engineers Are:
Are you asking the correct question? - Make sure you are asking the correct question from the beginning of your problem-solving techniques.
The obvious. - Try the known solutions. If they do not work the first time, try them again, and they might work.
Eyes. - Ensure you have all the correct tools in place to give you clues about the problem.
Check yourself. - Check yourself before you wreck yourself. Make sure that all the basics are in place before getting too technical about solving the problem.
Google it. - You do not have to know everything already, so Google for solutions to your problem. If you have a specific problem, there are online forums that you can consult about it.
The R.T.F.M. protocol. - Read the manual. You could be surprised by the information you find in it.
Strip. - Strip down the complexities of the problem and look for something basic to solve first. Prove you know something about the problem.
What about the environment? - Look for things outside of your problem that could be influencing or impacting it.
Phone a friend. - Ask someone who might know of a solution.
Pray - Talk about your problem aloud to yourself. Find an inanimate object and tell it the problem you have and what is needed to solve it.
I am doing my work training. Ran into a familiar voice on the RedVector training.
Been listening to your podcast before hand. But what are the odds of that?!?
Keep up the good work man. Thank you!
Best podcast for soft skills for engineers
Enjoyed hearing Laura Berman’s episode. Jeff Perry is passionate about helping engineers through career pivots and brings the best out of the guests through the podcast with actionable insights.
Exactly what engineers need right now
This podcast is exactly what engineers need right now. With a range of topics covering personal and professional development, they are providing needed value to build up and influence the engineering community. Thanks for keeping it going!