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National Engineers Week: Celebrating the contribution of engineers at Safran businesses across the U.S.

Human resources

National Engineers Week – observed this year from February 20 through 26 – is an invitation to increase the understanding of engineering and technology careers with the goal of ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce.

Ana Isabel Villanueva Del Fierro

At Safran – a leading technology player – engineers play a key role in keeping the company at the forefront of innovation in the aerospace and defense sectors.

To celebrate National Engineers Week, we are proud to shine a light on a group of women and men who share key lessons, tips, and takeaways from their diverse engineering careers.

Name: Ana Isabel Villanueva Del Fierro
Job function:Supplier Quality Manager
Safran business: Safran USA
Degree(s): M.S. in Engineering Technology-Engineering Management
Question: How do you apply your engineering education and experience to your current role?
Answer: A big misconception about engineering is the thought that you will always be working with some complicated equations, but it is not the case. I don’t use complicated formulas in my day-to-day activities. What I am applying is the problem-solving mindset that is developed in engineering school. My education gave me the tools to become a better problem solver, analyzing, and taking decisions in difficult situations.

Name: Adam Long
Job function: Electrical Engineer
Safran business: Safran Electrical & Power
Degree(s): B.S. in Electrical Engineering
Question: What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?
Answer: Sometimes staying focused while doing a repetitive task can be challenging. I like to think of the bigger picture and see what the task leads to. This brings excitement and motivation to do the best job possible.

Name: Ricardo Palmas
Job function: Senior Systems Engineer
Safran business: Safran Electronics & Defense Avionics USA
Degree(s): M.S. in Mechanical Engineering.
Question: What is your proudest professional moment or biggest career achievement?
Answer: On a regional jet horizontal stabilizer system* that Safran makes, I found  the cause of a problem affecting in-service aircraft…then proposed (and verified) the software changes which would address this problem. The issue required mixed-domain knowledge (mechanical, electrical, software) to fully understand.
*A horizontal stabilizer system is incorporated in the tail section to maintain control and stability of an aircraft’s pitch axis.

Name: Neal Flusche
Job function: Reliability Engineer
Safran business: Safran Seats USA
Degree(s): B.S. in Mechanical Engineering
Question: Why did you choose to pursue a career in engineering?
Answer: I was interested in engineering as a very young child, even before I really knew what engineering was. I had several members in my extended family who all were working as engineers. My dad owned and operated a metal fabrication business for much of my childhood and always had all sorts of different engineering type shows on TV. Additionally, my grandfather had his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and began his career in aerospace. As I continued in school, my strongest subjects were math and science, so I knew engineering was the career path I also was going to take.

Name: Mabel Gonzalez
Job function: Product Engineer
Safran business: Safran Cabin
Degree(s): B.S. in Mechanical Engineering
Question: What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?
Answer: As an engineer, I tended to be focused on technical information, and it was difficult for me to sell my ideas. I overcame it with practice and feedback from my team and manager. Data speaks for itself, but I have learned that you could help your approach by breaking down details as a backup. Some examples are determining the influence that the idea will create, providing objective evidence of why it is the best solution, the risks of implementation and how it addresses the problem. As a piece of advice, sometimes, reviewing your proposal in the third person and as your own auditor is useful as you detect questions that might arise.  

Name: Ronald Braen
Job function: Engineering Test Services Manager
Safran business: Safran Aerosystems Evacuation
Degree(s): M.S. in Engineering Management
Question: What are some of the key skills required in your role?
Answer: Problem-solving and communications! Problem-solving skills are required to find efficient solutions to problems that occur. This also includes implementing solutions to potential problems to prevent them from occurring. To effectively communicate is another key skill in my role. I am required to interface with all departments and external customers to schedule, implement, and complete testing and engineering activities. Having good communications skills allows me to efficiently manage all these aspects and interface with all required entities.

Name: Scott Homac
Job function: Engineering Product Line Manager
Safran business: Safran Aerosystems Oxygen Systems
Degree(s): B.S. in Mechanical Engineering
Question: What is your proudest professional moment?
Answer: Being part of the engineering team that worked on the design and development of a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) mask system for the U.S. Department of Defense.  The initial design and development phase was competitive; our product design was down-selected by the Department of Defense to move into the next development phase, and Safran eventually was awarded with the production contract – which currently is being executed.

Ana Isabel Villanueva Del Fierro
Ana Isabel Villanueva Del Fierro
Ana Isabel Villanueva Del Fierro
© Safran
Adam Long
Adam Long
Adam Long
© Safran
Ricardo Palmas
Ricardo Palmas
Ricardo Palmas
© Safran
Neal Flusche
Neal Flusche
Neal Flusche
© Safran
Mabel Gonzalez
Mabel Gonzalez
Mabel Gonzalez
© Safran
Ronald Braen
Ronald Braen
Ronald Braen
© Safran
Scott Homac
Scott Homac
Scott Homac
© Safran
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