I always look at objects and wonder, 'How does that work?' or 'How is that manufactured?'
As far back as he can recall Product Engineer Mark Zitto would always look at objects and wonder, “How does that work?” or “How is that manufactured?” His father introduced him to an AMP (TE) engineering manager who gave him a short tour of one of the engineering buildings and explained what engineering was all about. He began his career at TE ten years after graduating, and today feels fortunate to have worked with many people who took the time to help him grow by passing along their expertise and experience. Sharing some of that knowledge with young engineers is a highlight of his current position.
What latest innovation do you see having the biggest impact over the next 10 years?
Ten years is a short period of time when you are talking about innovations having a big impact. I recall a college professor of mine telling the class that the technology existed for thin screen televisions to be built which could be hung on the wall like a picture. That concept seemed so unbelievable at the time but 30 years later such televisions were being mass marketed. Although outside my field, I know there is some fascinating work being done in the field of biomedical engineering. It is impossible to predict which one of the now promising theories will prove viable.
What is the single biggest achievement of your career?
Although no single achievement stands out, every year of my career contains accomplishments which I am proud of from the first patent I received over 20 years ago to the cost savings and product extension projects I am working on today. The highlights of my career include collaborating with great people to achieve goals while growing professionally and personally in the process. I feel fortunate to have worked with many people both within TE and elsewhere who took the time to help me grow by passing along their knowledge, expertise and experience. Sharing some of that knowledge with young engineers is a highlight of my current position.
What engineer do you idolize, and what are they best known for?
When I hear the word Idolize no engineers come to mind although one prominent businessman does, Bill Gates. As we all know, Mr. Gates had a very successful career and amassed a great fortune as a result. However, it is his philanthropic work which has won my respect. Mr. Gates and his wife created the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation with the objective of trying to make a major impact on some tough problems, such as poor health and severe poverty in developing countries. The Gates’ donate not only their money but more impressively their time and hard work to the cause.
When did you first realize that you wanted to work in engineering, and why?
My father introduced me to an AMP (TE) engineering manager who was kind enough to give me a short tour of one of the engineering buildings and explain what engineering was all about. I did not begin my career at TE until ten years following my college graduation, working first for two different companies prior to TE. As far back as I can recall and to this day I always look at objects and wonder, “How does that work?” or “How is that manufactured?” My curiosity sometimes drives the other members of my family nuts because their minds do not work in a similar fashion. I assume this basic curiosity is present in all of us who work in the engineering fields.
What would you do if you weren't an engineer?
At one point I seriously considered becoming a high school woodworking teacher. Woodworking has always been a hobby of mine and I enjoy teaching young people so the profession seems like a logical fit. The basic steps needed to successfully complete a woodworking project are similar to those used in engineering new products at TE. The process starts with an idea which is then developed into a design able to be manufactured, drawings are created for the components and finally the components are built into the end item.
Sharing some of that knowledge with young engineers is a highlight of my current position.
- Mark Zitto,
- TE product engineer