Oct 03, 2018 photo courtesy of DENSO Scott Borgard, a Total Industrial Engineer from DENSO and a UAH alumnus discusses his time working and the importance of doing what you love in the workplace. 1) How long have you been working at DENSO and what is your title? I’ve been working at DENSO Manufacturing in Athens, Tennessee (DMAT) for 2 years as a TIE Specialist. “TIE” stands for Total Industrial Engineering, made to resemble “TPS,” the Toyota Production System, that we model a lot of our improvement strategies after. 2) Could you tell us a little about your company? DENSO is one of the largest global automotive suppliers of advanced technology, systems and components in the areas of thermal, powertrain control, electronics and information and safety. From automated driving to hybrid and electric vehicle components, we’re crafting the core technologies of modern mobility. We draw on the strengths of individual inventors who are joining together to become an unstoppable force for global good. With our North American headquarters located in Michigan, DENSO employs more than 24,000 people at 28 consolidated subsidiaries and 4 affiliates across the North American region. Worldwide, the company has more than 200 subsidiaries and affiliates in 38 countries and regions and employs more than 170,000 people. 3) What made you choose to work for DENSO? I chose to work at DENSO for a few reasons. As I investigated the company, I learned that DENSO is a very large automotive parts manufacturer that has facilities in over 36 countries. That stood out to me because they were having a program for recent graduates that sent them all around the US and overseas over the course of 2 years. While I didn’t get that position, there is still a lot of opportunity to travel for training and benchmarking new processes at other DENSO plants in different states and countries; the most notable one for me being Japan, the location of the main branch of DENSO. I’ve currently been to two other DENSO locations for 2 weeks each, the farthest of which was in Michigan. There are also many times where we get support for other countries. It’s a great way to network and meet people and sometimes learn about a culture you may not have known anything about. The highly competitive starting salary was also a factor in my decision. 4) What kinds of daily responsibilities do you have? DENSO is always improving. So much that we have a word for continuous improvement: “Kaizen.” Kaizen is a major part of the DENSO philosophy and in turn becomes a major part of my daily responsibilities. Kaizen is all about saving 3 things: Time, Money, and Resources. We have a director who loves those 3 words. In order to save these things, we turn to people like me who help standardize and improve job elements, look at things like the flow of product through multiple processes and try to prevent backtracking and double handling, and brainstorm ideas on how we can do things differently and more efficiently. Most of this involves a stopwatch and a lot of observation, as well as creating charts, tables, and graphs to analyze and show results. 5) What is your work atmosphere like? DENSO in Athens, TN really is an excellent place to work. It’s full of so many different people and cultures and everyone is sharing the common goal to improve themselves and the business as a whole. Everyone is more than willing to help with anything you need and challenge you to do more than you thought you could. It’s been a great opportunity to grow as an engineer but to grow as a problem solver, decision maker, and a person. 6) What kinds of things do you look for in a resume? It is great for us to see where the student has been involved. We like to see participation in campus organizations, summer internships, co-op programs and group projects. 7) What kinds of personal qualities do you look for the most in a potential employee? At DENSO, you’ll be empowered to drive innovation and change. When our technology saves a life, or a car runs more smoothly and efficiently, you’ll be part of the team behind it. And when you look for exciting challenges and new ways to move forward in your career, you’ll find them. This is why we are always looking for a student that is innovative, a team player, and driven. 8) Do you have any overall advice for students, since you have been in their shoes? The best advice I can give for students is to make sure that what you’re doing is something that you enjoy. It may not be the most glamorous or exciting thing that you like to do, but don’t just do it for the money. Make sure that it’s something you want to do and would take satisfaction in seeing completed. We love the passion that Scott has for his work at DENSO and are so grateful for the time he took to answer our questions with depth, especially since time plays a big role in his company’s philosophy. The work DENSO does to ensure automotive safety is tremendous and we are so thankful they make our cars safer every day. Be sure to check out DENSO’s website to learn more about them. DENSO is currently seeking applicants for an Engineering Co-Op, and students can learn more on Charger Path and also see what other jobs they have available.