Heavy Lifting

Photo By
Hannah Ziegeler

Michael Englmaier learns to design hydraulics at Parker Hannifin Corporation.


Portage, MI


Western Michigan University (WMU)
Engineering Design Technology Major; Business Management Minor
Expected Graduation: May 2020


Engineering Intern at Parker Hannifin, Summer 2018

Working on all Cylinders 

I grew up in Michigan, but I was originally born in Germany. My family moved to the U.S. when I was two and stayed in Portage ever since. I work in Parker Hannifin’s fluid hydraulics and pump division. At this location, we make all the company’s hydraulic pumps that go into John Deere excavators, backhoes, fishing vessels, mining equipment, and more.

Dual Responsibilities

I’m a shared resource around the plant. I help on the production floor for manufacturing, but I also support the product design team upstairs. I have two mentors: one of them is the head of production engineering, and the other is the manufacturing plant leader. On an average day, I come to work and run tests for different hydraulic components, then send those off to get those 3D printed or machined at a tool shop. When I receive new parts, I go down to the shop floor and help with implementing them.

Pursuing a Passion 

Ever since I was a toddler, I’ve been taking things apart—and most of the time, I’ve been able to put them back together again. I had always wanted to be a mechanical engineer until I realized that most of a mechanical engineer’s work is theoretical math. I like 3D modeling more, so I was drawn to design. Who doesn’t like seeing all those pumps on a computer screen?

No Shame in Asking

More than anything, Parker Hannifin has taught me the value of teamwork, and the importance of every single employee. Everyone on the team is an expert with so much knowledge and experience to share. We have an open-door policy, so I don’t feel guilty asking questions. If I run into a problem, the engineers can target exactly who to ask depending on what kind of expertise would help me the most.

Moving on Up

At first, I was a summer intern, but during the fall, the program transitioned to a co-op. I still have a full schedule of classes at Western Michigan University, but that learning is supplemented by my continuing work here. The 3D modeling labs I took last semester gave me a lot of hands-on experience that now I use every day.

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