Engineering Insights

Engineering Insights
By ENJEsight Media
About this podcast
The modern engineer is involved in fascinating projects indeed. Designing and developing the technologies and infrastructure that shape the societies we live in. The most effective and efficient engineers have many abilities besides just technical know how. What are these abilities that are vital to their success? That is what we are here to find out.
Welcome to Engineering Insights. We bring you leaders from all engineering disciplines. They share with you some of their stories; How they got to where they are today, the amazing projects that they have been involved with, lessons learned so far.
If you are an engineering student: this podcast is made for you. It can be hard figuring out in which direction to steer your career. These interviews cast a light on some of the many possible paths that are available to you. May you have the courage and determination to follow your interests. These recordings also broaden your understanding of the various engineering disciplines, organizations, and sectors – this knowledge will be useful to you when the time comes to collaborate on multidisciplinary projects. Remember: no engineer is an island. Finally, our guests share practical advice on everything from job hunting to large scale collaboration. Once in awhile, we’ll have bonus episodes that focus on certain key professional skills like how to maximize team brainstorming, or how to manage a productive meeting, or how to nail the interview, etc.
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Latest episodes
May 2, 2016
Becca del Monte is a product engineer at OXO, the award-winning manufacturer of cooking tools and housewares. Becca is a graduate of the Stanford Engineering Product Design program. Connect with Becca del Monte via Linkedin. Listen to the episode on iTunes. Stream the episode below or by clicking here. Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as”. Discussion timestamps: 00:26 - A passion for creation. 01:06 - An overview of OXO. 02:16 - What is the universal design principle? 03:35 - Becca's role in the design / production chain. 05:37 - Getting ready for her first business trip to China. 06:46 - Becca's interests in High School. 07:34 - Talking about the Product Design course at Stanford - combining Mech and Arts. 08:45 - Finding one's path through internships. 10:01 - Tips on how to land internships: networking with alumni. 11:20 - Studying in Berlin via the CBYX Youth Exchange. 13:08 - Early career lessons. 14:37 - A lengthy job hunt upon returning to San Francisco. 16:31 - Working at Leap Frog - designing componentized buildings. 18:31 - Balancing function and form. 20:46 - Creativity in product engineering. 23:00 - Becca's favorite OXO product. 23:44 - What is the objective of good design? 24:33 - Important qualities for success in engineering. 25:26 - Future tech to watch out for: the improvement of plastics. Leave a review on iTunes. (Much appreciated!) Episode leading picture courtesy of OXO. Stream the episode here:
April 18, 2016
Sandy Huynh has been a technical recruiter in San Francisco for over 10 years. She currently recruits top talent for action camera manufacturer GoPro. Connect with Sandy Huynh via Linkedin. Listen to the episode on iTunes. Stream the episode below or by clicking here. Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as”. Discussion timestamps: 00:26 - Sandy's recruiting experience. 01:48 - The types of positions Sandy hires for: software, hardware, quality. 02:30 - The objective of a good recruiter. 03:04 - How a job description is created. 04:48 - Does the job description matter? 05:52 - The funnel: from 300 applicants to 1 job offer. 07:03 - What Sandy looks for in a resume. 08:58 - The resume is still king. 09:16 - LinkedIn. Recruiters use it. 10:06 - Resume content tips for engineering students. 11:09 - The worst case scenario phone screen. 12:53 - Forget the cover letter. 14:21 - Preparing for the in person interview. 16:20 - Who will be interviewing you? 17:15 - Where does personality come in? 17:40 - What to do if you are struggling during the technical questions? 19:06 - A candidate's presentation going into an interview. 20:25 - Sandy's favorite interview question to ask. 22:08 - The best career advice Sandy has received. Follow Dima on Twitter and on Instagram. Leave a review on iTunes. (Much appreciated!) Episode leading picture courtesy of Flazingo Photo. Stream the episode here:
April 4, 2016
Emily Clopp is a mechanical engineer at SANO Intelligence, a startup that is developing a minimally invasive patch to track blood glucose levels. Emily is a graduate of the Stanford Engineering Product Design program. She has previously worked at GoPro as a sustaining engineer and as a mechanical engineer. Connect with Emily Clopp via Linkedin. Listen to the episode on iTunes. Stream the episode below or by clicking here. Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as”. Discussion timestamps: 01:17 - Emily shares her passion: helping others. 01:41 - SANO is developing a minimally invasive blood glucose tracker. 02:14 - How we currently measure glucose levels... painful pricks. 03:43 - Description of the SANO patch. 04:34 - Working on skin adhesives, dock systems, applicators, materials... 05:53 - The challenges of working with skin. 06:49 - High school interests... 08:07 - Making the switch from environmental engineering to product design. 08:42 - Reminiscing about ME101 at Stanford. 09:51 - Uncertainty about career direction in college. 10:46 - Working at a B2B marketing company. 12:12 - Continuing with marketing at Shaun's Shades. 13:11 - Job hunting after college. Landing a position at GoPro as employee 181. 14:41 - The power of connections. 17:28 - Communication and teamwork skills utilized at GoPro. 19:55 - Working as a sustaining engineering at GoPro. 22:28 - Seeing the products you designed in the hands of users. 23:41 - Advice when working with Chinese vendors: ask all the questions. 25:18 - Teamwork tips: play on people's strengths and check your ego. 26:35 - The big questions: What is the problem? 27:33 - How Emily hopes wearable technologies will change healthcare. 30:40 - Future technologies Emily is excited about. 33:26 - Advice to future engineers. Episode related content: With $10 Million In Seed, Sano Is Building A Metabolic Health Tracker   Follow Dima on Twitter and on Instagram. Leave a review on iTunes. (Much appreciated!) Episode leading picture courtesy of Mama's Health. Stream the episode here:
March 21, 2016
Matthew Graney is an electrical engineer at Cruise Automation, a startup that develops technologies that make your car driverless. Matthew has been at the forefront of transportation technologies for almost a decade. He has worked at Zee.Aero, a company building personal electric aircrafts, as well as at AC Propulsions, a leader in electric vehicle drive systems. Matthew is an alumnus of the University of California San Diego. Connect with Matthew Graney via Linkedin. Listen to the episode on iTunes. Stream the episode below or by clicking here. Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as”. Discussion timestamps: 01:46 - Matt talks about his childhood interests. 02:35 - Specializing in computer networking while in college. 03:18 - Working at Nokia. CDMA vs GSM. 06:16 - Smart Solutions home automation. Using touch screens in the early days. 08:28 - Starting a company: Pro Home Media. 09:49 - How Engineering prepared Matt to run his own business. 10:23 - Takeaways from this business venture. Challenges of flying solo. 12:20 - How Matt landed his job at AC Propulsion. 16:31 - Working as a test engineer. 19:40 - Transitioning into a new industry. 21:03 - Zee-Aero: developing the Jetson car. 22:03 - Roles and responsibilities working at Zee-Aero. 22:42 - Battery Management Systems. 24:08 - Auxiliary Power Supply and Motor Controllers. 25:22 - Talk about lithium Ion battery. 27:31 - Cruise Automation: driverless car technology. 30:02 - Driverless car technology predictions. 31:29 - A few advantages of driverless cars. 32:20 - Teamwork advice: keep track of what everyone is working on. 33:00 - Design advice: keep it simple. 33:46 - Exciting future technologies. 34:32 - Advice to college students: go after internships and make friends. Episode related content: GM Buying Self-Driving Tech Startup for More Than $1 Billion Meet Kyle Vogt, the ‘Robot Guru’ Who Just Sold His Second Billion-Dollar Startup in Two Years. CRUISE RP-1 Intro Video: Follow Dima on Twitter and on Instagram. Leave a review on iTunes. (Much appreciated!) Episode leading picture courtesy of Mercedes. Stream the episode here:
March 7, 2016
Charvi Shetty is a rising entrepreneur who has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal and in Inc.. In 2014, Charvi  founded KNOX medical diagnostics. KNOX has developed a revolutionary cloud-connected portable spirometer for asthmatic children. The device has been featured in Popular Science. Charvi has a degree in bioengineering from the University of California Berkeley and a master's of biomedical engineering from the University of California San Francisco. Connect with Charvi Shetty via Linkedin. Listen to the episode on iTunes. Stream the episode below or by clicking here. Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as”. Discussion timestamps: 01:57 - Guest intro 02:23 - Where Charvi grew up and why she studied bioengineering. 03:11 - Bioengineering / Biotechnology explained. 04:07 - Talk about research in the neuroscience lab at UCSF. 05:06 - Identifying clinical needs before looking for solutions. 06:40 - Opting to pursue a master's instead of entering the workforce. 07:22 - Master's thesis topic: automated algorithm for visceral and subcutaneous fat compartments detection. 08:05 - A historical context of medical imaging and a look at the future. 10:17 - Understanding the brain. 11:20 - 3D printing body parts... is the brain next? 12:00 - An introduction to KNOX. 15:31 - The prevalence of asthma cases in the US. 16:20 - Charvi explains current spirometry technology. 17:57 - Why KNOX is focusing on children patients. 20:53 - How to properly define the problem with the scientific method. 23:19 - A brief description of Agile engineering methodology. 24:18 - The value of mentors. 27:11 - Charvi talks about her roles and responsibilities as CEO. 28:22 - Teamwork tips. 29:06 - Future opportunities for KNOX medical diagnostics. 29:55 - The evolving nature of healthcare and the medical sector. 31:32 - Healthcare: a sector ripe for innovation. 32:43 - Challenges of living the startup life - dealing with uncertainty. 34:37 - Technologies that excite Charvi for the future - prosthetics, 35:45 - Words of advice for young engineers. Episode related content: A BREATH MONITOR FOR KIDS WITH ASTHMA Lessons Learned in Medical Devices by Steve Blank. A BREATH MONITOR FOR KIDS WITH ASTHMA 3 Minute Explanation of Asthma: Example of a Hospital Spirometry Test: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Explained: Follow Dima on Twitter and on Instagram. Leave a review on iTunes. (Much appreciated!) Stream the episode here:
Feb. 29, 2016
Michael Beadle is a Product Designer at GoPro. He has worked as a supply base engineer for Apple, contributing to devices like the Apple watch. Mike has considerable experience in lean manufacturing and as a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) operator. In 2012, he spent half a year with the Flight of the Century team, which holds 5 Guinness world records for manned electric aircraft. Mike is a graduate of Mechanical engineering from California State University Long Beach. Connect with Michael Beadle via Linkedin. Listen to the episode on iTunes. Stream the episode below or by clicking here. Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as”. Discussion timestamps: 02:52 - Where Mike is from, and what he studied in college. 04:06 - What interested Mike in engineering. Early experience with welding and metal fabrication. 05:05 - Going back to college for engineering. 06:03 - Talk about the Formulas SAE team at California State University-Long Beach. 07:52 - Working as a CNC programmer and operator. Designing for manufacture. 10:10 - Lean manufacturing at Boeing. Making tools to make the job easier. 11:53 - What is takt time? 12:46 - Talk about Flight of the Century. Building a high-performance electric aircraft. 15:58 - How Mike got to know Chip Yates and how he landed a spot with the team. 17:38 - Working at Honeywell. Turning tribal knowledge into documentation. 19:05 - Implementing material management tracking and statistically based buying. Just in time purchasing. 20:43 - The importance of applying statistics in product manufacturing. 22:24 - What makes Apple products so appealing? It's all in the details. 23:36 - Apple products that Mike has worked on. 25:00 - What does a supply base engineer do? 26:48 - Advice when working overseas. 27:34 - Working at GoPro as a sustaining engineer and as a product designer. 29:54 - Where does Mike find inspiration? Digging deep with the "why". 31:12 - Trends in manufacturing and skills for the future. 32:04 - Talk about additive manufacturing. 32:56 - Teamwork and leadership advice. 34:01 - Technologies that excite Mike. 35:05 - Advice for young engineers. Episode related content: Manufacturing the Steel Apple Watch casing: Overview of the GoPro Hero4 Session: Chip Yates talks about the Flight of the Century on the TEDX stage:   Follow Dima on Twitter and on Instagram. Leave a review on iTunes. Episode leading image via Apple Youtube video. Stream the episode here:
Feb. 22, 2016
Jose Lara is a PhD candidate at the University of Berkeley California within the Energy and Resources Group. He has a bachelor's and a licentiate in Electrical engineering from the University of  Costa Rica, and a master's in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Waterloo. Jose has experience working on various Energy related projects including hydro generation, electric vehicle deployment, and microgrid architecture. Connect with Jose Lara via Linkedin. Listen to the episode on iTunes. Stream the episode below or by clicking here. Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as”. Discussion timestamps: 03:00 - Guest intro 03:27 - Why Jose decided to study engineering. 06:01 - Helping to rebuild a Hydro generation site - learning the differences between theory and applied engineering. 07:11 - A budding interest in the Energy sector. 08:41 - Having a lab space to enable further learning. 11:58 - Contributing to the deployment of the Nissan Leaf in Costa Rica. Landing a job despite being the youngest candidate. 19:44 - Going back to academia for a master's in electrical and computer engineering. 24:46 - Researching microgrids. Stochastic optimization. Risk minimization. 28:55 - The art and science of model creation. 30:43 - Engineering in the real world: It's not only about the technical skills. 32:43 - Working with Hatch on a microgrid project. Applying academic research to a practical application. 39:51 - The limits of technology. Incorporating economics, finance, and politics. 44:31 - Question to ask when tackling a problem: How will this be implemented? 45:36 - Forecasting the future of our energy system. A trend of decentralization. 48:45 - Future technologies that excite Jose. 50:27 - Final words to engineering students. Episode related content: What is the Smart Grid? by Scientific American: Overview of the Microgrid and the role of storage to reduce cost and improve stability: The UCSD Microgrid - Showing the Future of Electricity ... Today: Using behavioral science to reduce electricity consumption: BBC Podcast My Perfect Country: Costa Rica Follow Dima on Twitter and on Instagram. Leave a review iTunes. Stream the episode here:
Feb. 15, 2016
Hassan Al Madhoun is the Transportation Demand Manager at the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group. He is a professional civil engineer who did his bachelor's and master's at Carleton University. Hassan has been working in the transportation sector for 9 years, with experience in both the private and public sectors, and he has worked on the upcoming Ottawa Light Rail Network. Connect with Hassan via Linkedin. Listen to the episode on iTunes. Stream the episode below or by clicking here. Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as”. Discussion timestamps: 02:27 - Guest intro. 03:00 - How Hassan became interested in engineering and why he chose civil. 04:04 - Broadening horizons with courses in Management, Accounting, Business. 05:32 - Options after graduating from civil engineering. 08:14 - Working by day, master's by night. 08:59 - Transportation equals opportunity. 09:59 - Why Dillon consulting hired Hassan - the power of networking. 11:27 - A wide spectrum of roles and responsibilities as transportation planner. 13:10 - Hassan talks about a development project that has had a lasting 16:16 - The importance of the new Light Rail Transit for Ottawa. 19:54 - Resources and tools available for transportation planning. (Synchro software) 22:47 - What is the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group and what do they do? 27:30 - Lansdowne Park - Strategies to encourage bicycle and public transportation use. 34:12 - Crucial skills to be an effective transportation engineer. 35:58 - Helping design the city that you live in... 37:30 - Hassan's favorite city for public transportation - Portland, Oregon. 37:58 - Technologies that Hassan is excited about. 39:15 - Final words to engineering students. Episode related content: Jonas Eliasson TED Talk - How to solve traffic jams: "Don't tell people how to adapt. Nudge them. If you do it correctly - they'll embrace the change." Follow Dima on Twitter and on Instagram. Leave a review iTunes. Episode image courtesy of Maria Loves Words. Stream the episode here:
Feb. 8, 2016
Nick Kohut is the CEO and co-founder of Dash Robotics. Him and his team are launching their first product, a nature inspired crawling toy robot called the Kamigami robot. It has been featured on Wired and Tech Crunch. Recently Dash Robotics raised over $60,000 on Kickstarter, their second successful crowdfunding campaign. Nick studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and received his master's and doctorate degrees at the University of California Berkeley. Follow Kamigami on Facebook and Twitter. Listen to the episode on iTunes. Stream the episode below or by clicking here. Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as”. Discussion timestamps: 02:30 Guest intro 03:14 Discovering mechanical engineering through a love for cars. 03:59 The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign SAE formula team. 04:50 College internships with Caterpillar, Chrysler, and Ford. 06:00 Pursuing research in academia. 07:21 Master's thesis with the vehicle dynamics lab: Predictive control to improve fuel economy using traffic info. 09:00 Transitioning from master's to doctorate. Insights into the life of a PhD candidate. 11:35 Research on biomimetic robots. 12:36 What intrigues Nick about robotics. A full technical spectrum. 13:12 Biomimetic millisystems robotics. 14:11 The Sail Roach robot - using aerodynamics to turn a legged robot. 16:48 Essential ingredients in research: curiosity and dogged perseverance. 17:44 The creation of Dash Robotics. Meeting co-founders. Discovering Kickstarter. 18:52 The Kamigami robot. Sandwich composites. 20:20 Dash Robotics goals. 22:23 Experiences from two successful crowdfunding campaigns. Getting user feedback. 26:06 The vision and future of Dash Robotics. 27:19 Leadership and teamwork advice. Thoughts from a startup CEO. 31:06 Future technologies: Self-driving cars. Automation. 32:08 Advice to listeners about college and professional life. Episode related content: Introducing Kamigami by Dash Robotics: The Kamigami running in slow motion: Biomimicry's surprising lessons from nature's engineers - Janine Benyus TED Talk: Follow Dima on Twitter and on Instagram. Leave us a review iTunes and check out our Facebook page. Stream the episode here:
Feb. 1, 2016
Matthew Urquhart studied Mechanical Engineering at Queen’s University, specializing in Materials Engineering. After graduation, he moved to California to become a Product Design Engineer at Specialized Bicycle Components. A few months ago, Matt began work at Nest Labs, the home automation producer of programmable, self-learning, sensor-driven, Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats, smoke detectors, and other security systems. Matt shares with us: * his passion for bicycles. * how he landed his dream job at Specialized. * the importance of understanding first principles. * insights into the product development process. * and much more... Reach out to Matt via LinkedIn. Listen to the episode on iTunes. Stream the episode below or by clicking here. Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as”. Discussion timestamps: 06:40 Guest Intro 07:06 How Matt discovered Engineering at a young age. 09:23 Solar photovoltaics materials research internship in the Materials department researching on. 11:23 Matt shares his passion for bicycles and biking. 12:21 The targeted job hunting procedure. 13:36 Matt shares the incredible story of how he landed his dream job at Specialized. 17:42 Setting yourself apart from the countless other candidates. 18:42 High-performance bicycle wheels. 19:47 The tools and human resources at Specialized and how they come together during product development. 21:45 Various software programs that Matt used at Specialized. 22:39 What were the objectives of business trips to Taiwan and China? 25:47 Personal or professional qualities vital for success as a Product Engineer. 27:36 What is Nest Labs? What do they do? 28:51 How Matt got his position at Nest. 30:59 The objectives of a Process Engineer. 33:30 Tips about working in Asia. 36:22 The power of introverts in a world that won't stop talking. 37:40 Matt is bullish about machine learning. 39:50 Final advice to future engineers. Episode related content: The story of Mike Sinyard and the Specialized Bicycle Components company: King of the mountain bike from CNN Money and Hippie Capitalist: Specialized Bicycle's Mike Sinyard from Forbes. Specialized Technology website: The Nest Cam:   The Culture Map - Breaking Through The Invisible Boundaries Of Global Business - Erin Meyer:   The Power of Introverts - Susan Cain TED Talk:   Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain:   The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World by Pedro Domingos: