They say that once you’re a wolf, you’re always a wolf. And now, one of our Pack has returned. Will Heath, a 2012 alumnus of the Edward P. Fitts Department of ISE, brings his near-decade of ergonomics experience back to NC State in the Ergonomics Center.
Heath has wanted to be a member of the Wolfpack ever since he can remember. “Growing up going to Reynolds and Carter-Finley are some of my best childhood memories,” he reminisced. So once it was time to become an official part of the Pack, Heath decided to be an industrial engineer. While with the ISE department, he excelled in his classes. “I loved working in the shops building solutions to novel systems,” he recalled. Heath also received a Fitts Scholar award during his undergraduate studies. “This was a huge honor for me and I was extremely grateful for the award. The scholarship allowed me to focus more on my studies and extracurricular work with the department,” he explained. “It was one of the reasons that I was able to come back to graduate school rather than heading out into the workforce immediately.”
After graduate school, Heath received an offer to work for Volvo. “At Volvo, I was a Manufacturing Project Manager, where my role was to ensure the manufacturability of any new projects added to our trucks,” he described. “I managed a team of engineers and worked at every level of the project from design through implementation.” Heath also served as a part of the International Graduate Program. He worked with young graduates in places like Brazil on long-term projects.
After Volvo, Heath served as a consultant at Humanscale. “I was working with different clients everyday of the week,” Heath recalled. “This role was also more focused on the office side of ergonomics and not as much on the manufacturing side.” He spent most of his time working one-on-one with people to improve their ergonomic setup and overall comfort. While in this role, Heath could create long-lasting change for his clients by conducting training sessions and strengthening their ergonomics expertise.
But the strength of the Pack is strong, and it was calling Heath back to NC State. Once he had given Humanscale a strong foundation for future ergonomic success, Heath returned to NC State — this time as a member of the Ergonomics Center. “NC State was where I was taught to be an engineer, so what better place to continue my growth,” Heath said. “Not only did I learn specific tools, I also learned how to think critically,” Heath explained. “No matter the situation, because of how we were taught, I’ve always felt prepared for any challenge.” The variety and challenges of the Ergonomics Center’s projects are why Heath is excited to be back.