Featured Employee: Jenny Cheng

Jenny Cheng Lifestyle Photo

Jenny Cheng, senior project engineer located in Fergus, Ontario, Canada, enjoys working at A. O. Smith and contributing to the continuous improvement of its product development. Jenny grew up in China, where she says A. O. Smith has an excellent product reputation. Knowing that the products she works with have a trustworthy rapport, Jenny greatly appreciates and respects working in a positive work environment with a supportive and innovative team. 

Get to know Jenny...   

Where are you originally from?
I was born and grew up in Chongqing, China.  

When did you start working for A. O. Smith?
I started in February 2005.  

What is your current role at A. O. Smith? 
I am a senior project engineer reporting to the Corporate Technology Center (CTC). My proficiency is in the field of product simulation, which includes analyzing/evaluating product & component performance by modeling heat transfer/combustion/fluid dynamics/multiphase. The results of my work provide technical support for engineering teams to optimize design concepts and improve features/performance effectively. 

What hobbies do you have outside of A. O. Smith?
I’m involved in many church activities outside of my work. It helps me to have a deeper sense of purpose and understanding in both my work and personal life. I like singing, reading and watching TV too.    

What do you like best about working here?
I love the work environment and the people around me. I am very proud of A. O. Smith’s product reputation over the world, especially in China.

What’s the most interesting part of your job?
Sometimes, I think I was born for doing simulation work. I specialized in the field of simulation during the completion of my Ph.D.; I found it extremely interesting and useful in the industry. I am very fortunate to be able to continue this kind of work, as I enjoy applying my skills and knowledge towards A. O. Smith products. I am also training/supervising junior simulation engineers. 

Tell me about some of the accomplishments you’re most proud of while working at A. O. Smith.
I have participated in a lot of new product development projects, such as the low Nox burner and the side-fired water heater, to name a few. Some of them have been applied in the field, showing good performance. The advantage of simulation is its ability to provide and predict performance information, such that a product concept can be optimized before creating a physical prototype. It helps product development by reducing cost and improving efficiency. 

Which of the A. O. Smith Values do you identify most closely with?
I respect the good name and reputation of A. O. Smith and its products, and I sincerely hope that my work in the simulation team reflects these values. I do my best to ensure that our simulation team positively contributes to our company by providing good product support and engineering services.

Who inspires you inside or outside of the company?
My family is always my biggest inspiration in my life. I am thankful for my better half for his understanding and daily support. My daughter is working on her Ph.D and cites me as her inspiration for continuing her education. Inside the company, I am encouraged by the people surrounding me: my bosses, co-workers and customers (who give us projects to work on). They all inspire me to work harder and be better.

What do you consider your keys to success? (people or practices at the company that have helped you succeed)
I think company culture and personal interest in work are two keys to success. I really appreciate the acknowledgement of the simulation work from the A. O. Smith management team. Day-to-day, the engineers give us opportunities to use simulation on their new products. I enjoy what I do during my daily work routine. 

Have you participated in any training or development programs you felt were useful?
Yes, I like the training programs the company regularly provides and encourages employees to participate in. The programs include both technical (simulation software and user conference) and non-technical (employee motivation improvement) training. I have found both types very useful.

One of my bosses told me, “Training yourself as an expert when facing a challenge is sometimes much easier than trying to hire a new expert. This is a good way to effectively avoid project failure.” His words helped me to take big steps towards trying new skills and activities. When faced with difficulties in an unfamiliar area, I continue to develop my skills to gain proficiency in that area. Instead of waiting for a “real” expert to help in an urgent situation, it is a good way to learn to resolve challenges by ourselves.  

Who is your greatest inspiration?
In my personal Christian belief, God has always been my greatest supporter, comforter and inspiration.   

Where would you love to travel and why?
I am not a frequent traveler, but I enjoy my travels to the A. O. Smith plant in Nanjing, China. I find many work opportunities there as well as challenges I can contribute to.