Five Questions Friday with Jason Balser of Goodyear Tire & Rubber


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Jason Balser

Title: Development Engineer, Goodyear Tire and Rubber

Hometown: Medina, Ohio

About: Jason graduated from Ohio State University in March with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering. He worked on the university’s Formula SAE team designing everything from brackets to body panels, which helped him land his job at Goodyear. He plays drums, attends local SCCA autocross events, and is eventually looking to get into SCCA Rallycross and Stage Rally.

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Career goals: "I would eventually like to become a chief engineer for a major project within whichever company I am working for when the opportunity presents itself. There’s no greater feeling than knowing customers are enjoying a product that you led to success."

1) Why do you do the work you do?
I actually didn’t get into automotive engineering until I went to college, but as soon as I found out how much I loved it, I couldn’t get away from it. I love working in the automotive field as opposed to a field like aerospace or theoretical research because it’s so hands-on. If I design a part or a component in a car, I can make it, and then when it’s released, go out and see and touch it in person on a production vehicle. That’s tough to do in other industries.

2) What is your proudest career moment?
I’m still relatively new in my career at this point since I just hired on at Goodyear Tire & Rubber in April of this year. I guess my proudest moment in my career thus far was simply being able to find a job before graduation. It’s a tough thing to do nowadays, as it seemed for a while that every company was struggling just to stay afloat. It’s gotten a lot better in the past few months, but for a while, it was rough.

3) What goal inspires you most?
I’d like to be a chief engineer for a major project. I’ve always read about the chief engineers of vehicles like the Tesla roadster, Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius, or various other projects, and I would love to be able to call a project “mine” someday.

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4) How has SolidWorks made a difference in your life?
SolidWorks is really how I started to get into serious component design. I had played around with Pro/Engineer before being exposed to SolidWorks, and at the time it [Pro/E] was way too complex for what I was trying to do, and the steep learning curve didn’t help much. The learning curve of SolidWorks was such that I could gradually work my way up to more complex projects and eventually produce components such as the chassis and body panels for our Formula SAE car. My involvement with that team is what distinguished my resume from others when looking for jobs, and also prepared me to move up to using more complex CAD programs like CATIA and Pro/E that were previously too tough to learn in a short amount of time. I can remember numerous times where I had one-sided yelling matches between myself and SolidWorks because it wouldn’t loft sections how I wanted them, or threw seemingly unsolvable errors at me, but all in all, I feel it has prepared me well for a career in the automotive engineering field.

5) Where’s the best place you’ve traveled?
Best place I’ve ever traveled was Los Angeles. I drove from Ohio all the way out there and back, stopping at sites such as the Bonneville Salt Flats, Mount Rushmore, and driving up the Pacific Coast Highway. Not to mention every day is a beach day out there since it’s always 75 and sunny, with no chance of rain.

Matthew West

Matthew West

SolidWorks alumnus. I like plate reverb, Rat pedals, Thai curry, New Weird fiction, my kids, Vespas, Jazzmasters, my wife & Raiders of the Lost Ark. Not necessarily in that order.