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Engineering Week Spotlight: Joyce Chiam

Engineering Week Spotlight: Joyce Chiam

Joyce Chiam is a student for life. When asked what she would do if she weren’t an engineer, she said that she would be happy to be a student for the rest of her life. Perhaps it is not too much of a stretch then, that what drew her to engineering was the desire to do things in a faster and easier manner. Industrial engineering introduced her to concepts and tools backed by science and data that is useful both at work and at home.

In her position at Great Plains Industries, Joyce provides recommendations on design layout, operator flex strategies, and improvement ideas to help increase efficiency to mitigate ergonomic risks of the job. She is involved in various data collection initiatives, from time studies to test stand data to help transform numbers into actionable improvement plans. Most recently, she has been assisting in project planning and production implementation of new products, as well as creating standard operating procedure documents of new equipment that help automate our assembly process.

Joyce’s team was awarded and recognized at conferences for their senior design project that they had collaborated with Great Plains Industries on in 2021. They placed second at the Institute of Systems Engineers (IISE) Regional conference, received an award from West Point Military Academy, officially published their project in a journal, and were invited to present their project at the IISE Annual Conference. This accomplishment not only helped secure her full-time position with us, but also pushed her to learn from mistakes and continuously do better conference after conference, “It meant a lot to me when family, friends and people at work said they were really proud of me.”

Would Joyce encourage more young women and girls to go into her field? “Absolutely! Engineering is not at all about "being smart" it is about enjoying the journey of problem solving and thinking of the best solution to positively impact everyone around you. A small change can result in big impacts and being part of the ups and downs of problem solving just makes the outcome so much more rewarding.”

In her free time, she enjoys a variety of activities such as pilates, cooking, baking, and recently, she learned how to do her own nails, which she finds to be fun and stress-relieving. She also enjoys watching football so that she can bicker with her co-workers – Go Bills!

Her dream engineering job would be to work at Disneyland or Universal Studios as an Industrial Engineer. She is intrigued by the prospect of working on projects like bathroom capacity, reducing wait times on popular rides, and scheduling characters at different areas of the park so they don’t clash. She would also like to do data analysis on using Fast Pass/Lightning Lane to see if visitors actually get their money’s worth.

What gets Joyce excited about the future here? Their mission to take Lean to the next level, saying, “Everyone involved in this mission is open to changes and all have the best interest of the company in mind. Changes are effectively and openly accepted, so I get to see the outcome of different solutions and be part of the implementation phase. Aside from that, upcoming automation projects spark my motivation as it not only helps with production throughput, but it also makes our operators' jobs more efficient and ergonomic.”

In her 2 ½ years at Great Plains Industries, Joyce has already accomplished a great deal and we can’t wait to see what is to come! Thank you, Joyce!
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