issue: August 2006 APPLIANCE Magazine
Our Engineering Experts
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by Lisa Bonnema, Senior Editor
Behind any good technical magazine is a team of experts. For APPLIANCE magazine, that means leveraging the expertise of industry engineers that literally know the ins and outs of appliances.
Since 1967, APPLIANCE has had an Engineering Advisory Board consisting of seasoned engineers from leading appliance companies. Their purpose? To give feedback about editorial content and provide insight to some of the key engineering issues affecting the industry. From reviewing paper outlines to confirming highly technical content, these industry workhorses have become a valuable asset to the editorial staff and help ensure that APPLIANCE achieves its mission to be an accurate, credible and relevant trade publication.
Our current board members are some of the appliance industry’s most reputable engineers. With expertise in topics such as product safety, global standards, ozone depletion, controls, and refrigeration systems, each member offers a breadth of engineering know-how and experience. Most have several appliance patents, representing only a sample of the important contributions engineers make to our industry.
Following is a snapshot of what our advisory board members have accomplished throughout their engineering careers—and what they have learned along the way.
Manager, Corporate Product Safety, Whirlpool Corporation
With more than 20 years of appliance engineering experience, Tim Brooks
has managed engineering projects of all kinds. Whether speeding up product
development cycles, improving costs or ensuring product safety and reliability,
Brooks has worked hard to ensure that product success starts with good
design. In his current position as senior manager of Corporate Product
Safety at Whirlpool Corp., his main responsibility is to lead the global
product safety efforts for cooking products and small appliances. Among
his many accomplishments are patents for a cooking control and a small
Currently, Brooks is chairman of International Electrotechnical Commission
(IEC) SC59K for cooking appliances and microwave ovens. He was also the
chief delegate and technical advisor for the American National Standards
Institute (ANSI) for 13 years, representing the U.S. for the IEC.
Brooks has a Master of Business Administration degree from the University
of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio, U.S. and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical
Engineering from General Motors Institute in Flint, Michigan, U.S. In addition
to his long-standing career at Whirlpool, he has held engineering positions
at Hobart Corporation, Leland Electrosystems, Inc. and General Motors.
Most valuable lesson learned:
I can’t do everything by myself. A team is needed to get things accomplished.
With a dedicated team, most things are possible. Dedication, perseverance,
motivation, and the desire to do the right things are essential.”
|William A. (“Buz”)
President, Operations, U-Line Corporation
With 15 U.S. patents, it is safe to say William “Buz” Reed
has had a successful engineering career. His focus on refrigeration products
has been especially rewarding. His developments include a patented electronic
control scheme for residential ice makers, a residential clear ice maker
and a unique single-stage evaporative process. Reed has been operations
vice president at high-end refrigeration products company U-Line Corporation
for more than 20 years. He joined the company
in 1982 as chief engineer and was promoted just 2 years later to his current
position. He also serves on the company’s board of directors.
Prior to joining U-Line, Reed was a project engineer in Whirlpool Corporation’s
room air-conditioner design group and was a senior project engineer and
manager of Refrigeration Systems at Admiral Corporation. He received his
bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of
Maine and his master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue
University in West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S.
Future of appliance engineering:
“ The future of appliance engineering lies in the emergence of
a more global economy. Customer/supplier relationships will continue to
evolve, and markets
will develop in areas of the world where they had not previously existed.”
Engineer, International Products, Food Stream Solutions, Global Product
Development, Whirlpool Corporation
Knowing products on a global scale is what Glenn Goetz does best. For the
last 5 years, he has been the product compliance manager for Maytag International,
Inc. His primary responsibilities have been to understand international
product compliance requirements and to help specify and develop products
that meet the requirements. Starting in August, he will take his knowledge
to the next level, serving as a lead engineer for Whirlpool Corporation,
where he will be responsible for designing international refrigeration
After completing his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering
at the University of Iowa, Goetz spent 20 years as a design engineer at
Amana Refrigeration. There, he helped design Amana’s first line of
plastic liner refrigerators and freezers. Since 1993, he has concentrated
on product compliance, working for the international appliance sales divisions
of Raytheon, Goodman LP and Maytag International.
Goetz has earned three patents in his professional career and was awarded
with the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers’ Distinguished
Service Award in 2006.
The future of appliance engineering:
“ Product compliance will become an increasing factor in product
management and design. This will create work for engineers finding the
to often conflicting requirements.”
President, Global Shared Services, Invensys Controls
Len Swatkowski knows all aspects of the appliance industry. His technical
expertise has led him from an industry association, to an OEM, to a specialized
component supplier, providing a solid foundation any problem solver strives
As the vice president of Global Shared Services at Invensys Controls, Swatkowski
is responsible for design and process validation, engineering and technical
support for national and international standards, oversight of safety and
certification programs, and managing the product data and lifecycle process.
Prior to joining Invensys in 2003, he was the manager of diversified products
at Whirlpool Corporation, which followed a 10-year stint at the Association
of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), where he was vice president of
the Appliance Research Consortium. While at AHAM, he completed 24 research
projects that investigated the eventual phase-out of ozone-depleting refrigerants
used in appliances. He has also developed patented refrigeration systems
for the vending industry.
A graduate of Western Illinois University, Swatkowski received his Bachelor
of Science in Industrial Technology in 1977, Master of Science in 1982
and Master of Business Administration in 1988.
Biggest industry change:
“ The consolidation of not only the manufacturers in the industry,
but the vendors. The synergies and economies gained by reducing duplicated
and skills has come at a cost to the intensity of innovation available
from a much smaller group of OEMs and suppliers.”
|Thomas H. Yu
President/General Manager, Maytag Asia,
A Subsidiary of Whirlpool Corporation
Vice President of R&D, The Hoover Company,
A Business Unit of Whirlpool Corporation
One could say that Thomas Yu believes education is the key to engineering
success. Not only has he earned a bachelor’s degree, master’s
degree and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, he has a Master of Business Administration.
He has also completed Lean Sigma and Six Sigma training as well as several
leadership and management development programs.
It is this technical and management knowledge, combined with extensive
on-the-job experience, that has lead Yu to two key positions in the Maytag
Asia and Hoover divisions of Whirlpool Corporation. As the vice president
and general manager of Maytag Asia and vice president of R&D for Hoover,
he is challenged with balancing two demanding jobs, often while traveling
to and from China. He also belongs to The American Chamber in Shanghai,
China and is a member of the board of trustees for the Ohio Foundation
of Independent Colleges.
Prior to working at Hoover, Yu spent 14 years at General Electric focusing
on automotive lighting design. He joined Hoover in 2000 as vice president
of Engineering, had quality and Asian business development responsibilities
added to his role in 2003 and was promoted to his current positions in
The future of appliance engineering:
“ Appliance engineering will play a key role not only to educate consumers
about the benefits of the new products, but to drive the growth of this
industry. I see a bright future ahead for appliance engineers.”
|Fred J. Keller
President of Engineering, Residential & Light Commercial Systems, Carrier
Throughout his 36 years with Carrier Corporation, Fred Keller has focused
on improving the environmental impact of heating and cooling products.
Currently vice president of Engineering for Carrier’s Residential & Light
Commercial Systems engineering group, he is devoted to developing high-efficiency,
non-ozone depleting products. He has authored several papers on global
warming and ozone depletion and was awarded an EPA Ozone Protection Award
in 1998. He has also served as the lead author of the air-conditioning
chapter of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Technical Options
Committee on refrigeration.
With extensive product development experience, Keller holds five U.S. patents
and was awarded the Dr. Willis H.
Carrier Award for Engineering Excellence, Carrier’s highest engineering
achievement award. He has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S., where he has also
completed graduate courses.
Advice to future engineers:
“ I see too many young engineers trying to tell management what they think
they want to hear rather than the facts. Open and honest communication
is always the best approach.”
|Edward J. McInerney
Engineer, GE Consumer & Industrial
Edward J. McInerney has given 42 years of his life to the engineering trade,
with 40 of those years spent in the appliance industry. With that level
of experience, it isn’t surprising that he has been the chief engineer
for General Electric’s (GE) appliance division for the last 16 years.
In addition to being awarded several patents, he has received GE’s
Steinmetz Award for sustained technical contributions and the Association
of Home Appliance Manufacturers’ Home Appliance Industry Leadership
Other accomplishments include serving on technical advisory panels for
the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment, the United Nations (UN)
Environmental Programs and the World Bank. He has chaired the domestic
refrigerator sub-committee of the UN Environmental Programs Refrigerant
Technical Options Committee since 1992 and was a lead author for the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)/Technology and Economic Assessment Panel
(TEAP) special report on fluorocarbons.
McInerney joined GE in 1964 in the Corporate R&D department (Schenectady,
New York, U.S.). In 1966, he transferred to GE’s appliance business
in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. He received his Bachelor of Science and Master
of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Rochester in
Rochester, New York, U.S.
Most valuable lesson learned:
“ The need to continuously learn and be open-minded. The typical half-life
of an engineering graduate is about 5 years now. The pace of change is
now so rapid that failure to continuously learn will result in rapid obsolescence.”