Brian Ochoa, Mechanical Engineer

I’m a Mechanical Engineer and Team Leader in Celle. Essentially, it’s all about identifying potential problems clients may face and coming up with innovative solutions to meet them.

New product development within Baker Hughes is hugely important. We constantly have to create new products to keep us one step ahead of the marketplace.

I started out in Houston working on the development phase of new products. What I learned during this time has proved to be invaluable. When you’ve seen things from this perspective, it helps a lot when you’re trying to conceive a viable product.

I find the conceptual phase of products fascinating. The time frames are entirely different, and you’re given all the space you need to learn from your mistakes. There’s a great deal of trial and error involved, and you can only really learn by doing. Every project is different so it’s difficult to pin down an exact chronology but, in general terms, you start by conceptualizing the product; then, you prove it can work; and then, it gets handed over to development. Obviously, it’s all very well figuring out something can work, but it also has to be commercially viable.

In my role, information is the key; whether from clients, people working out in the field, you need to draw on lots of different perspectives, opinions, and fields of expertise in order to make the process successful. We have all of this at Baker Hughes and, culturally, we’re encouraged to share our knowledge and given the time and freedom to innovate.

Since joining, I’ve been totally amazed at the amount of genuinely new, leading-edge technology I’ve been able to work on. For an engineer, it’s a bit like letting a kid loose in a candy store. It’s a fascinating environment to work in and explore, and we’re constantly breaking new ground. I don’t think this is widely known outside of the industry. I think a lot of college students take the view that it’s the large automotive and aerospace companies that have the big research budgets and all the exciting projects. But, I’ve been genuinely amazed by the complexity of the tools I’ve been able to work on here at Baker Hughes. The nature of the oil and gas industry means we constantly have to innovate and think outside the box.

As far as the future is concerned, this is a big company that has a lot of opportunities to offer.  I’m constantly striving to try and see the bigger picture so I’d, perhaps, like to explore things from a marketing perspective and get to a position where I can have influence over decisions.

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