In our Bright Lights series, we showcase some of our brilliant employees and their experience of working here at STG Aerospace. This time, we spoke to our Mechanical Design Engineer, Huang-Yu Teh, about moving to STG and what he has learnt so far.
After completing a degree in Mechanical Engineering at university, Huang was unsure of what sector he wanted to work in. An opportunity arose as a Graduate Engineer in an aerospace seating company and his passion for planes took off.
“I started as a Graduate Engineer and soon after I progressed and moved to the research team as a Technology Research Engineer. I enjoyed the work and over time, it developed into more of a project management role, part of which involved liaising with suppliers, one of which was STG.”
His contact with STG helped Huang realise he wanted to revisit a design role and he was intrigued by STG’s products and innovative approach.
“I gravitated towards STG and its product range interested me. From my initial insights, I knew I could learn a lot from the team and develop my skills.”
Huang took the plunge and applied for a role at STG, which was successful. He took up the role of Mechanical Design Engineer in 2022. Mechanical Design Engineers apply the principles of science and technology to create aircraft components, or, in Huang’s case, cabin lighting. They also utilise their research and development skills to create innovative products to fulfil customer needs. Speaking of what a normal day looks like, he said:
“We come up with ideas, sketch blueprints, liaise with the wider design and production team to gauge how realistic the idea may be and use a CAD design software tool to bring our ideas to life. We never design in isolation because there might be an element of the design that isn’t feasible. This could be because it doesn’t meet regulatory requirement or because of factors affecting the optical performance, or there are particular manufacturing issues.”
Much like all aspects of aerospace, safety and regulatory compliance, needs to be at the forefront of all activity.
“We lean on our in-house compliance expertise as they are the ones that give us the green light on designs. They sound check our ideas but it’s my responsibility to ensure the product works efficiently and to cost, before it reaches the production phase, to ensure every component meets specification. I am also building up my own compliance knowledge with every project.”
We asked Huang about his favourite part of the role, and he particularly loves the creative freedom that he has to come up with ideas. Cabin design can be a pain point for airlines, but STG has the lighting expertise to design solutions that meet photometric and customer requirements.
“Each airframer has a unique set of challenges. It’s exciting to bring our ideas together as a team and come up with bespoke solutions. I enjoy seeing the design go through each stage, and the end result is always rewarding.”
The role certainly comes with its challenges. A key selling point that sets STG apart is a firmwide focus on ‘simple installation’ for all their products, so this is a priority when designing, which requires an innovative approach.
“There are an abundance of tiny details that we consider with every project, such as the positioning of LEDs, for example, and these details impact the finished product. Once you have the overall design planned, you know there will be a lot of back and forth with clients or suppliers and the STG team to refine and perfect the final product.”
Huang is looking ahead to a busy calendar in 2024, with lots of exciting plans in the pipeline. On a more personal note, his goal is to become a Chartered Engineer, which is something he has been working hard towards and feels will be a great opportunity to develop his skills and add greater value to the team.