Like a pro. Interview with Oleh Mitriashkin, Stress Engineer, Progresstech-Ukraine
Within the vast EBA community, one can find companies across all kinds of industries. Some of the industries are quite rare and extraordinary, as well as the people who are employed there 😉
That’s why we decided to launch the project “Like a pro” to highlight the unique professionals and their routine. They will introduce us to the nuances of their work and tell us how to get into a niche industry and what are the prospects for its development in Ukraine.
So, meet our first hero Oleh Mitriashkin, Stress Engineer at Progresstech-Ukraine. Oleh is the one behind the safe operation of airplanes as he calculates the ability of aircraft parts to resist external stress ✈️ Back in school, he dreamed of a career in aviation and now his calculations are applied to the Boeing projects. How did Oleh make his childhood dream come true? Is there room for creativity in engineering? And what skills and abilities one should have to enter the profession? Read the full interview here.
What is your specialization and what do you do at Progresstech-Ukraine?
I am a stress engineer. Stress engineers are specialists who perform ultimate strength, fatigue, and damage tolerance analyses of the airplane structural elements, mechanisms, units, etc. The aircraft’s structural strength must be verified by tests and calculations to ensure the product (airplane) meets safety requirements and it can operate safely. Obviously, the aerospace industry is one of the leading areas of engineering, because we use progressive methods of design, analysis, and sizing of airframe structure and build the most efficient and safe airplanes in the World.
I consciously chose Progresstech-Ukraine as an employer since I have always wanted to work in aviation, especially on the projects of the Boeing Company – one of the biggest aircraft manufacturers in the world. Currently, I am involved in a program supporting the Boeing 737NG / MAX fleet. Our team is responsible for damage assessment of structural elements that likely occur during aircraft operation as well as for the development of repair plans, which include engineering disposition and repair drawings. For the last year and a half, I have been developing reusable solutions for specific fleet problems.
How did you choose your profession? What skills and abilities an engineer should have?
I was interested in aviation since school, I dreamed of designing airplanes. My choice of profession was greatly influenced by my time in college where I majored in Internal combustion engine manufacturing. Then I entered the second year of Kharkiv Aviation Institute, where I received a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. There is a dual master’s program provided by Progresstech-Ukraine in cooperation with Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, which involves both studying at the university and working a full-time job. That is, what you learned, in theory, can be right away applied in practice. I passed the competitive selection for a dual master’s degree and quickly dive into the industry, and later became an employee of Progresstech-Ukraine.
Stress engineer is a complex and responsible profession, that requires a deep understanding of applied mechanics, mechanical engineering technologies, modern software products, in particular, CATIA, Patran/Nastran where automated engineering calculations are performed. Besides, all stress engineers work with Boeing programs that allow to calculate the geometric characteristics of the sections, to define the stress levels in the structure, create analysis templates, etc.
First of all, you need to know physics well – if you dream of a career as an engineer, you should start by studying physics.
How does the working day of a stress engineer look like? Are there any specifics in the work of an aeronautical engineer?
During the working day, we usually discuss calculation schemes and approaches to the analysis of a particular damaged construction, as well as prepare reports based on the calculations performed. I work closely with a small team of engineers, where we collectively seek solutions to a variety of problems that may arise in the process of analyzing the strength and durability of structures.
The specifics of working in our company is that we often have business trips to Boeing’s facilities for the experience exchange and better understanding of internal processes. In addition, it’s very inspiring when you see the result of my work on an airplane.
There is an opinion that engineering is somewhat monotonous and uncreative. Do you agree with this stereotype? And what do you like most about your specialization?
There are no more routine tasks in engineering than in any other profession. I would even say, on the contrary, stress engineers work to automate routine processes as much as possible, because process optimization is also our function.
I like that in my work I often solve difficult problems where I can propose my approach. It is always possible to find an interesting alternative solution, so I’m sure that creativity in the work of an engineer still outweighs the routine, at least in my field – unequivocally. It is for the opportunity to solve non-standard problems, to accept new challenges, to develop new approaches to analyzing the structural strength that I especially appreciate in my profession.
Are there any professional prospects for aeronautical engineers in Ukraine?
I am convinced that it will be easy for a qualified aeronautical engineer to find a job in the industry, and if he or she has the relevant experience and know technical English (which is no longer an advantage in the aviation industry, but rather a necessity), he can get a job outside Ukraine. At the same time, big and small aviation is currently developing rapidly in Ukraine, so there will be no shortage of jobs in the industry, despite the difficult times for the aviation industry.