Shared Passion for Engineering Leads Lo
Brothers to Innovation Center
August 8, 2018
Some of the many advantages employees
have working in a multi-faceted business like Weir include the ability to identify
areas of interest, learn new skills and take advantage of opportunities to
advance their careers. For the Lo family—Phai, Pha and Hue Lo—a shared goal of
working for ESCO, now a division of Weir, led each down a unique path of career
advancement and scientific exploration.
Brothers Pha and Phai, and their cousin
Hue, all started their careers at ESCO working in operations and pursued other opportunities
that led them all back to the same place, the Hank Swigert Center for
Innovation, working in similar roles focused on innovation and engineering
support. But the paths they each took to reach that point and find their
passion for innovation and engineering varied.
Pha, the oldest of the three, started his
career at ESCO as a senior in high school working in the upper finishing area
of the Main Plant. Pha was always the first to raise his hand for any tasks on
the shop floor, and worked nearly every job at the plant in upper and lower
finishing. He eventually transitioned to the metallurgical lab doing lab work
and rapid prototype (known as RP, or 3D modeling of parts).
“The lab was more interesting to me than
sitting at a desk or working on the shop floor, so I kept asking about jobs in
the lab and applying for openings,” Pha said. “When I got the job in the met
lab, everything opened up for me. It took about a year to learn the process of
the lab and the rapid prototyping area, but once I learned the process, I
wanted to keep learning. So I applied for a job in the Product Test Lab.”
as the Rapid Prototype lead, Pha is responsible for running and maintaining the
RP machine and RP orders. He also sets up and runs tests for the engineering
and lab community, designing and building implements and tools, and conducting light
machining and fabrication. Not surprisingly, Pha’s career trajectory inspired
his younger brother, Phai, to explore life at ESCO.
Phai credits his many “rubber meets the
road” experiences with ESCO to his first job as a summer worker in high school.
He pursued a career in banking for seven years, but decided to return to ESCO
in the foundry’s lower finishing department. While working, Phai seized an
opportunity to go back to school and earn a degree in manufacturing processes
of integrated metals. Not long after, he was putting his degree to work in ESCO’s
melting department. “I really enjoyed working in melting, because every heat is
different and you’re doing chemistry work,” said Phai. “It’s like you’re
cooking an entire batch of metal.” When ESCO saw Phai’s drive for higher
education, they offered him a position with the Engineering Gaging team.
“I’m now a technician in the Innovation
Center, which is where the engineering teams working on new products or
concepts are able to test their design ideas. My current job is challenging and
exciting every day. You never know what to expect. We have 300 engineers to
support in the Innovation Center and I’ve worked with 100 of them already.
Knowing I have 200 more engineers to work with is exciting to me,” added Phai.
Phai recently returned to school again
to earn his degree in mechanical engineering technology and is planning to
enroll at Oregon Institute of Technology to complete his bachelor’s degree.
Pha and Phai’s cousin, Hue, saw the stable jobs and
competitive pay his cousins enjoyed at ESCO, so he decided to follow in their
footsteps. He too began his career in ESCO operations. From the main floor to
molding and melting, Hue eventually became a team leader. His knowledge in
foundry work allowed him to transition to the methods engineering technician
role. Today Hue works as a technician, doing much of the same engineer support
work as Pha.
While Pha, Phai and Hue each found their
way to their current roles in a different way, they agreed that at some point
in their ESCO careers, their career development was prompted by mentors who
encouraged them to go back to school or apply for a new job within the company.
“At ESCO, I’ve had great managers who were willing to push and give you
a chance, if you were willing to take it,” said Pha. “For me, that’s what kept me around – those challenges and the people
who can really see your growth and give you that chance. The people here are
awesome, and the environment is great. ESCO is very flexible and they support
you, they encourage you.”
his brother and cousin, Pha (right) credits his managers through
the years for
shaping his career development and progression.
As ESCO steps into its next chapter with
more opportunity and more scale as a division of The Weir Group, Phai, Pha and
Hue are excited to work with and support the Weir team. Each chose to pursue
careers at ESCO with different skillsets that eventually and uniquely brought
them all under one roof in the innovation center. Their dedication to ESCO, its
values and now as part of Weir are what the Lo brothers are most proud of.
“I think what sets us apart is our
commitment to ESCO, to our customers and to the engineering team,” said Pha.
“It’s all about loyalty and determination. We all like it here and want to do a
good job, and make ESCO proud. For me, it’s important to wear my ESCO apparel with pride and to
be proud of who you work for.”