ME grad puts problem-solving skills to use at Ford

Dallin Redd graduated from BYU in 2016 with a degree in mechanical engineering and went on to join Ford’s team as a brake controls engineer. In this position, his responsibilities include refining brake systems, developing vehicle assessment methods and brainstorming innovative ideas that the company may implement.

Redd especially enjoys working for a company that seeks to implement innovations from all of its employees.

“Ford has an excellent culture,” he said. “I like how easy it is to talk to senior leadership, and that there is a place for individual innovative ideas to be posted and considered.”  

Of course, Redd’s job isn’t built primarily around ideation. Similar to his days as a student, much of what he does at Ford revolves around solving problems. The difference is that, unlike his time as a student, he now tries to solve problems that haven’t already been solved.

“From my education at BYU, I was accustomed to dealing with tough problems by relying on people that have solved the problem before me,” he said. “In the professional world you are often asked to solve a problem that no one has solved yet.”

He added that while he is surrounded by plenty of coworkers or superiors that would be more than willing to help, they have problems of their own to solve, and might not always be available. For Redd, this meant that he had to establish greater independence and learn how to solve problems on his own at times. This is especially difficult when he is asked to work on problems that involve using new software, or when he has limited knowledge about the given subject.

Despite these difficulties, Redd finds great value in struggling through problems, whether at school or in the workplace.

“Struggling through your education or in the professional world is a good thing,” he said. “There are lots of help aids online, in the T.A. labs, with your colleagues and in your professor’s office, but if you don’t allow yourself to struggle then you are robbing yourself of a true education and opportunities to develop professionally.”

Looking back on his BYU experience, Redd appreciates the emphasis his professors placed not only on solving problems, but identifying them.

“As engineers, it is easy to get too hasty in solving a problem, but if the problem is not the right problem to solve, it may very well end up being a waste of time.”

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