A Young Engineer’s Perspective on Joining the Industry


Reading time ( words)

Audra Thurston, a process engineer at Calumet Electronics Corporation, talks about being an intern transitioning out of college and into the PCB industry. She gives her advice to other college students pursuing engineering and gives her view on the aging workforce and IPC student chapters.

Nolan Johnson: Audra, I’m interested to learn how you came to be a part of this industry. Who do you work for, and what is your role?

Audra Thurston: I came to Michigan Tech to get my chemical engineering degree. At that point, I didn’t even know that a chemical engineer could work with PCBs; I thought you exclusively had to be an EE. But I learned that was not the case when I started looking for an internship in the area of Houghton, Michigan. I started as an intern at Calumet Electronics—about 20 minutes from Michigan Tech—the summer before I graduated. I came out of that internship with the desire to work with PCBs as a full-time career. Then, Calumet Electronics hired me after I graduated in 2018 to work as a process engineer, which is still my current role.

Happy Holden: What struck you about PCBs and led you to want to work with them?

Thurston: The industry keeps you on your toes, and if you stay in the industry, you will continually learn because of the pace of change in electronics is rapid. There are other career options for chemical engineers, such as paper making, but that wasn’t as interesting to me because paper making probably isn’t going to change much in the next 20 years compared to how much electronics is going to change in the next two years. I felt like I could be a part of cutting-edge technology.

Holden: There has never been a dull moment in my almost 50 years in the industry. And for younger people like you, it’s going to be even more challenging and fast-paced.

To read this entire interview, which appeared in the November 2019 PCB007 Magazine, click here.

Share

Print


Suggested Items

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

02/19/2021 | Nolan Johnson, I-Connect007
I’m following the landing procedures for NASA’s Perseverance Mars lander as I’m finishing my Top 5 list for the week. The successful landing of the lander seems a nice highlight for this week. Our global aerospace programs, both national and private enterprise, make these missions seem almost, almost routine. They are, as we all know, anything but routine. No surprise, then, that aerospace-related news percolated to the top of mind for our readers this week.

Joe Fjelstad's Book Review: The Innovators

02/08/2021 | Joe Fjelstad, Verdant Electronics
"The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution" by Walter Isaacson is the best technology history book I have ever read, and at the same time one of the most engaging and entertaining. It is a forte of Isaacson to write biographies of great people. I have read his other books on DaVinci, Steve Jobs, Ben Franklin and Albert Einstein and found them equally brilliant. Isaacson has a number of other titles I have yet to get to in the future. He is a singularly great storyteller.

Catching up With Nano Dimension

02/04/2021 | Dan Feinberg, I-Connect007
Dan Feinberg spoke with Valentin Storz, Nano Dimension’s general manager of EMEA and director of marketing, about how the pandemic has affected their business this past year and what they have planned moving forward.



Copyright © 2021 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.