It takes a culture serious about innovation to turn motivation into motive power. But that’s exactly what is happening at GE Transportation, where Susan Napierkowski is a manager in Diesel Engine Engineering.
The GE Evolution locomotive is already the most fuel-efficient in North America, but the team is working hard to improve its efficiency, so it can pull more freight while using less fuel, all while reducing emissions.
Cross-disciplinary collaboration is central to the success of GE’s engineering division; so it’s no surprise that some of its brightest stars are cross-disciplinary learners. Napierkowski studied art and design in school, in addition to mechanical engineering.
“That inspiration is always at the heart of what I do; how I look at things,” she says. “Lifelong learning is important to me, and reading books and publications on design and innovative leadership is part of my inspiration.”
GE fosters innovation by encouraging engineers to stretch and think of the next big idea, Napierkowski says. That legacy of creative thinking extends into GE’s Edison Engineering Development Program, which ties technical skills development education with real-life business priorities. As much as the program speeds innovation, it’s also built to create lasting solutions, and careers.
“Engineers love to create products that solve real problems,” Napierkowski says. “I see it every day in the work we do. GE provides a solid environment that can allow you to grow and have a long career. That’s unique in today’s world.”