Emmanuel Rivera is mechanical engineer and human resources representative at John Deere. His work can be seen at the tractor cab assembly operation in Waterloo, Iowa, where massive tractors are put together for farmers around the world. "Discovering You: Engineering Your World" is produced by NBC News Learn in partnership with Chevron, the American Society for Engineering Education and the National Science Foundation.
Discovering You – Engineering Your World – Emmanuel Rivera
EMMANUEL RIVERA (Mechanical Engineer):
We are in our tractor cab assembly operations here in Waterloo, Iowa. Everything starts with a foundation and this is where it all gets started.
My name is Emmanuel Rivera and I'm a mechanical engineer. Currently with John Deere, I serve as a human resource representative. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. My brother was the first who came to the U.S. to go to school, and personally, he served as my mentor right as he carved new paths. Baseball actually got me the opportunity to come to the U.S, play some baseball while providing a scholarship that I needed to go to school for engineering.
When we think about mechanical engineering as a branch of engineering, its simplest form that deals with the design, the construction, the use of machines. When you look at my career path, I started with a company as a product design engineer designing components for diesel engines. I've been in supply management. I had roles in manufacture engineering. My role within the tractor cab assembly operations here in Waterloo, Iowa, one of the roles that I had was a project engineer for the 7R, 8R mixed model line.
When I got back to see the plan that we had put together, and the result of it, and tractors coming off the line it's a pretty neat feeling. I think mechanical engineering, allowed me to move to different functional areas, different locations across different factories. It's been truly amazing. A question that I get often is, 'how do we make a transition between engineering and diversity and inclusion or human resources?' It's about our people, our most important asset that we have, and that has allowed me to still get connected with the engineering community and many other functioning areas. I want to continue on the people journey, making an impact on others, and their careers and bringing value to what they do and what we do as a company.
The beauty of engineering is while you might find an opportunity or problem or challenge that you're working on, how you go about it and solutions that you create, they're infinite. It allows you to be creative, bring people in, diverse backgrounds and experiences, put them in a room, and cool things happen.
In 2015, high school students from Houston, Mississippi, made their way across 1,736 miles of Australian outback in “Sundancer,” a 16-foot-long solar car outfitted with 816 solar cells.
Looking at it next to more highly funded solar cars competing in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, one would think it wouldn’t have a chance. The team fielded the youngest competitors in the 30-year history of the race, from Darwin, in Australia’s Northern Territory, to Adelaide in the south. But “Sundancer” won its vehicle class while setting a record for most miles raced by a high school team in a single day when she traveled 252 miles.
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