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 All in the family. Hue, Pha and Phai Lo work in ESCO’s Hank Swigert Center for
Innovation, where they support the innovation and engineering communities. 
​​

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. 


ESCO072018-448_Pha.jpgPha, 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.”

 

Now 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. 

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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.

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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.”


 

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​Like 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.”