Being able to understand how materials will react and offer alternative, more durable solutions is crucial for design.
Insight. Experience. Creativity. Resilience. These traits define TE engineers. Makiya Kimura has had a love of designing and assembling models since he was a boy. As a TE Medical engineer, he still enjoys working with multiple components to construct a product--only now he's solving customers' problems and often helping build products that change people's lives. Collaboration with customers is key, to understand their challenges and find solutions quickly.
What has been your most interesting project to work on at TE?
I had the opportunity to work on two new I/O connectors, which both required a high-degree of design skill. The high pin count (456 pins or 456P) connector is very complex, and the other USB size 38P connector is simple but very small. Our product lines are full of variety, so every new project seems very interesting to me.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I get to learn different types of connector design and development and have many possibilities to develop my career at TE. Here, I am on the cutting edge of technology and enjoy creating new products and seeing them be released to the market. Because of all the ways our products connect to people’s lives, I feel like I am contributing to society in a positive way just by working at TE.
What are the biggest challenges customers face?
Material selection for connectors is very challenging and very important because the materials must be able to tolerate sterilization. We use plastic and metal for connectors, so as sterilization requirements increase or become more harsh, being able to understand how materials will react and offer alternative, more durable solutions is crucial for design. Collaborating with customers is key because the customer’s challenge is our challenge as well.
Why did you choose to join TE?
I feel like I have been an engineer since boyhood—I always liked making plastic models and radio-controlled model cars. Now, my interest has shifted to connectors and I still enjoy working with multiple components to design and assemble the product model in development. Another aspect of working at TE Medical is that both mechanical design and electrical design skills are needed for connector design--something that interests me greatly as an engineer.
Which personal traits are essential for today’s engineering challenges?
As design requirements become more complex, the latest tools such as CAD systems and CAE tools help engineers design and build to specifications. However, it is important for engineers to consider the simplest solutions even in complex designs and systems. If some failure happens during development, which it often does in new product development, we have to be able to solve the problems quickly and the best way to do that is to start with the simplest solutions. Overall, the most important trait is to not give up—there is surely an answer somewhere and it’s our job to find it or to create it.