ESI Partakes in Engineer Week 2018

From February 18-24, 2018, Engineered Software, Inc. will showcase one of our very own engineers each day – highlighting each person’s diversity, interests and advise to the upcoming generation of engineers. ESI is committed to making a difference in the industry and to showcase how engineers make a difference in the world.  Welcome to our world of world-class engineers.

Day #7 – Meet Donna Wolfe, Senior Software Developer
ENGINEERING DEGREE: 
MS in Electrical Engineering

WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WANTED TO BE AN ENGINEER? Starting in the 1st grade, I was hooked on math.  I have always loved puzzles and problem-solving, and math was the ultimate in both of those.  I was always curious about how and why the universe worked the way it did.   The laws of math are the foundation for the laws of physics, which provide the foundation for all of science, which, in my mind, is the key to understanding why the universe works the way it does.  I also always loved the logical nature of math: as long as you understood the WHY behind the mathematical laws, you didn’t really need to memorize anything, because most everything can be derived from those basic mathematical laws.

I majored in math in college, and towards the end of college added on computer science, because it was a way to apply logical laws and reasoning to create some really AWESOME things!  It seemed the perfect way to blend logic and analytical thinking with creativity.  In graduate school, I got a degree in Electrical Engineering in order to complement the Synthetic Aperture Radar image processing work I was doing in my first job after college.

WHAT IS THE COOLEST INVENTION EVER CREATED? It’s hard to pick one, there are so many amazing inventions!  This may seem like a relatively simplistic one, but I love Wikipedia.  I love the fact that it harnesses the inherent goodness in humans to contribute, the end result being an amazing wealth of information, which is completely free to all of us!  Millions of small contributions can make a huge difference, when aggregated effectively.

IF YOU COULD GIVE ONE PIECE OF ADVISE FOR FUTURE ENGINEERS, WHAT WOULD THAT BE? Don’t just memorize the formulas. Understand why they work the way they do.

Day #6 – Professional Engineer #1 - Meet Ray Hardee, P.E., ESI Founder
ENGINEERING DEGREE: 
Marine Engineering

WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WANTED TO BE AN ENGINEER? When I was a kid I took things apart and tried to figure out how they worked, sometimes I was able to put them back together and they would work.

WHAT WAS THE COOLEST INVENTION EVER CREATED? I have two inventions that I would list, the airplane and a nuclear submarine.  I chose them because they cover a variety of interrelated engineering disciplines that requires one to think about a system instead of an item of equipment.   

IF YOU COULD GIVE ONE PIECE OF ADVISE FOR FUTURE ENGINEERS, WHAT WOULD THAT BE? I would suggest improving your sales skills.  As engineers we typically focus on technology, but each project an engineer works on must be sold.  After all you want to get paid for the work you do so you want to sell yourself on your first job.  Later on as an team leader of engineers you need to sell the value of your team of engineers and the value they bring to the project, if you work directly with your companies customers you need to sell them on the vale of your products or services.

Day #6 – Professional Engineer #2 - Meet Dominik Fry, P.E.
ENGINEERING DEGREE: 
Mechanical Engineering

WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WANTED TO BE AN ENGINEER? The decision for me was easy. When I was young I always wanted to build things and know how they worked. When something like my parents bread maker broke I would take it apart and scavenge whatever I could. Now I can even put things back together, sometimes!

WHAT IS THE COOLEST INVENTION EVER CREATED?   The internal combustion engine. This allowed humans to travel faster, fly higher, dig deeper, and mow lawns faster. That and YouTube. YouTube will teach you how to fix anything!

IF YOU COULD GIVE ONE PIECE OF ADVISE FOR FUTURE ENGINEERS, WHAT WOULD THAT BE? The world needs engineers who make things, and make the world a better place to live. Practically everything in the world you touch has been made and refined many times by an engineer, even if you don’t see it at first. On a large scale it is our roads, vehicles, buildings and materials used to make them. On a small scale it is your phone, the lights, and the power to keep them running.   

Day #5 – Bermensolo #1: Christy Bermensolo, CEO
ENGINEERING DEGREE: 
BS in Mechanical Engineering

WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WANTED TO BE AN ENGINEER? Engineering won out over Architecture when I attended an ASME meeting up at Boeing and saw how they were designing the entire Boeing 777 within a Computer-aided-design (CAD) tool.

WHAT IS THE COOLEST INVENTION EVER CREATED? Technically speaking, the coolest invention ever created is a ‘gravito-magnetic trap” which uses gravitational forces and magnetic fields to cool sodium gas down to one-half-billionth of a degree above absolute zero. Seriously though, I think my smart phone connection to the IoT is pretty cool. I can feed my cat from anywhere in the world.

IF YOU COULD GIVE ONE PIECE OF ADVISE FOR FUTURE ENGINEERS, WHAT WOULD THAT BE? Don’t ever stop learning…the engineering discipline continues to evolve each year. If you want to be a part of it, you’ll need to foster your ability to learn and adapt to changing tools and a changing environment.

Day #5 – Bermensolo #2:Todd Bermensolo, EVP of Technology and Business Analytics
ENGINEERING DEGREE:
MS in Electrical Engineering

WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WANTED TO BE AN ENGINEER?:  When I was young, I loved playing the latest pop music loud on my D-cell consuming boombox.  I took apart old stereos to figure them out.  When I was of driving age I enjoyed wiring (and re-wiring) my car stereos...subwoofers, equalizers, amplifiers, etc.  I wanted the best sounding stereo at school.  When I learned that playing with electronics was the sort of stuff an electrical engineer does, I decided that was the degree for me.

WHAT IS THE COOLEST INVENTION EVER CREATED?:  The information prosthetic known as my iPhone.  

IF YOU COULD GIVE ONE PIECE OF ADVISE FOR FUTURE ENGINEERS, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?:  Don't be afraid to figure out how things work.  Once you do you'll probably find a better way of doing it.

Day #4 - Joe #1 – Meet Joe Benefield, Executive VP of Products
ENGINEERING DEGREE:
Mechanical Engineering

WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WANTED TO BE AN ENGINEER? After starting as a Physics/Chemistry double major full time right out of high school, I ended up dropping out and working full time as an engineering technician. I was crawling around in a 30” exhaust duct covered in ash from a coal fired furnace checking out if thermocouples were still working and thought maybe I should go back to school. I liked solving the hands on, tangible problems I’d run in to as a technician so decided mechanical engineering would afford me the broadest opportunities to do so.

WHAT IS THE COOLEST INVENTION EVER CREATED? There are so many fascinating inventions to choose from, and all pretty cool in their own way! I think the telephone gets taken for granted, but I guess I’m still amazed when I think with a touch of a button we can share a conversation with someone hundreds or even thousands of miles away.

IF YOU COULD GIVE ONE PIECE OF ADVISE FOR FUTURE ENGINEERS, WHAT WOULD THAT BE? Some of the best, most innovative ideas arise from taking common practice in one field of engineering and applying it to another where it hasn’t been used before. My advice would be to fuel your curiosity and keep learning wherever you find yourself. Always ask questions (and listen to the answers, of course!) and seek to understand the technologies and disciplines adjacent to your own, it will make you a better engineer within your area of interest.

Day #4 - Joe #2  Meet Joe Piccoli, Senior Software Developer
ENGINEERING DEGREE:
Bachelor of Science Mechanical Engineering Clarkson University

WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WANTED TO BE AN ENGINEER? In childhood/early adolescence after watching the moon landings.

WHAT IS THE COOLEST INVENTION EVER CREATED? The Apollo spacecraft/lunar module.

IF YOU COULD GIVE ONE PIECE OF ADVISE FOR FUTURE ENGINEERS, WHAT WOULD THAT BE? Don’t ever assume something can’t be done – try it and see

Day #3 – Meet Sarah Peckinpaugh, Product Engineer
ENGINEERING DEGREE:
 Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WANTED TO BE AN ENGINEER?: Not sure if it was when I realized it or when everyone else did. Before I have really started walking, my parents knew that I was going to be an engineer because my favorite toy was  the TV remote control. I loved taking it apart and putting it back together again. They still have a few pictures of me to this day with the TV remote!

WHAT IS THE COOLEST INVENTION EVER CREATED?: The Nail, modern human life would not have been possible without the invention of the nail. Before the invention of nails, wood structures were built by interlocking adjacent boards.

IF YOU COULD GIVE ONE PIECE OF ADVISE FOR FUTURE ENGINEERS, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?: What I would like to tell future engineering is to never give up. Engineering is a hard profession, but a very rewarding profession, where you will be constantly learning and improving the world for others.

Day #2 – Meet Jeff Sines, Senior Product Engineer
ENGINEERING DEGREE:
 Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WANTED TO BE AN ENGINEER?
In high school, I realized that mathematics is a language and engineering is the result of generations of progress toward understanding mathematical concepts then applying them to a wide range of engineering fields

WHAT IS THE COOLEST INVENTION EVER CREATED?
The Brush: there are so many forms and uses for a brush, from a toothbrush, broom, wire brush, car wash, hair brush, paint brush, toilet brush, chimney brush, etc.

IF YOU COULD GIVE ONE PIECE OF ADVISE FOR FUTURE ENGINEERS, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Excel in math, see math as a way to communicate ideas using equations and graphs

Day #1 – Meet Sysy Abdennour, Technical Support Engineer
ENGINEERING DEGREE: 
Chemical Engineering

WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WANTED TO BE AN ENGINEER?
I happened to sit outside a physics class in freshmen year of college and the professor was doing a Bed of Nails demo (sledge hammer, cinderblock and all). I signed up for that very class the next year and ended up switched my major from Chemistry to Chemical Engineering, as it combined my new-found interest in applied physics with chemistry.

WHAT IS THE COOLEST INVENTION EVER CREATED?
The transistor. This semiconductor is an essential component in almost every electronic device we use today.

IF YOU COULD GIVE ONE PIECE OF ADVISE FOR FUTURE ENGINEERS, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
My senior design professor, Dr. Harding, stressed on the importance of honing on our organization and writing skills. Now that I’m working as an engineer, what he said could not be more true. When studying engineering, we are so focused on applied math and physics, it’s easy to neglect writing and communication. There is rarely going to be an instance beyond schooling where you are presented with a problem to solve in an isolated environment. Engineering is collaborative. More than not, you will work in a team. It is vital to know how to effectively communicate and present your ideas and work.