Thermal Systems: Joining GE Global Research
Back in late 2011, I decided to realign my professional career back to my roots of combustion and thermal sciences after several years as the engineering director of a paraglider company in the Swiss Alps.
With more than 16 years working as an aerospace engineer in the development of gas turbine jet engines, I had GE on my radar screen right from the beginning when I was looking for a new opportunity. Luckily, GE had a position open at the Global Research Center in Munich, which seemed to be a perfect fit for me. So, I applied for this position and came to an agreement with Global Research to become the Manager of the Thermal Sciences Lab in Munich. After being with Global Research for a little more than a quarter of a year, I would like to share a few observations I made during this time with you.
From the day I joined GE, it was clear that this company is very serious when it comes to both the safety and health of its employees, any person on-site at GE facilities, and the protection of the environment. Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) is the key term, which comprises a system of activities, rules and processes every employee follows. GE is actively focused on this initiative, to sure we are working in a safe place at all times.
As important as EHS is to GE, so is compliance. From the very first day, employees learn that compliance is an extremely valuable asset to GE. Every employee lives this spirit and acts accordingly. This explains why GE enjoys such a good reputation for integrity all over the world.
On the technical side, I am amazed by the research we are conducting on such a vast variety of products. The research areas start with advanced heat exchangers, thermal management and advanced cooling technologies for gas turbines at GE Aviation and GE Energy. The research continues with inter stage cooling technologies for compressors at GE Oil & Gas, heat exchangers and thermal management for electrical and mechanical machines in subsea applications, and electronics cooling and thermal management for Power Conversion and GE Transportation. This is by far not the complete list, as I am constantly learning about further research opportunities with my team. For instance, GE is sponsoring the Caterham F1 Team in Formula 1. We might be able to support them by doing research for the numerous challenging thermal tasks they are experiencing in a modern Formula 1 car—really exciting!
So in just a few months on the job, I can say that GE is really a great place to work. GE is a place with an extremely high safety standard, a solid integrity spirit and almost infinite research opportunities in different disciplines.
I am really excited about working for GE, and together with my team I am looking forward to contributing to the development of groundbreaking technologies for differentiating GE products.