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GE Aviation's Quick Six with Bryne Berry

March 08, 2019 | by Sharnoosh Shafie
From working parents to military veterans, GE would not be the company it is today without its employees. We created “Quick Six” to celebrate our diverse talent by asking employees six questions that uncover the unique ways that they contribute to GE and the world.

In our next installment of Quick Six, we sat down with Bryne Berry, Environmental Barrier Coating Engineer at GE Aviation in Evendale, OH, working to develop and implement coatings solutions on the CFM LEAP engine.

Tell us a little bit about your role and what you do here at GE?

I am an Environmental Barrier Coatings (EBCs) engineer in the Engineering Material Systems Department. I am currently the coating focal for the GE9X combustor liners. I work on ways to mitigate coatings durability issues that we see on the LEAP engine and I try to apply those learnings and improved coating to the liner CMC hardware. I’m also the Coatings Digital Focal, driving coatings digital initiatives by introducing low-cost, high-impact digital tools such as QR codes to optimize vendor and department operations.

I attended the University of Iowa and received my bachelor’s and master’s degrees both in mechanical engineering, and my thesis was on carbon fiber composites. In 2012 I completed two internship rotations at GE Transportation in Erie, PA, and in 2013, I had the opportunity to apply for the Edison Cornerstone program here at GE Aviation.

In 2014, I started at GE Aviation in the Edison Cornerstone Development Program. My first rotation was in GEnx High Pressure Turbine stage 2 blade design working to substantiate non-conformances and implement drawing changes. I had an opportunity to do the Ceramic Matrix Composite (CMC) track which allowed me to have my two remaining rotations in CMCs, one in CMC Material Behavior and my last rotation in EBC coatings where I currently reside. I also took a six-month bubble assignment in Asheville, NC as a CMC quality engineer for LEAP shrouds. Overall, I’ve been here a total of four and a half years and loving every second of it!

How would you say the work you currently do is impacting our products and customers?

Ongoing coatings durability issues are a significant impact to the business and our customers. l work with a talented team of coatings engineers to develop and implement coatings solutions to help mitigate this impact.  As the Coatings Digital Focal, l also drive digital initiatives to collect coatings processing data to help optimize improved coating performance in order to protect supply chain.

How did you get into the field of engineering?

I watched the movie Twister as a kid, and I loved it! When I was younger, my parents sent me to meteorology camp and nurtured my love for science. In high school, I got involved in a study that tracks girls in high school and what leads them to pursue STEM careers. That opened me up to a lot of workshops and college visits to Iowa State to visit their engineering department, and I got to experience how humanitarian engineering is. I think engineering gets a bad rep because it’s made out to be very cold and mechanical, especially for women. Everything engineering does helps towards improving humanity. I started to move away from storm chasing into engineering around sophomore year in high school, which is what ultimately led me to the University of Iowa, and I’ve never looked back!

What do you love about working at GE Aviation?

We solve complex problems here at GE, and not only are they complex, but they affect something we all do regularly such as air travel. This really hit home for me when I first started working at the Evendale plan in 2014. I was flying back from Paris on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and as someone who was fresh out of college and a designer for the stage 2 blade, it just really made it more impactful. On top of that, the culture of volunteerism that we have here at GE is incredible. I have found so many opportunities to give back to the community which is really important to me. I had a colleague by the name of Laura Armanios, and we were both recognized at the GE Volunteer for starting a program called Limitless for Bond Hill Academy of the Cincinnati public schools. This enabled us to work with Cincinnati public school teachers and encourage them to develop extracurricular activities for students in order to make an impactful and sustainable effort to get their kids more excited in STEM.

It’s been really rewarding and inspiring to have a company like GE that supports its employees for giving back to the community while making an impact at work, and these are the two biggest reasons why I love and enjoy working here at GE Aviation. Being able to wake up and go into work every day, knowing we have a mission to solve very big and complex problems is probably the biggest motivator for me. I love working with an amazing group of people that are focused on problem solving. Everything is always really new, so work never gets boring.

What would you tell new folks, primarily women coming into engineering roles here at GE?

When you are in engineering technical reviews, even if it’s your first week, sit at the table. Being a new engineer, I felt very intimidated, but you deserve to be here, you are one of the best and brightest, so sit at the table, you deserve it just as much as anyone else who’s more senior level than you. Also, get involved in early career professional organizations, get involved in different tech communities, and get involved in volunteering. There’s a lot of opportunities to not only develop your professional career but also your personal.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your hobbies?

I actually do standup comedy here in Cincinnati, OH, and have been a comedian for five years now! It’s a great time to be silly and use the other side of my brain. Cincinnati has a great comedy scene, amateur and professional, and this is one of the biggest things I do outside of work besides volunteering and reading. I was encouraged by my friends to do an open mic contest at my college and I ended up getting second place! The Des Moines Playhouse in Iowa had a Second City-like sketch comedy club called Second Saturday, so every other Saturday of the month we would learn improv and had to write sketches. Growing up, I watched a lot of SNL and Mad TV which kind of helped me be silly and work on my comedy prep, and then I switched to standup comedy! I still get stage fright every time I walk on stage. Something I do that always helps me before I get on stage is imagine that I’m talking to a group of friends and family, so I always make eye contact, whether I’m talking to 150 group of strangers in a comedy club or 30 people in a conference room. This has actually been really helpful for me in terms of public speaking skills. Overall, I’ve really enjoyed it!

Did you know Quick Six is a series? Read our previous features:

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GE Aerospace is a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, as well as integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft.