Please tell us about yourself
Iam Matthew Brady. I did my B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (2015) from Ohio State University and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania (2017)
I work for Amazon Robotics, Boston, MA
Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as a HDE I Mechanical:
My job at Amazon Robotics involves doing new product development for fulfillment center robots and the associated infrastructure, as well as sustaining work to maintain and support existing and legacy products. This entails doing mechanical design for new concepts, designing and building prototypes, and completing long-term durability testing and system-level dynamic analysis.
Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
My role at AR requires me to have a good understanding of fundamental engineering principles, be able to make changes and iterate quickly, and think creatively to solve some rather unique, domain-specific problems.
As far as technical skills, a thorough understanding of GD&T drafting standards, as well as a comprehensive knowledge of SolidWorks, associated work-group management products, and good CAD modeling practices are critical, simply due to the pace of the work we do. I also find myself regularly referencing my machine elements textbook to do bearing, weld, bolt, spring, etc calculations. Finally, the ability to quickly go back in the shop and machine a quick prototype makes testing new ideas and concepts a lot easier, so machine shop experience is definitely valuable.
What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Mechanical Engineering?
I’ve always had a passion for making things and that, combined with the breadth of knowledge a ME degree provides you, was what led me to go into mechanical engineering in the first place. After completing two internships, I also got a pretty good idea of the type of work I wanted to end up doing, so I catered the classes I took in undergrad to best prepare me for a career in design engineering.
After undergrad, I immediately went on to do a MS, also in ME. During grad school, I curated my course load to be heavily robotics focused, which taught me a lot of the foundations in the technologies we use in our robots (motion planning, perception, control, artificial intelligence, etc).
The biggest takeaway I have is to really spend the time up front figuring out what you like and what you don’t so you can get the most out of your course work. Doing a co-op and a few internships helped me figure that out early, and gave much greater meaning to my course work because I could see what I was learning in the classroom being applied in the “real world”.