Talmaki (MEng ’10, MSE ’12, PhD ’12) works for Caterpillar, Inc., in the company’s leadership technical development program. This is an 18 to 24 month rotational program that allows employees to experience different business units within Caterpillar. Talmaki is currently a product development engineer within the automation and enterprise solutions division.
He attributes his successful transition from academia to industry to his advisor.
“Having a mentor/advisor in school who understands your interests and supports you from early in your grad school journey is very important. I was fortunate that I had the guidance of Dr. Vineet Kamat, my Ph.D advisor who encouraged me in any career direction that I pursued."
Talmaki works with people from various backgrounds and can work in locations across the globe, which he feels are benefits of working for a large organization.
“This gives you the ideal path to develop your skills in a well-rounded manner and opens up further opportunities as one advances in their career,” he said.
Talmaki’s Construction Management and Engineering courses prepared him well for his career. He is working on construction-related research projects and still refers to his class notes, a testament, he said, to their real world relevance. He took computer graphics and C++ programming courses outside of CEE that have also helped him with his research and marketability.
“I would definitely encourage all CEE students to explore courses outside of their immediate comfort zone as these often have a huge impact on your ability at finding a job.”
Talmaki also encourages students to do internships in an industrial setting to help decide if an industry career is suitable to them.
One of his favorite memories from CEE is being a part of the concrete canoe team for two years.
“Being able to represent the department and the block M in competition is a proud moment for any Wolverine and that was one of my most memorable.”