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Industry Person of the Week-Jaime Arredondo

Engineering & Design
IPOW Jaime Arredondo

Industry Person of the Week-Jaime Arredondo

Meet our Industry Person of the Week, Jaime Arredondo, a Mechanical Engineering Department Manager at CDI Engineering.

Q: How did you get started working in your field?

Jaime: My journey into mechanical engineering began during my college years through various internships spanning different industries. I gained hands-on experience in manufacturing with esteemed companies like John Deere and Cummins before pivoting towards a brief stint in finance with Morgan Stanley. These diverse experiences offered invaluable insights into my professional preferences. Recognizing my passion for the diverse challenges inherent in engineering projects, I made it a priority to secure a position within the engineering realm before completing my undergraduate studies. Fortunately, I was offered a position with an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) firm, where I have since thrived. The variety of challenges keeps me on my toes, and I’m always striving to push the boundaries and bring fresh ideas to the table.

Q: What do you love the most about your job? What are you most proud of?

Jaime: One of the most gratifying aspects of my career, aside from collaborating with an exceptional team, is the transformation of engineering concepts into tangible reality. Working on large-scale projects that evolve from barren plots into fully functional plants is incredibly fulfilling. Witnessing the journey from concept to execution, where each phase seamlessly integrates into the broader project, is truly awe-inspiring. I had many proud moments throughout each project, but the one that stood out the most was leading the mechanical engineering efforts for a challenging revamp project. This project involved designing high-temperature storage tanks, shell & tube heat exchangers, waste heat boilers, and a vapor combustion unit within an exceptionally tight timeline. At that phase of my career, the sheer scale and complexity of the project served as both a challenge and a catalyst for personal growth. The invaluable skills and expertise gained from navigating such a demanding project continue to shape my professional trajectory.

Q: What advice would you give to someone considering this line of work or new to the field?

Jaime: I would encourage engineers to learn more about this line of work as it lends itself to many different development opportunities in the future. From becoming a technical subject matter expert to stepping into roles like engineering supervisor, manager, or delving into project management, the options are vast and diverse. To newcomers, I’d stress the importance of understanding the ‘why’ behind their assigned tasks. It’s easy to become immersed in day-to-day responsibilities determined by others. However, taking the time to comprehend the significance of one’s contributions within the broader context of the project can be a game-changer. Embracing the whole perspective not only fosters personal growth but also enhances the overall effectiveness and impact of one’s work.

Q: Can you talk about a project you recently worked on?

Jaime: We’re currently deeply involved in several sustainability-focused initiatives, particularly focusing on battery chemicals, green/blue ammonia, and carbon capture utilization and storage. Among these, one project stands out as particularly exciting: the establishment of the first US-based Lithium Refinery. It’s incredibly rewarding to know that our efforts will significantly strengthen the supply of battery-grade lithium right here in North America. As a manager, my role in leading a team of mechanical engineers on projects spans across various facets, from designing storage tanks and pressure vessels to optimizing rotating equipment and heat exchangers. Witnessing the evolution of initial 2D concepts and drawings into tangible 3D assets is the ultimate reward. Knowing that these assets will play a pivotal role in shaping our local community’s future makes every moment of this journey incredibly fulfilling.

Q: Anything else you would like to add?

Jaime: I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to share my experiences and insights, and I sincerely hope that they prove valuable to others navigating their journey in this field. As engineers, we’re not just problem-solvers; we’re innovators and agents of change. I urge everyone to embrace the spirit of inquiry, to never shy away from asking the tough questions, and to remain persistent in their commitment to expanding their knowledge and expertise. It’s through this relentless pursuit of excellence that we can truly make a lasting impact, not only in our respective fields but also in shaping a brighter, more sustainable future for generations to come.

Connect with Jaime on LinkedIn!


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