This week’s Industry Person of the Week is Ruben Gonzalez Aldama from Panametrics.
Q: How did you get started working in your field?
Ruben: My father worked in the Oil & Gas industry all his life, so I got constant exposure to this sector since I was a young kid. Once I finished university, I wanted to be in the Automotive industry, so I pursued a master’s degree in Germany with the intention to land a Job with a car manufacturer. Once I finished with my studies, I got a job as planned. However, the 2008 crisis came and I understood that I would have better opportunities in a different industry sector. Energy, along with Health and Food, is something humankind will always needed. Therefore, I went back to follow in my father’s steps and joined GE Oil and Gas in Germany as a design engineer in 2009. I loved what I was doing; hence, my career grew very fast all the way to engineering manager. I was presented the opportunity to keep exploring other technologies and I took it; then, I moved to the U.S. I have been in the role of senior engineer, now under Baker Hughes, and I have loved what I do.
Q: What do you love the most about your job? What are you most proud of?
Ruben: I love the challenge that represents working in this field, because every day you are faced with a new puzzle to solve. You have to think outside the box and use the latest technologies available. There is not a recipe to follow, you have to be creative and challenge your imagination in order to find a solution for the customers’ problem.
I am proud of all the different product designs in which I have participated in. Each product solved a customers need. And I didn’t have to wait years to see the benefits. Not everything was a success on the first attempt but by being in the right company, I was able to learn from my mistakes. I love being part of an industry sector which is fundamental in our society.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering this line of work or new to the field?
Ruben: Be open and ready to learn. Every time you can, challenge the status quo. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new, something that no one has considered before. As an engineer it is in our DNA to innovate towards a better solution, so don’t be afraid to express your ideas. Listening, that’s key too. You will only learn something new, if you allow people to talk.
Q: Can you talk about a project you recently worked on?
Ruben: We received a customer request for a very challenging application. It was high pressure and the process fluid was very corrosive. Our initial proposal was not meeting the target cost so we went back to the white board to improve the cost. We modified the design to change the manufacturing of the product from a welded construction to a pipe. We worked with the supplier to design the corresponding tooling that would be needed and reviewed all the applicable standards and regulations to ensure compliance. It was a very interesting project which is currently being built.
Q: Anything Else you would like to add?
Ruben: Prior COVID, it was easy to walk to your colleague desk to have a conversation about a project. In our meetings we were all in the same room sharing ideas on post-it notes that we could hang on the wall for review. No one was ready to change that Team Meetings and PowerPoints.
Change will always happen, whether we are prepared for it or not, so be ready to push your limits. Not every day at work will be fun, but you should enjoy what you do, so you want to come back the next day.
THANK YOU, CHAD! WE LOOK FORWARD TO KEEPING UP WITH YOU THROUGH THE #PUMPTALK COMMUNITY!
KNOW AN AMAZING PERSON WHO IS MAKING VALUABLE CONTRIBUTIONS WITHIN INDUSTRY? NOMINATE THEM TO BE AN “INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE WEEK”!