Jesse Pischlar, CMfgT, a native of Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, has always had an interest in building things and working with his hands. After watching his mother work as a medical lab technologist analyzing samples to diagnose illnesses, Pischlar became inspired to improve the quality of human life through the application of technology.
"I always liked biology," says Pischlar. "I would like to help people and improve lives."
Pischlar is now a manufacturing engineer in the Neuromodulation Division at Medtronic Inc. in Fridley, Minn. His daily tasks include manual assembly and validating laser welding and injection molding processes. He is also involved in the process development for implantable neurostimulation devices that help treat chronic pain and movement disorders.
Pischlar will soon be travelling to Switzerland for an anticipated two-month stay to transfer manufacturing processes to a Medtronic facility based in Tolochenaz.
A trail of hard work and dedication led up to where Pischlar is today.
In December 2011, Pischlar graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's in manufacturing engineering and summa cum laude with a bachelor's in plastics engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, Wis.
During this time, he received 21 scholarships and 14 academic excellence awards, including four SME Education Foundation (SME-EF) scholarships: the Myrtle and Earl Walker Scholarship in 2008; the Milwaukee Chapter 4 Scholarship in 2009; the Charles M. Chambers Director's Scholarship in 2010; Future Leaders of Manufacturing; and the Arthur and Gladys Cervenka Scholarship in 2011.
Pischlar joined SME in 2008 as a member of the University of Wisconsin-Stout S088 and has since enjoyed the many membership benefits available to students.
"It helped in knowing people in the industry, learning from them at events, talking to guest speakers and being in collaborative environments," says Pischlar. "I used the database a lot to look up a lot of articles and resources, which helped in doing assignments and to gain more knowledge of the industry."
As an undergraduate student, Pischlar had the opportunity to work as a manufacturing engineer intern at Medtronic Inc. in the Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management Division in Mounds View, Minn.
"Exploring uncharted territory for the company was exciting," says Pischlar about his favorite project as an intern. "It involved investigating the feasibility of new welding and joining technologies for our cardiac rhythm management products. Since graduation, I've moved to a different part of the company, but my old group is still pursing the project. It makes me proud that they saw enough value in the work that I did to continue working on it."
At the SME International Awards Gala, held in Nashville during the 2010 SME Annual Conference, Pischlar received the Charles M. Chambers Director's Scholarship as an undergraduate student and also met SME Past President Robert "Bob" Johnson, LSME, CMfgE, who served as SME's president in 1968-69.
Johnson is a medical device manufacturing professor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., where Pischlar is currently enrolled to pursue his master's in mechanical engineering.
"About a year ago, Jesse asked if I could show him the school," says Johnson. "His parents came down from Canada, and they went through St. Thomas. We went through what a master's program will be like. Before the semester began, I looked at my fall enrollment and saw that he was in my medical device technology course."
Pischlar also works on maintaining his abilities in his second language - French.
"I am fascinated by languages," says Pischlar. "Eventually I am going to start learning Spanish because I will be transferring manufacturing lines to Puerto Rico in the next couple of years and would like to be able to have some skills with the language for when I go there."
"Jesse goes after what he wants," says Johnson. "He's going to end up doing some rather big things."