Work for a Company that Works for You

By Alec Arbia, Written Communications Assistant

photo of Aliya Eichacker (MSE’16), Project Development Engineer at Prysmian Group

Aliya Eichacker (MSE’16), Project Development Engineer at Prysmian Group

Aliya Eichacker (MSE’16), currently works as a product development engineer at Prysmian Group, a company that specializes in the production of specialty electrical cables.
When asked what led to her accepting this position, Eichacker said, “I chose Prysmian Group because they truly care about advancing sustainability in their products and processes, and are also committed to improving gender equality in manufacturing and a strong female presence in leadership and STEM roles.”
In high school, Eichacker knew that she loved both chemistry and physics, and wanted to study both together in a way that would make an impact on the world. Materials science and engineering (mse) gave me that opportunity; I was able to learn about chemical structures, chemical kinetics, thermodynamics – and more – to combine into a full understanding of real-life materials that can be applied to a broad range of industries.”
It was Professor Pamir Alpay, now interim Vice President for Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, who motivated Eichacker to attend UConn specifically, as during a campus tour he was “attentive, passionate, and inspirational.”
“There were many professors who impacted my time at UConn and who gave me the time and resources that led me down my career path,” Eichacker remembered. “Professor Bryan Huey was my academic advisor for three years and taught me a lot about project leadership and critical thinking. Professor Harold Brody [Emeritus Professor] was my academic advisor during my first year, and I continued to meet with him throughout my time at UConn as a mentor for advice and guidance on my career.”
In regards to her current job, Eichacker explained, “Prysmian Group manufactures wire and cable for almost every industry: building wire, electronics, EV cables, power distribution, nuclear plants, oil & gas rigs, optical fibers for telecommunications and so much more. I work in the Research & Development Department with people all over the world to create new products for the wire and cable industry.”
“As Product Development Engineer, I primarily work on cost-savings projects and developing new products,” Eichacker said. “I work on Prysmian’s Electronics portfolio of wire and cable – think computer cables, fire alarm cables, security alarm cables, coaxial cables, etc. There’s a big push for developing new materials to use as insulation on cables, especially products that can be more sustainable or 100% recyclable. I also support quality issues, sales team inquiries and quotes and more.”
When asked about the most rewarding part of her job, Eichacker said it’s “when I can help customers and produce a new product that is essential to the market. I like being able to help others and it is even better when we can collaborate with another team and broaden the range of markets to target with a new product or material.”
“The most difficult part of my job is timing,” Eichacker admitted. “When you’re dealing with a large manufacturing company, there are many moving parts and things can get delayed easily. It takes strong communication to be able to move projects in the right direction in a timely manner.”
Eachacker then went on to mention her excitement for the new manufacturing plant that Prysmian Group is building in Brayton Point, MA. “This plant will produce submarine cables  – cables designed to be submerged below the water, laying on top of the sea floor and buried in appropriate places – which will power new wind farms off the east coast of the US. Prysmian Group owns cable-laying vessels currently used in Europe and will bring that capability to the US as well. It’s an exciting new opportunity for green energy to be built in the next few years.”
The advice Eichacker wants to give current mse students is as follows: “Try to experience a wide range of what materials science and engineering has to offer. The great thing about this major is that you can apply it to almost every industry; I’ve worked in characterization, computational materials science, electrochemistry, metallurgy labs, and polymers – and I am still finding new things I love about materials science.”

Published: May 17, 2023

Categories: alumni, industry, news

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