URI engineering graduate recognized by national manufacturing magazine

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URI graduate Tim Pheland, an engineer at Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence. Photos courtesy of Hexagon.

KINGSTON, R.I., Aug. 3, 2017—Tim Pheland graduated from the University of Rhode Island last year with a master’s degree in engineering, and he’s already making a name for himself—nationally.

The 28-year-old Scituate resident made the “30 Under 30” list of “Manufacturing Engineering,” a publication of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and Advanced Manufacturing Media.

In its fifth year, the list celebrates Pheland and 29 other men and women throughout the country for their achievements, leadership and technical skills in manufacturing.

“I was surprised and honored at the same time,” says Pheland.  “I hadn’t heard of the award until my company nominated me for it, but once I looked into it, I was humbled by the honor.”

Pheland graduated from URI in 2012 with a bachelor of science in industrial and systems engineering, and a master of science in the same field last year.

He is a manufacturing engineer at Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence at Quonset Point in North Kingstown, responsible for optimizing the company’s computer numerical control systems in the programming and tooling areas. Hexagon nominated him to the list.

Pheland’s work resulted in a significant reduction in cycle time, enabling the department to improve quality and cut its cost per part in half.

“Tim Pheland is a shining example of the up-and-coming talent needed to push advanced manufacturing forward in the United States,” says Steve Ilmrud, vice president of operations at Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, North America. “Tim’s dynamic leadership and focus on excellence in the parts manufacturing area has helped our team significantly improve production processes and systems.”

Pheland credits URI with providing the knowledge and skills to succeed in the workplace: “URI is a large school with a small school feel. I benefited from the personal attention that students receive from the professors.”

He singles out Valerie Maier Speredelozzi, the engineering professor who guided him at URI and encouraged him to pursue his advanced degree: “She was always there whenever I had questions.”

Pheland is giving back to the University by sharing his expertise with engineering undergraduates. He helps arrange tours of Hexagon and works closely with a mechanical engineering intern from URI, Benjamin Lee of Jamestown, who is studying mechanical engineering and German.

“Ben is learning a lot about standardized work instructions, and he’s understanding the hands-on skills required in the profession,” says Pheland. “I’m confident he’ll be a more well-rounded engineer because of this experience.”

Maier Speredelozzi says she’s thrilled to have one of her students recognized nationally at such a young age: “I hope our current students will see Tim as a role model of how they can embrace lifelong learning and become problem solvers throughout their years at URI and beyond as young alumni.”

This story was written by Neil Nachbar, a writer in the College of Engineering.