Life at Kaiser

Kaiser Aluminum’s leading role in our industry is the direct result of the people we have working here. We are proud of creating an environment and culture that attracts superior people. We’d like you to meet a few of those people as they share their stories of life at Kaiser.

Haoyan (Alice)

Alloy Development Engineer

With more than 10 years of formal training in alloy design, microstructural characterizations and finite-element modeling I was anxious to find a career in which I could put my talents to good use. Kaiser has been the perfect fit. It has provided me with an opportunity to grow beyond just research-based projects to advanced engineering where I can have a real impact on what happens on the plant floor.

The culture here has been very welcoming. My colleagues are extremely knowledgeable with a genuine willingness to share that knowledge. The company has created a learning environment and provided just the right combination of mentorship, technical support and outside training to make us succesful.

I feel respected, valued and part of a team that is striving to do great things.



Process Engineer

I am a process engineer at Kaiser. Every day I monitor various processes. That includes reviewing quality holds, scrap numbers, surveys, etc. In addition, I work very closely with production to reduce and/or eliminate the root cause of any quality holds and scrap.  The most fulfilling thing about my job is watching my efforts result in an improved process. There is nothing more frustrating than a machine breaking down or having to discard metal after spending days working on it. By monitoring the process and fixing small problems before they become larger problems, I am able to help improve machine up-time and reduce the amount of metal we scrap.

I enjoy the culture here at Kaiser. It is very positive. Everyone is very respectful and when issues arise, we come together to figure out the best solution. We have some of the best and brightest minds, here at Kaiser so when I have a question or they see I am struggling, they step in and offer guidance. I appreciate the trust they have placed in me and the responsibilities they have given me and I feel that my contribution is adding value to the company.



Sheet & Coil Production Supervisor

I spent eight years in the U.S. Army. I traveled all over the states and world throughout my time in uniform. Not all of my travels were for leisure, I spent 12 months in Iraq, and 15 months in Afghanistan providing convoy security in gun trucks. On more than one occasion I was awfully happy that the vehicles I was performing missions in were equipped with armor designed to protect us from the less than hospitable conditions we faced every time we left the security of the posts. When I learned that the ballistic armor that I was thankful to have may have been manufactured at a plant in my very hometown, my mind was already made up, I was going to be a part of that organization.

That became a reality when I joined Kaiser Aluminum.  I am the Sheet & Coil Production Supervisor at their Trentwood facility. I manage the department and ensure that quality product is sent to our customers in a timely fashion to meet the most demanding applications. Being  responsible for producing superior products in our market is the kind of challenge worth taking.

I am happy to call Kaiser home. I hope to work my way up through the ranks in Kaiser management. Watching Kaiser develop and invest in their leaders, and then promote from within leaves me with one goal, to manage my own plant in the future.



Maintenance Engineer Manager

When I was looking for work, I already had some familiarity with the Kaiser facility and process owners, as I have a relatively broad experience base in a fair number of heavy industrial facilities. Kaiser represented a wealth of new opportunities for growth, both technically and professionally, due to the large variety of equipment types, different processes and the scale of the facility. The ongoing challenges of maintaining and operating a facility this size and complexity provide a wealth of learning opportunities, both technically and in management roles.

One thing I enjoy about working at Kaiser is the fact that each day is quite different, simply due to the nature of the facility – particularly with the drive for process and equipment improvements. Continual planning, coordinating and execution of process and equipment upgrades make up a good portion of my day. If there are unexpected equipment issues or downtime, a lot of coordination, field work, planning and recovery work are involved in order to drive those conditions to completion. I also try to spend a portion of the day on the floor watching equipment operate and interacting with operators and maintainers on the floor to get a more involved picture of the facility.

At Kaiser, I enjoy solving difficult and long standing issues, as well as helping to provide educational and learning opportunities to others in the facility to try to help them do the same. Due to the size and complexity of some of the processes and lines, making a fundamental process change or improvement can be very challenging and time consuming, which makes succeeding at those projects very rewarding when it all comes together. I’ve found our facility to be full of talented people, the vast majority of whom show continual interest in trying to make the facility a better place.

As my career continues, my goal is one of continuous self-improvement – to learn better techniques for process management, for personnel management and for training. Kaiser has always been very supportive in providing me opportunities to do so.