Emma Luigard

IMSE Undergraduate Class of 2016

Pratt & Whitney

What does the Company do? Pratt & Whitney is an Aerospace manufacturer that produces both Commercial and Military Engines, serving 500 customers in 121 countries and employing more than 30,000 employees worldwide. Pratt & Whitney is a leader in the development of game-changing technologies in the aviation industry, powering more the 25 percent of commercial engines as well as military fighters such as the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lighting II. Its headquarters are in East Hartford, Connecticut.

Current role: Industrial Engineer for Compression Systems Modular Center

A day in the life of an Industrial Engineer at CSMC:

My main role as an Industrial Engineer at CSMC is to support Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) production. Pratt & Whitney has not had an Industrial Engineering team in around 20 years, so a large amount of my day is spent on time studies and looking at machine capacity for the floor.

Below is an example of a recent day I’ve had:

7:30 AM: I start my work day around 7:30. My plant is fairly lax about when you work your hours since sometimes you have to work across shifts. Many of our operations run for hours at a time so this kind of flexibility is ideal.

8:00 AM: I usually spend the first half hour checking emails. This particular day took a bit longer since I had just gotten back from a week visit at another plant (PCI). I spent some time to file trip specific emails to a file folder in my inbox.

9:00 AM: I share responsibility for JSF support, so usually after I’ve checked my emails for the morning I like to touch base with the other IE that assists. This particular morning we were focused on a deliverable for our boss which included Risk Weighted Savings numbers for Value Events that had been completed in 2017. We also are working on creating business cases to request funding for new JSF projects for 2018. This involves meeting with the Manufacturing Engineer who owns the project topics, so we set up a meeting for later in the day to discuss numbers.

10:00 AM: Recently we had some support changes within the IE group here at CSMC, and I became reassigned the JSF project.  This has involved some reading up and learning on my part to become more familiar with my new parts. Luckily I share a cubicle with the coworker that previously supported the JSF project so I can always ask questions if need be, but today I sat down with him formally to talk about projects that he had been working on and who to get in touch with the continue moving forward on JSF needs.

10:30 AM: Since we’re meeting with the ME’s at 2:00 now is my time to starting consolidating notes, and looking further into data we collected at PCI from the week previous. I like to keep a journal of what I do each day at work, which is also where I like to keep my daily notes. I spent the next few hours consolidating everything into a concise file that I’ll send, along with coworkers’ notes, to the IE at PCI.

11:30 AM: Most days I work through lunch, and this day was no different. I ate at my desk and continued to work on the Excel file of time studies and PCI observation.

2:00 PM: Time to meet with the ME’s, so we head out onto the floor where their offices are located. We discuss the risks and benefits of the business case topics they selected.  These focus on updating milling and drilling tooling, and how we burr parts. The most difficult part of creating these business cases is determining the time we need from ME’s and programmers to develop these new tooling programs, which creates the bulk of the budget.

3:00 PM: Weekly IE team meeting! We get together to get the flow down from our Pratt & Whitney IE lead, and to touch base with each other on the projects we’re currently working on. This is an important part of the week because it allows us all time to discuss common issues so we stay consistent across the team, and share knowledge.

4:00 PM: Time to hit the gym before heading home.

Why did I choose P&W: With the new formation of the IE department I thought it would be a good opportunity to help build basics from the ground-up, and who doesn’t want to help build jet engines everyday.  The Aerospace industry is cool!

What’s the end goal? Honestly, I don’t know! Right now I’m focused on learning, getting familiar with the industry and doing the best job that I can. There are so many opportunities within P&W and within United Technologies (they own P&W) as a company that offer me a lot of movement if I wish, so maybe in the future I will take advantage of that.

Most surprising thing I didn’t expect coming out of college? Finding friends in the workplace. I got very lucky and there are 3 fresh out of college IE’s on our 10 person team. We all moved to CT from different states, and are completely on our own here. Previously I was always believed it was best to keep friends and work separate but having friends around the office helps on those crazy office days.

Least favorite thing about Pratt & Whitney: New departments are really great, but they also come with a lot of growth. Changes don’t happen overnight and with our department being the first IE team in almost 20 years gaining legitimacy can be difficult.

My 2 Cents – Don’t stop learning! Listen to what people have to say, ask questions!

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