David Zuniga
GO GSS Electrical Engineer, South America SPOC

Why did you join Air Products?
I joined Air Products, after separating from the military. The reason for choosing Air Products was the company’s culture, its leading position as a global gas manufacturer, and the stability it would offer to my family and me.

Why do you love working at Air Products? What is it that keeps you working at Air Products?
I love working at Air Products because of its culture. As an engineer, I feel empowered to make decisions, and seek developmental opportunities/training. As part of the operations team, I feel valued; the comradery and collaboration among other disciplines is exceptional.

Please describe your career at Air Products to date. 
I started my career in Air Products as an Electrical Technician, my job functions ranged from commissioning to “firefighting”. In operations, we oversee the life cycle of the equipment; it includes: maintenance planned or unplanned, troubleshooting and diagnostic testing, training, and implementing upgrades. In 2013 I joined the electrical engineering team as the single point of contact for Central and South America. In this role, I am responsible for supporting the day to day operations of our plants and business partners, which includes electrical systems analysis, equipment specifications, factory audits, and root cause analysis. Additionally, I also serve as the region’s electrical safety mentor and trainer. Part of my role is to train operations personnel and develop local engineers in Air Product’s standards and safe work practices.    

Tell me about the most intriguing/satisfying thing(s) you’ve been involved in since you’ve been at Air Products.
My most satisfying moment in Air Products has been the transformation in South America. Since acquiring Indura, the focus has been on sharing Air Products’ culture, aligning under one goal, one standard, primarily safety. In the last five years, I have witnessed our peers become more safety conscious. Safety is now a mindset, the driver of business decisions and day-to-day operations. Moreover, it aligns with our corporate goal to be the safest, most diverse, and most profitable industrial gas company in the world, providing excellent service to our customers.

What career advice would you give to those just starting out in their engineering careers?
Be a sponge, expand your knowledge, there is value in constantly learning, even when the knowledge seems impertinent. Take advantage of your mentors and coworkers experience, the opportunity to work with people who have spent decades in your field is a valuable part of entering a new career. Don’t be afraid to fail, it’s a precondition to success; learn to capitalize on every learning opportunity. Embrace new responsibilities and always be ready for a challenge.   

Please explain what you do (in your current and/or previous job) contributes to sustainability?
In my current role, I help improve sustainability in two ways. For operating plants, I support sustainability by performing improvements that allow the plant to operate more efficiently, saving energy and operating more reliably with minimum down time. For new projects, I support sustainability by selecting equipment that runs more efficiently; it helps optimize the use of resources (energy) and improve profitability.

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