Quality in the fast lane: the mission of an automotive engineer
The automotive industry continues to be one of the most exciting industries for young engineers. This is also the case for Nikolett Marton from Hungary. By the time she joined the thyssenkrupp Automotive business in Hungary, Nikolett had already gained a great deal of experience as a young engineer. Today, she enjoys a challenging yet fulfilling job in which she gets to be an inventor.
Nikolett had already completed an internship in the automotive sector during the final year of her degree. After successfully qualifying as a quality engineer in 2017, Nikolett continued to demonstrate her commitment to the company full-time. In 2018, she took the next step in her career and began working for a major player in the automotive industry, where she gained valuable experience as a senior quality engineer. Experience that would later equip her to work in development at thyssenkrupp in Budapest.
In February 2022, she joined the thyssenkrupp Automotive business, an innovative development partner of the automotive industry, as a Hardware Design Quality Leader. “Here, I am responsible for quality assurance and ensuring that the ECU design meets our quality requirements throughout the entire product development stage, and then approving it for series production” Nikolett tells us. She is not familiar with the concept of a normal work routine: “After all, no two projects, problems or customers are the same, so we are always facing new challenges. That is why we need to come up with brand new solutions on a regular basis.”
Wanted: Assertiveness and team player skills
A challenge that Nikolett approaches with extreme positivity, “This way I get to complete very exciting tasks that never become monotonous.” For Nikolett, the most challenging aspect of working in Quality involves coordinating with other departments on all the requirements, corrective measures and additional controls. “And doing all of that on time and without delaying key product development milestones,” Nikolett says. Another challenge is of a financial nature: “In many cases, quality involves a high level of expenditure even at an early stage of development and this will only pay off in the long term. But it isn’t always easy explaining this to all those involved at the beginning of the project.”
This means that Nikolett has to bring her exceptional assertiveness and excellent teamwork skills to bear to get things moving. And what else do you need to be successful as a junior manager at one of the world’s leading automotive suppliers at just 28 years of age? Well, you need to be technically competent first and foremost: “Professionals working in electrics/electronics (E/E) need to know the entire system for which the components are being developed inside and out, and also take into account that it needs to be manufacturer and tested in mass production, not just as a prototype,” Nikolett explains. “You need to pay attention to the details and contexts as well as what goes into precision work. We need to have a comprehensive understanding of how circuits work and operate in the real world. It is not enough to just consider the electronic properties of a component. Its mechanical parameters are just as important if you want to build in the desired function.”
Nikolett is attracted to the complexity that her job demands
It is exactly this level of complexity that attracts Nikolett so much to her job. “The great thing about E/E is that it is such a complex and diverse field. I will never grow tired of exploring it,” says Nikolett enthusiastically. “What I like most about my job is encountering a problem, investigating its cause and then coming up with ideas for remedial action. Of course, we try to make sure everything runs smoothly, but when an issue does rear its head, I can play the role of a detective,” the 28-year-old laughs.
Nikolett can always rely on her motivated team. “Everyone in the team respects each other’s expertise, we look up to each other and like to get our experts’ opinions,” Nikolett reveals. “Everyone is keen to help and we always pull together. I feel valued by the company professionally as well as personally. I like that the company places a great deal of emphasis on making us feel happy at work.”
Engineer and inventor
It goes without saying that Nikolett speaks highly of her employer. “In my opinion, what makes thyssenkrupp an outstanding E/E employer is that the engineers are really able to put their creativity and their knowledge into play: We can work with the latest technologies and tools and constantly expand our knowledge. We are always looking for the latest technical solutions that we can patent individually, meaning that we even get to be inventors.” And that’s aligns with Nikolett and with her life motto: “If you believe, you can achieve.”