A high school design class as part of Project Lead the Way inspired Lily Dietz to pursue an engineering career.
“We got to use Inventor,” she said. “I asked my teacher how I could do that forever, because I was always designing stuff and getting extra credit, and I enjoyed being on Inventor and 3D modeling.”
"I was always designing stuff and getting extra credit, and I enjoyed being on Inventor and 3D modeling."- Lily Dietz
Today she works as a design engineer for Enkei, which manufactures custom aftermarket wheels for cars and motorcycles.
“Our customers send us a 3D model of what they want the wheel to look like, and I double-check its manufacturability and analyze the 3D data against our internal criteria to make sure it will go through our process okay,” she said.
After completing an internship during her junior year of high school at Northrop Grumman that exposed her to different areas of engineering, Lily decided to pursue design engineering and was attracted to the program at Trine University.
“I found Trine because of the design engineering program,” she said. “My dad and I fell in love with the campus at the same time, but neither one of us told each other. I loved the atmosphere, how small it was, and the opportunities offered.”
She said her Trine education gave her exposure to different software packages, and helped her determine how she learns best. That knowledge helped her after she graduated in 2019 and joined Enkei.
“I jumped in here using CATIA, which was software that I’d never used,” she said.
She also used the 3D scanning skills she learned at Trine to diagnose an issue a customer was having with a wheel that drove differently when manufactured at Enkei’s Thailand location.
“There were some differences mount surface-wise because their process over in Thailand is a little bit different than ours,” she said, “We could compare the two 3D scans of the wheels.”