The Journey of a Product from Patent to Packaging

Have you ever thought about how a shoe or toy is made? These products, and thousands of others go through rigorous safety testing each day to ensure they are ready for the market and safe for people to use. We sat down with one of our Product Safety Engineers to learn more about what goes into Product Safety Testing and why engineering is such an exciting career to pursue!

Justina Sanchez, Product Safety Engineer at TÜV SÜD America
California, USA

Can you discuss your engineering role within the organization?

I am a Product Safety Engineer at TÜV SÜD America Inc. I specialize in Information Technology Equipment and Laboratory Measurement Equipment as well as Environmental Evaluations. As a company we evaluate a wide variety of products. Anything from flat irons and virtual reality headsets to spas, casino gaming machines, mobile tracking devices and ticket vending machines and that is just the beginning. Anything you plug in or is battery operated needs to be tested and approved before it is available for use for the public, to ensure it is safe for use. At the start of an evaluation we will perform a preconstruction review. This is where we will determine what tests will be conducted and make sure all the components have their proper approvals. Next is the fun part, testing! We will run the products in various modes to get the max power draws and simulate worst case conditions. Upon completion we will write the data into the reports and finalize all the reporting for review and certification.

What do you enjoy most about your job and/or engineering in particular?

Seeing new and innovative products is always neat. I also really enjoy the testing! On products meant for outdoor use, they must be evaluated for different environmental conditions. We have a huge wet room where we simulate falling rain and can shoot streams of water or fully submerge the product in water. We also have a dust machine that simulates blowing sand for parts of the world where the product will be exposed dust or sand storms. It is so cool when I am walking through the mall and look over and see the TÜV SÜD mark on a product. What’s even cooler is when I can say “I did the safety testing and evaluation on that” and there it is in public.

Why should more young people consider engineering as a career?

Being in the engineering field is amazing! You see how things work, inside and out. It is challenging at times but when you conquer the challenge there is this profound sense of accomplishment. Every day is different and new and usually exciting!

What advice do you have for engineers of the future?

Do what it takes and really buckle down while you are in school, it is so worth it! It’s a great investment for the rest of your life. Those years after when you are building your career and are so unique and opportunities come your way you would have never imagined. It is very rewarding to know what you do daily matters and you are making a difference in the world.

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!

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