By: Sam Bartusek
Meet Josue Martinez, a Duro Mechanical Engineer since January 2017. I spoke with him recently about how he unexpectedly got into engineering, why it has shown to be a good career choice and his goal of versatility.
Samuel Bartusek: Hi Josue, thanks for doing this Spotlight! To start off, could you tell us where you’re from and how you got interested in engineering?
JM: Sure! I was born and raised in Ozone Park, Queens. My mother’s Dominican and my father is Salvadorian — both immigrant parents. It’s funny because growing up I never really thought I wanted to pursue engineering. When I was eight or nine years old I would think, “I want to be an actor,” or “I want to be a doctor,” or “I want to be an astronaut.” I just kept jumping back and forth. Even in high school I never really thought about it. I thought I would just figure it out along the way.
When it came time to apply for college, I was first looking at psychology. But then suddenly, for some reason, I started to apply for mechanical engineering schools. I didn’t know exactly what it was, I just picked it. And honestly, I didn’t even know everything mechanical engineering encompassed.
I got into the Mechanical Engineering program and started to take classes. The more I took them and learned about the field, the more I fell in love with it. I really enjoyed the versatility that you can get with this aspect of engineering, let alone engineering as a whole. I found it made a lot of sense to go down this path.
SB: The Mechanical Engineering program you attend is at the City College of New York, correct?
JM: Yes, I’m currently working towards my degree at CCNY. I’m going to be a fourth-year student majoring in Mechanical Engineering. You can’t really do concentrations at CCNY, but in essence I’m concentrating in biomedical engineering because of the electives they let you pick. I’ve been going down that route and it’s been a fantastic run.
SB: How do you think it helped prepare you for the professional engineering world?
JM: When you start off, you’re taking mostly conceptual- and theory-oriented classes. But recently, for example, I took a manufacturing class where I actually got to design something in Solidworks and physically make it. You eventually get to see how it all works and present products just like you would in the real world.
So I think the further down the line you get into the curriculum, the better it gets at preparing you for real life. That being said, you don’t get everything and I don’t think you ever will, no matter where you go. It’s always important to have that outside experience, whether it’s something like Duro or a club you can get involved in.
SB: How did you find out about Duro?
JM: A good friend of mine used to work here and he told me about it. He said at Duro he was getting to work programs such Solidworks and Ansys. He really suggested I take a look at it. At the time I was just too busy, but once I got further down the line I thought I really should start looking into it, and that was that. I started working here this past January.
SB: What have been some of your jobs and responsibilities here?
JM: So far I’ve been working under Bradley’s [Bradley Kaufman, Lead Mechanical Engineering] wing; he’s been helping me learn. As I mentioned, there are a lot of things that you won’t learn in school that I’ve been able to pick up here. Even simple stuff like going through the full design phase, you realize there’s so much attention to detail that a person on the outside wouldn’t understand. Otherwise, I just help out where I can. I’ve helped to machine a few parts for the prototype, and do other projects that need to get done.
SM: What do you plan to do with your engineering skills in the future?
JM: That’s something that I haven’t completely figured out just yet. I’ve always been one of those people who figures it out along the way, just as I did when deciding to study engineering. As of right now though, it’s more about gaining as much experience as possible in order to be as versatile as possible.
Looking at an experience like this job, I’ve learned a lot about the design aspect specifically, and I can learn even more by getting involved in other aspects as well. To me it’s about trying to gain versatility and gain a better idea of what the scope of engineering is, which is so huge. So as of right now it’s just a matter of figuring that out and building on my talents to increase what I can offer in the future.
SM: Thanks so much for doing the interview!
JM: Fantastic, thank you.