Thanks to mechanical engineer Steven Payette, brother of MBS science teacher Dr. Chris Payette, who spoke to members of the Architecture & Engineering Club on Zoom about his work experience on Thursday, December 10.
Mr. Payette earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree in Engineering from McGill University in Montreal. Since 2015, he has worked at MDA, manufacturing antennas for space-based communication satellites. “If you want to listen to Sirius XM radio, or you want to look at directions on your GPS, or if you’re off in the middle of the wilderness but somehow you still have a cell phone signal, a lot of that is from the industry I’m in right now,” said Mr. Payette, who specializes in working with composite materials.
His discussed his first engineering job at Bell Helicopter, where he worked on a new way to make nose cones for aircraft. As a master’s student, his research focused on creating self-heating molds and he has also worked on creating 3D printer hip implants.
“I know Chris refers to mechanical engineering as ‘the dark side,’ but I call it ‘the practical side’ that has all kinds of industrial job opportunities,” said Mr. Payette, who gave an overview of his field and spoke about the skills and interests involved.
“From an industry point of view, what you can do will vary greatly — from automotive and aerospace to consumer goods and heavy machinery,” he said. “Within industries, there are all kinds of positions open to mechanical engineers – design, analysis, testing, manufacturing, and more.”
Mr. Payette gave the students a list of resources and websites to learn more about mechanical engineering, and he concluded his presentation with a Q&A session about his work.