What Do Engineers Really Do?
February 22, 2017
Engineer: A person who has scientific training and who designs and builds complicated products, machines, systems or structures.
In honor of Engineers Week – and in between patents – a few of our own engineers offered insight on their profession.
Wendy Foslien, Technology Fellow
At Honeywell: 20+ years
What she does: I lead a team to learn things from data and help people make better decisions with that learning.
Why engineering? “Seems like I have always been an engineer! I was a kid that loved playing with Legos and building models.”
Coolest (recent) project: I led a research team to build a prototype integrated home management system that gathered information continuously and fed back recommendations to homeowners about how to reduce their energy consumption. That project was a futuristic blend of data science, system design and human factors and we had the opportunity to field test and gather learnings to influence future products.
Vibhor Bageshwar, Principal Scientist R&D for Aerospace
At Honeywell: Almost 10 years
Engineer for: 19 years
What he does: I design Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC) systems for commercial, business, and unmanned aircraft.
Coolest invention: Part of the team that created a Tracking System that will enable Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to fly in the National Airspace. “To fly in the NAS, UAS have to ‘see and avoid’ other aircraft just like piloted aircraft to remain ‘well clear’ of other aircraft. To remain ‘well clear’ of other aircraft operating in the NAS, the UAS has to autonomously track other aircraft operating in the NAS, predict the trajectories of these other aircraft, plan a trajectory to avoid these other aircraft, and actually perform the maneuvers suggested by these trajectories.”
Why engineering? I have always wanted to be an astronaut. Unfortunately, I wasn’t born with 20-20 vision or fixable 20-20 vision – I would never be selected for an Astronaut Program because of my eyesight. If my eyes weren’t good enough to let me fly to space, then I would learn how to build vehicles that flew from the Earth to other planets, moons, and stars.
Gabe Bergman, System Engineer and Security Architect
At Honeywell: 14 years +
What he does: I work on designing Wi-Fi Connected thermostats and the cloud systems they communicate to. As a system engineer, I ensure that any new products we design will work in our system end-to-end. As security architect, I ensure that the proper controls are in place in our systems to prevent a cybersecurity attack.
Coolest invention: My first thermostat project – the original VisionPRO, which was Honeywell’s first new thermostat in several years. The coolest part is when I’m out in public and I see my design in restaurants, stores, other people’s homes or randomly in the background on TV shows.
Why engineering? I always like to see and understand how things work. I have a long history of taking things apart and have been mostly successful at reassembling them. As a child, I was a button pusher. If I got into the elevator before my parents could stop me, we would have to travel to each floor. This interest with how things work and my passion for computers and electronics drove me to obtaining my Computer Engineering degree. I was lucky enough to find a job designing embedded devices that allows me to continue to pursue my passion today.
Mike Fegley, Mechanical Engineer
At Honeywell: 4 years
Engineer for: 8 years
What he does: I design mechanical products to keep workers safe from falling while working on tall buildings or structures. With the internal testing capabilities we have, I’m able to quickly try new designs within minutes of building a prototype so this makes the design process rewarding and fun at the same time. It has been quite fulfilling knowing that something I designed has or will save someone’s life one day.
Coolest invention: A sealed self-retracting lifeline
David Johnson, System Architect
At Honeywell: 3.5 years
Engineer for: 33 years
What he does: I work with various engineers to define how a product is supposed to work, and then help them implement and test the product before it is available to be sold.
Coolest invention: Remote Patient Follow-up System that allows heart patients to send important data about their heart directly to their doctor via the cloud. This system reads the data while the patient sleeps and saves them time so they do not have to travel to see the doctor in person.
Why engineering: As a young boy, I started trying to figure out how things worked – my parents were a little surprised when I took apart the refrigerator! I also was very interested in computers and the software that makes them run. As I progressed through school, I also started getting into math and physics. From there it seemed like a natural path to become an engineer.