2022 Engineering Leader Under 40: Steve Wishau, 31
Steve Wishau, Head of Product, Pico MES, Redwood City, CA
Steve Wishau, 31
Head of Product
Redwood City, CA, United States
BS Engineering Mechanics & Astronautics, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Why Steve is an Engineering Leader
Steve Wishau is an engineer’s engineer. His talent is identifying opportunities to improve factory output and quality through innovation and technology. With his blend of operations and process improvement experience, he relates to real-life challenges and opportunities facing today’s factories. His favorite place is side-by-side with operators and engineers, lending a hand, getting feedback on their pain points and creatively solving unique challenges, and more than 15 minutes will not pass without Steve checking his email to make sure no one needs his help.
Achievements, Advancement & Career-related Industry Contributions
- As a Production Development Engineering Manager for a 3D printing company, Steve revamped a medical device with a 5-piece assembly to a 3D printed single plastic piece, reducing part cost by 85% while maintaining function.
- As Head of Operations for a medical device company, Steve converted product production from pilot manufacturing to full-line production in 3 months (vs a 10-to-12-month previous pace). This increased output of medical test kits from 10,000 to 75,000 per day.
- As Head of Operations at an industrial power company, he redesigned the laser welding process, eliminating hundreds of thousands of dollars in tooling costs, through 3D printing and design. This had a significant benefit to the company’s cash flow.
- Steve earned his bachelor’s in engineering mechanics and astronautics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he served as a member of the Zero Gravity team a NASA grant project, resulting in a working directional self-propeller technology.
Non-work-related Activities & Hobbies
After working for a power company, Steve gained so much electrical experience that he now builds his own lamps. He has always been handy, and adding the electrical skills to his portfolio keeps him busy at home!
He flew in a NASA zero gravity plane simulating weightlessness. The plane would freefall for 30 to 45 seconds over and over! And he loved every second.
In the past year, Steve grew into a top-notch plant collector (as in green, growing plants). He daydreams of one day having a yard and spending even more time connecting directly with nature.
Why Steve chose this career
When quizzing his father about the mechanical drawings brought home from work, Steve became enamored with engineering early on. He took this passion to his college major and extracurriculars, including editor of Wisconsin Engineer magazine, build site volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and construction crew leader during a mission Trip. But it was his experience in the factories that really engaged Steve. He thrives on enabling manufacturers to leverage innovation to make products faster and less expensive. 3D printing, digital work instructions and integrated devices are all technologies Steve has utilized to upgrade every factory where he has worked.