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Career Connections: Mechanical Engineer

6 minutes

(Describer) Beside four different-size different-color circles connected by lines, title: Career Connections.

(Describer) Title: Mechanical Engineer.

My name is Nick Flores. I'm a lead engineer at GE Aviation in Cincinnati, Ohio. If you look up and see a plane overhead and look at the engines, chances are those are made by GE Aviation. We make engines for commercial and military applications.

(male) We have a very big responsibility. At any moment, there are many people flying in the sky.

(Describer) Marcos Balmaseda:

As we say here at GE, "It is our job to lift people up and bring them home safely."

(Flores) At GE Aviation, mechanical engineers design the parts you see on a jet engine. It starts with an idea or concept. We can start with a conceptual design,

(Describer) Valeria Procano Cadena:

which is pretty much a blank sheet of paper. You have requirements. You do hand calculations. Once through that process, you go to the next level, which is computer modeling and analysis. Essentially, you're taking something from paper and making it a physical part and making sure it fits in the engine and works properly.

(Describer) Balmeseda:

I work on the stress analysis team. My main job is to meet with the design team to make sure I understand under what conditions this part is going to be working and operating. I put this into a computer program that tries to simulate what happens in the field. Once we do this, we have all of these results. I have to make sure that they make sense. This is exactly what I would expect from this part working under these conditions.

(Flores) Then you take all the results and those calculations

(Describer) Flores:

and present them to our chief engineers, get them to agree that it is a good design. You take it to the manufacturing facility and work with them to ensure it's made exactly like you need. As a mechanical engineer, my day varies greatly. But generally, we have a lot of meetings. With a complex machine, like a jet engine, you constantly are working with different people and making sure you're all on the right course. One of the other things is to document your work. You have to put in a presentation or written form what you did, why you did it, and what the results were. I try to get out to the shop floor, see the hardware, try to identify any issues you can't necessarily find looking at a computer screen. Every day I have a different challenge.

(Describer) Cadena:

My days are not always the same. I love that. I love being challenged. It's very fast paced. We commit to dates. We have to make it work, make it happen, make it right. Once you create something, it has your name. You see this huge, complicated system working together, you get a thrill out of it. That's just what makes mechanical engineering so epic.

(Describer) Balmeseda:

(Balmaseda) As a kid in Cuba, when an airplane flew by, I told my friends, "I want to design one of those." They would laugh at me. Since then, I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I never quit, and here I am.

(Describer) Flores:

(Flores) As a kid, I'd find discarded things. I'd disassemble it to see what it does and looks like. That was my path to become an engineer.

(Describer) Cadena:

I was a very curious girl. I always tried to understand how everything was put together. When I came from Ecuador, my friend was turboing his car and making modifications. I got really interested. I went to a junkyard with friends and got a motorcycle engine. We took it apart and analyzed why things were done a certain way. That's when I realized that engineering was my thing. I did an internship at Cummins Diesel Engines. That really helped me out by getting that experience while I was in college. I got my bachelor's in mechanical engineering and I'll be going to Ohio State for my master's in mechanical engineering. Computer classes were some of my favorite classes when I was in high school.

(Describer) Balmeseda:

I got my associate degree in computer science. My first internship was a small company that builds interiors for private jets. I returned to school, got my bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, and I am working on my master's degree in aerospace engineering.

(Describer) Flores:

I got my bachelor of science in mechanical engineering. After that, I joined the GE Edison Engineering Development Program. They gave me the opportunity to get my master's in mechanical engineering. I started at GE Oil and Gas, but after a few years, I wanted a different type of challenge. So I decided to join GE Aviation. I love engineering more than ever now. For a mechanical engineer, GE Aviation is like working at Candyland. It's the highest form of mechanical engineering there is. We start from scratch, do all the calculations using the best software to design one of the most complex machines on the planet. Then it comes to life. That's a great reason to wake up every day.

Funding to purchase and make this educational production

(Describer) Titles: For more information, visit OhioMeansJobs.com. CET, Think TV, Public Media Connect. Copyright 2015. Funding to purchase and make this educational program accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Contact the Department of Education by telephone at 1-800-USA-LEARN, or online at www.ed.gov.

accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education:

PH: 1-800-USA-LEARN (V) or WEB: www.ed.gov.

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Meet three mechanical engineers who are designing the next generation of jet engines at a major U.S. company. They explain how their curiosity about how things work led them to advanced engineering degrees and cool careers with aircraft engines. Part of the "Career Connections" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 6 minutes

Career Connections
Episode 1
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 2
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 3
3 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 4
5 minutes
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Career Connections
Episode 5
5 minutes
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Episode 6
4 minutes
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Episode 7
7 minutes
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Episode 8
7 minutes
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Episode 9
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Career Connections
Episode 10
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