Engineer Feature: Kim Murray

From joining Switzer’s team four years ago, Kim Murray – Switzer’s senior engineer – has always been an innovative thinker who pulls from creativity and experience to overcome challenges and do the impossible.

What is the most innovative project you’ve worked on?

Throughout her time here at Switzer, Kim has worked to develop and execute hundreds of projects. More often than not, when producing a component, the engineers at Switzer do not know exactly where it will end up. However, Kim says that lack of information doesn’t make a difference about how innovative her work and projects are. “Regardless of how innovative the end product might be, some products have innovation behind the way they are made,” Kim explains. To her, the most inventive projects are those which mix various manufacturing methods – machining, punching, lapping, bonding, and coating – to achieve specific requirements or aesthetics. “We have even designed multiple etching iterations to create certain aesthetic designs or features of varied depth,” she also states. For Kim, the innovation in a product comes from the complexity involved in producing it, rather than knowing where it ends up.

What is the best part about your job?

“The best part of my job is the challenge of working on a large variety of components,” Kim explains. Switzer manufactures custom components for dozens of industries, from medical to mining to aerospace. This extensive customer base provides Kim with an outlet to develop unique products and overcome the challenges involved with each part. “When I can have a design review for a medical implant in the morning, see a new metal credit card design over lunch and work on an aircraft part in the afternoon – that’s a fun day,” she says.

What advice do you have for younger generations of engineers that are entering or preparing to enter this field?

To the upcoming engineers, Kim says not to pigeon-hole yourselves. Don’t stick to doing one thing forever or give into the feeling that you need to stay within the engineering discipline that you graduated from. She encourages you all to try out different industries and roles: working in manufacturing and also development, joining large and small companies throughout your career and traveling when you have the chance. In her words, “the most innovative engineers are the ones who have seen a lot and have many different experiences to draw from when faced with a challenge.”

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