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NSBE Member Philip Ryan From co-op to Manager at toyota By Siobhan Leftwich ery few children know what they want to be when they grow up. Although many dream of becoming a doctor, lawyer or CEO, most later settle for careers that are ho-hum at best. But there are rewards for those who pursue their childhood dreams. Just ask Philip Ryan, manager of the Digital Engineering Department in the Production Engineering division of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. (TEMA), in Northern Kentucky near Cincinnati, Ohio. This guy loves his day job. “I was always building something when I was a kid, so engineering was definitely the career path for me,” laughs Ryan, 32, who was born in the Bronx and raised near Orlando, Fla. “I was the original curious kid.” That curiosity led to an interest in science and math. He attended historically black Florida A&M University, where he received a degree in mechanical engineering. And like so many other engineering students, he pursued his passion outside of the classroom by participating in co-ops. “I learned about Toyota’s co-ops at a NSBE v “Knowing and understanding what our customers need and building plans to satisfy them is what makes our team tick.” conference in Region III,” Ryan recalls. “I ended up working for Toyota during my junior year, and it was an excellent experience. At Toyota we tend to operate on a lean basis, so students in co-ops get the opportunity to take on the responsibilities of full-time employees.” During his co-op, Ryan worked for eight months in the Bodywelding department of Toyota’s Georgetown, Ky., facility. The next summer found him in Indiana, again working in Bodywelding. 26 • march/april Ryan joined the company full time in 1998 as an entry-level specialist, and he’s never looked back. “I was hired into the Production Engineering Technical Support section, where my initial responsibilities were expanding the CAD (computer-aided design) system to all North American facilities, so the engineers could evaluate their part designs in 3-D,” he explains. “From there, my responsibilities grew at an exciting rate.” Toyota now operates 13 manufacturing plants and has 43,000 employees in North America. Ryan says working for the company has given him the opportunity to see the benefits of working virtually, firsthand. His most notable accomplishment at TEMA has been the ground-up development of the digital engineering infrastructure for production engineering in nine manufacturing locations. “This infrastructure is the DNA that allows TEMA engineers to analyze and confirm the development of new models in nearly every fashion, without the need for a physical part,” he says. “It saves our company a ton of money, and it also speeds up our development time. That’s where the value of engineering comes into play.” He and his staff of 13 engineers, six contract technical support engineers and one co-op are now working on advanced collaboration environments to ensure that Toyota’s global engineering staff can maintain high vehicle quality without loss of time due to travel. Ryan, who still remembers that fateful day when he wandered over to the Toyota booth at a NSBE career fair, believes in mentoring young engineers. He’s involved in TEMA’s African American Collaborative (AAC), a company-sponsored businesspartnering group that focuses on recruiting and retaining African-American engineers. And in his spare time, he’s an avid golfer and snowboarder with a passion for historic building renovations, travel and technology. But at the end of the day, Ryan gets the most satisfaction from doing what he and his team do best. “Knowing and understanding what our customers need and building plans to satisfy them is what makes our team tick,” says Ryan. “After all, we’re engineers!” ■ www.nsbe.org 2009 •

NSBE - March/April 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NSBE - March/April 2009

NSBE - March/April 2009
Contents
Common Sense for Uncommon Times
Men of Influence
Love and Time
International News
Aris Freeman and Kyrra Mosley of Jacobs
Daniel Grant of NAVAIR
Re Kenebrew of Schlumberger
Shakti Davis of MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Philip Ryan of Toyota
Engineering Las Vegas
Show Time! NSBE's 35th Annual National Convention: Celebrating "Exponential Growth" in the "Entertainment Capital of the World"
Celebrating Academic Excellence
Company Profile
Finding Career Fair Success
CE Cover - Choosing Entrepreneurship
Help for Small Tech Businesses
AE Members on the Move
Advertisers Index
NSBE - March/April 2009 - NSBE - March/April 2009
NSBE - March/April 2009 - Cover2
NSBE - March/April 2009 - 1
NSBE - March/April 2009 - Contents
NSBE - March/April 2009 - 3
NSBE - March/April 2009 - 4
NSBE - March/April 2009 - 5
NSBE - March/April 2009 - Common Sense for Uncommon Times
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - Men of Influence
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - Love and Time
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - International News
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - Aris Freeman and Kyrra Mosley of Jacobs
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - Daniel Grant of NAVAIR
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - Re Kenebrew of Schlumberger
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - Shakti Davis of MIT Lincoln Laboratory
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - Philip Ryan of Toyota
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - Engineering Las Vegas
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - Show Time! NSBE's 35th Annual National Convention: Celebrating "Exponential Growth" in the "Entertainment Capital of the World"
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - Celebrating Academic Excellence
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - Company Profile
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - Finding Career Fair Success
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - CE Cover - Choosing Entrepreneurship
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - 131
NSBE - March/April 2009 - Help for Small Tech Businesses
NSBE - March/April 2009 - AE Members on the Move
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - Advertisers Index
NSBE - March/April 2009 - Cover3
NSBE - March/April 2009 - Cover4
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