Sourcing? What is Sourcing?

Hello everyone,

Head over to my blog and read my ‘About me’ to get a little more info about who I am. The short version, I’m Niko and I will be entering my 3rd year at OSU majoring in MSE in the winter. I will not be at OSU during the fall because I am currently co-oping at GE Lighting in Cleveland (Nela Park). Nela Park is headquarters for GE Lighting Division. I am currently working in the Sourcing department at Nela.

Now you might be asking, what is the Sourcing department? Don’t worry, before I started working I did not know either. Basically the Sourcing department qualifies alternate suppliers of materials. I am currently working on a number of projects to qualify new suppliers and manufactures. The ultimate goal is that the Sourcing department constantly saves the company money. Having two or more suppliers is good for many reasons (competitive price, if one can’t meet demand, etc etc). These potential cost savings/benefits are extremely important to the company.

By the way, the term ‘lamp’ means what you would think as a ‘lightbulb’. The picture is a compact fluorescent lamp, or a compact fluorescent lightbulb. I will mostly be using the term lamp as that is what I have grown accustomed to in the past 2 months. Lamp is the technical term.


So how does engineering play a role in this? New suppliers and cost saving? Am I a business/finance major in disguise? Not at all. This is a blend of both engineering and business. All of my materials science knowledge helps me understand the tests I’m doing (particle size distribution, SEM imaging, tensile tests) while I am still working with other companies about materials. I have a great mix of lab time as well as what would be considered more business stuff. I really enjoy this mix as I always thought I wanted to do some sort of engineering/business.

The lab work I do consists of testing various phosphors in order to qualify new suppliers. The majority of the projects I work on are phosphor projects. I’ll make another post about phosphors soon, but the basic deal is phosphors are what make fluorescent lamps actually glow.

Overall materials science really is one of the best majors for what I am doing. Understanding material properties allows me to understand what I am actually looking for when I talk with companies to see if they can offer a comparable material. Since not everything I work with is phosphors, the broad range of MSE allows me to transition and learn about new projects quickly.


About nikomse
Will be entering my third year at Ohio State majoring in MSE. Currently I am co-oping at GE in Cleveland until December.

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