Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Aviation Academy

André Koopman as Customer Support Engineer @ SR Technics

Posted at: 23 Feb 2021 | Faculty of Technology

In 2012, André graduated from the Honours Engineering track. After that, André has been working as lecturer at the Aviation Academy. Currently, he is working as a Customer Support Engineer at SR Technics Switzerland. He will tell us something about his experiences after graduation and his outlook on the future.

If this isn’t your first job since graduation: what were your others jobs at which companies?

After graduation in ‘Aviation Studies’ (as how it was still called that time) I remained at the Aviation Academy in the role as lecturer. During these years I became particularly involved in the development and execution of the ‘Design for RAMS/LCC’ module. My touch may still be visible in the today’s course materials ;-). I remained at this position for more than five years until I moved to Switzerland.

This is the point where I started my career in the industry as a RAM/LCC Engineer at Stadler Rail (train manufacturer). In this position, I was responsible for the development of the maintenance programs for several train systems as well as for performing reliability, availability and maintainability analyses (both on train and system level).
Despite my interest in the RAM/LCC subject, I found out that I was missing that ‘third dimension’. Trains simply don’t fly, so as a consequence, I rather quickly found my way back to where I belong: in the aerospace industry. To be more precise, I landed in the Engine MRO as Customer Support Engineer at SR Technics Switzerland.

How did you get your current job?

By submitting an old-school application for the open position that I found via SR Technics’ career site.

What are your daily operations?

As Customer Support Engineer, I’m so to say the customer’s face within our organization for all technical matters around an engine shop visit and specialized on the CFM56-5B and -7B engines.
Together with a team, which further consists of an account manager (our customer’s face for all commercial matters), a project leader (shop visit planning) and an overhaul engineer (overhaul/repair support), we’re managing each single engine that goes through our shop.

My primary task herein is the definition of the workscope, which includes the workscope levels for each engine module as well as the consideration and implementation of applicable Airworthiness Directives and Service Bulletins. The workscope is a living document and may be frequently updated throughout the shop visit depending on the findings that need to be addressed.

In addition, I provide technical support to our shop, conduct technical investigations and issue investigation reports accordingly. Such investigations are for example requested in cases like unscheduled engine removals or (unusual) findings during engine overhaul/repair.

And this is still not everything… What I haven’t mentioned yet is for example interacting with OEM’s and vendors, supporting our Product Management in regard to contractual matters (e.g. removal plans, workscoping, LLP management, etc.) or supporting customers with other technical enquiries (e.g. on-wing issues).
Long story short, there is too much to mention that keeps me busy during my daily work and is that what makes this job so extremely diverse.

What do you like the most at your job?

As previously mentioned, this job is extremely diverse. Not only because of the variety of tasks, but also because of the many disciplines and people I need to interact with in order to get things done. It’s all about managing processes and getting the right people onboard to tackle the daily challenges.
Apart from that, it is great to gain in-depth technical knowledge on gas turbine engines and to see and learn new things day in, day out. Not one day is like another.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I don’t really have such concrete career objectives. I hope to be still in the same position after five years, but then with five more years of experience and know-how in the pocket. The time will tell which new things will come onto my path and how that will affect my future career.

What did you like the most from your education that helps you out nowadays in your work?

There are many things that helped me on the way to where I’m now. What I liked the most were courses on airframe systems (in particular gas turbine engines of course) as well as the many facets of effective project management and technical writing.
There are of course many other skills and competencies that I acquainted during my studies and which I still use/apply on a daily basis. Honestly speaking, I’m not sure to say whether everything was also that what I liked to do. Nevertheless, it was definitely all of much value for my current work indeed and helped me to the place where I am now.

Are you still connected with the Aviation Academy?

I was of course connected during my work at the Aviation Academy. It’s hard to keep the connection after having left the Academy and living/working abroad now, but who knows where and when our paths cross again! At least already here and now by writing this contribution to the ‘A Day in the Life of an Alumnus’ series :-).