Meeting international standards and compliance is difficult and varies between each country. For Thomas Huettner, Product Manager for the Industry Service Division at TÜV SÜD America, these challenges are met daily. To meet compliance in international markets, industrial equipment must pass rigorous standards to ensure environmental and personnel safety. Learn more about what goes into these processes and advice Thomas has for engineers of the future!
Thomas Huettner, Product Manager at TÜV SÜD America
Can you discuss your engineering role within the organization?
I work as a Product Manager in the Industry Service Division at TÜV SÜD America Inc. based in Denver, Colorado. In this role I lead a team of three engineers/auditors who help clients get approval for pressure equipment or material designed for the European Market. So, what does this really mean? In other words, I review client products according to compliance with European standards and directives which, in the end, keep users of those products safe.
Why did you choose to become an engineer?
Honestly, because Math and Physics in High School came easily to me and I was always interested to find out how things work. I like disassembling things and reassembling them; in mechanical machines you can see so many things, ideas, and mechanisms which is so fascinating. Engineering is very hands-on, which I enjoy.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I really enjoy helping people, but my talent is definitely geared towards the engineering side of the field (otherwise I might have chosen something in education or health care). Mostly, I enjoy helping our clients improve their product so that it fulfills the necessary standards in Europe. This, in turn, helps people in Europe operate the equipment safely and without any hazard and not causing any harm to the people or the environment.
Are there any challenges you’ve faced that have taught you important lessons?
As an engineer, it is easy to get lost in one small part of a process because most engineers won’t create entire machines/plants. Most applications require several engineers working together, designing and planning different parts of a machine/plant. It might make your work look insignificant (which was one of the challenges I struggled with). But, it is not insignificant; it is important to keep the bigger picture in your mind. You are a part of the final creation and you can apply your knowledge in an improved fashion to future projects and to help others.
Why should more young people consider engineering as a career path?
In my opinion, engineering is one of the most diverse careers. You can take different paths during your whole career, ranging from very technical roles, to managing, to sales, to consulting. Engineers also usually bring a different perspective to a discussion because we develop a very different skill set compared to other careers. The opportunities as an engineer are literally endless and can have a significant impact on a lot of people (even though those people might never know you).
National Engineering Week aims to celebrate how engineers make a difference in the world. Organized by DiscoverE, Engineering Week is a year-round commitment to celebrating talented engineers, sharing knowledge, and encouraging more young people to pursue engineering as a career. To celebrate this event, TÜV SÜD Global Risk Consultants and TÜV SÜD have interviewed talented engineers that make up our organizations. Join us for the month of February as we share wisdom from our experts and stay tuned for more!