What does it take to produce industry-leading fuels and lubricants that support your car’s engine day in and day out? Testing, testing, testing. Indeed, as these products are created, they go through a battery of vigorous testing to ensure they can effectively support modern cars. And while machines are an important part of the process, it takes dedicated humans to get the job done. Here, you can meet some of the very people who work every day to ensure your engine runs smoothly.
“I’d say I’m as much a builder as a tester. I’ve done all sorts of work in the automotive lab – from building engines used for stationary testing, to testing ball bearings under different loads. Since we do in-house lubricant blending, I get to run a test, then go talk about the results directly with the person who’s blending the grease. That makes getting to the perfect blend for the consumer a lot faster – and a lot more fun.”
“I perform viscometric tests on oils and dynamic mechanical analyses on elastomer samples. Basically, I help figure out how fluids flow and how well a lubricant will perform in an engine. Some testing is routine and some is experimental. If there’s a new piece of equipment that we’re “playing” with, seeing if we can use it to glean more information about our samples, that’s experimental testing. Both types are pivotal for improving the products we supply to customers.”
“I get to test our fuels in machines, rigs, tubes and cylinders, making sure everything functions like it’s supposed to. It’s pretty rewarding knowing I had a hand in creating our products. In fact, I was touring one of our fuel additive tanks at a terminal in Chicago, and one was labeled with a name I remember testing. It felt great seeing that, knowing I helped run tests on that additive before we gave the OK to put it into production for our diesel fuel.”
“When it comes the testing I do, I don’t want to know what I’m looking at. That might sound crazy, but it’s true. You want to be blind, because it takes out all bias in rating a product. As part of the R&D process, I test and rate sample engine parts, looking for imperfections like pitting, or sand in a casing, that can cause these parts to fail. For me, the worse the piece looks, the happier I am, because I get to investigate what caused it to fail.”
“My job is to lead the installation, construction and startup of the Lubricants Technology units, specifically stationary engines, like the one you see here. That includes designing and sizing equipment to meet the engine test procedures – and ExxonMobil’s safety standards. One of the best parts of my job is that I get to work with people from every background, which is huge when we’re doing research from all different angles.”