Chropynska is people – Jana

Mechanical engineering is not just a man’s field. This is proved by our colleague Jana, who has been working at Chropynska for 9 years as a welding engineer. In our interview she described her decision to study a technical field, why she traded her job in an academic environment for a mechanical engineering company, what it is like to be a woman in a predominantly male team and much more.

Jana – Welding engineer

You are a graduated  engineer in  Mechanical Engineering Technology – Welding. What made you study engineering ?

I come from a family of engineers  and  even as a child I was fascinated by technical drawings. My mother worked as a design engineer which motivated me to study at an industrial engineering school. Later my steps were directed to the Faculty of Materials Science and Technology of STU based  in Trnava. I studied Mechanical Engineering Technology, where I got into welding through the technical science  of Tribology. We don’t even realise it, but engineering surrounds us all the time, whether we pick up a pen, a mobile phone or get in the car.

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You have also worked  in an academic environment. Can you tell us  more about that ?

During my PhD studie s in Trnava,  a change came in my life and I moved to central Slovakia. At that  time a position  became available at the Technical University in Zvolen as an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology. As  I had also studied university pedagogy during my doctoral studies, I was a suitable  candidate for the position  of assistant  professor. I applied and was  selected. I taught classes in welding, machining, forming and casting, and later engineering materials. At the same time, I was the department’s secretary for teaching activities. Several of my former students also work in Chropynska, they are very smart and I am proud of them.

Why did you trade an academic environment for an engineering firm ?

Throughout your  life opportunities and challenges will come your way that may  not be repeated. It is up to us how we approach such opportunities.  I accepted an offer to work at Chropynska as a technologist  and also as a welding engineer. It was a good opportunity  to put my knowledge into practice, but also a great challenge.  The work at Chropynska is different every day, I solve different tasks  and I enjoy that. I have been working in this position for 9  years. I am still in contact with the academic environment through various workshops and excursions that our company organises in cooperation  with vocational schools and universities.

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“When I first meet  my male colleagues, some are surprised and, I must admit, sometimes sceptical. It’s very individual, but usually after a few meetings  they change their minds and we work together as equal colleagues.”

Describe to us what is the role of a welding  engineer ?

I was awarded the  title of IWE welding engineer at the Welding Research  Institute in Bratislava. The prerequisite was the completion of  training and subsequent written and oral examination. A  welding engineer is responsible for the company’s welding  certification, coordinates welding, inspects welds, sets  welding parameters, retrains welders in health and safety standards  and much more. We are currently working on a project  where we are delivering a fully automated welding line. We are currently  setting up and debugging welding robots and welding parameters with our roboticists.

You work in  a male-dominated industry.  Do you see this as your advantage or disadvantage ?

It is true that  the industry is predominantly male. When they meet me for the  first time, they are very surprised and, I must admit, sometimes  sceptical. It’s very individual, but usually after a few meetings they change their minds and we work together as equal colleagues.

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How do you spend your free time ?

First  and foremost with your family. I am also a person who loves sport, work  in the garden, travel, fashion and books. One of my biggest hobbies is running. I participate in various 5 and 10k races, but I have also run a  few half marathons. From time to time I manage to take medal positions. I am constantly toying with the idea of running a marathon, which is my dream.

What would you say  to young girls, women who are thinking of studying engineering  or working in engineering ?

The main thing is not to be afraid to go this way and study technical fields. At the same time, I wish them good luck, patience, and to meet the right people in the right places. They have to prepare themselves for the fact that they have to  work hard in this field.