Good day, friends and colleagues. I am excited to join Accendo Reliability to bring you a weekly column titled, “Advanced Engineering Culture.” The goal of this column is to bring awareness and solutions to common challenges technical people face in the workplace. New articles will post every Monday.
My name is Katie Switzer, and I am a Senior Reliability Engineer at a chemical manufacturing plant in West Virginia. I hold a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University, and I have been an ISO Category III Vibration Analyst since 2009. Industries I have experience in include aerospace, nuclear power, corn milling and chemical manufacturing.
I love the organizational and problem-solving aspects of reliability. Another thing I enjoy is observing people, including myself, and applying Continuous Improvement methods to soft skills. There are enormous cultural, reliability and financial benefits to having a team that works together well.
Soft skills are not as difficult to learn as you might think. I like to think of myself as a good case study for this, and that I have come a long way in developing my soft skills since I was an undergraduate. It has served me well in my career and I am grateful to all the people who have offered me helpful coaching and advice.
I am excited that you are interested in this subject too, and I look forward to sharing some stories and advice in this column. Hopefully, you will find some comfort and maybe even inspiration in the idea that none of us are perfect, there is always an opportunity for improvement, and that the first step towards self-improvement is the ability to laugh good-naturedly at yourself.
My first article, “Why Does Everybody Hate Me? Improving Your Pumpside Manner in Three Easy Steps,” will be featured on an upcoming podcast episode of Rooted in Reliability: The Plant Performance Podcast with James Kovacevic from High Performance Reliability. Stay tuned for a release date!
I would like to hear about topics you are interested in. Please take the time to post suggestions in the comment section so I can ensure that the column contents will be aligned with industry needs. Thank you in advance for your support.