My journey into Research & Development began when I took an internship with Heraeus working on an Research & Development project around optics, measuring strength of glass tubes. That internship allowed me to experience a variety of engineering specialties and work in pure Research & Development. After my internship, I joined the team in 2011. I work on a team based in Buford, Georgia where we have a lot of freedom to investigate problems and come with different engineering solutions.
There is no typical day in my job. I analyze data from new and existing processes, install new technologies on draw towers (that make measurements), or research new technologies that could be applied in innovative ways to our products or manufacturing technologies. My manager gives my team a lot of freedom to get the job done right while exploring new ideas.
By working at Heraeus, I’ve learned that good Research & Development is driven by the need to solve our customers’ problems and thereby, drive revenue for the company. Competition is really tight, so we need to always look for ways to optimize efficiencies and find our competitive edge. One of the projects I worked on for a customer was on our fiber-optic preforms. A customer was having problems with glass breakage when the composite objects were heated up for welding. Our team found a way to create a useable tip by studying and modifying the annealing process for the preforms, providing a stronger piece of glass for the customer. We have the latitude and open space we need to keep our customers happy.