Title: Applications engineer
Company: Idex Corp.
Why he was selected: Has led internal projects to supply seals for several large oilfield service companies as the only U.S.-based application engineer for Idex Corp.'s Precision Polymer Engineering Ltd. subsidiary.
What inspired you to pursue a career in the rubber industry?
PPE is an international company with a clear purpose and drive behind them. The more I learned about elastomers the more I realized that it is a fresh field and there are still a lot of discoveries to be made. That is exciting because every application is different and I am constantly learning.
How has working in the rubber industry broadened your view of the world?
I didn't know much about seals or elastomers in general before I started working in the industry, but now I know how prevalent they are in our everyday life. Seals can be thought of as simple components, but the failure of only one can keep a whole oil rig from operating or shut down a fab making microprocessor chips. In addition, I've learned about polymer production from base chemicals to compounding, mixing, and molding. More than most materials, polymer parts have to be designed with a manufacturing process in mind.
How did your company sell the rubber industry to you during the recruiting/hiring process?
I started asking questions about different compounds and found out that seals would be designed differently depending on the compound used. This was interesting to me, so then my manager started telling me about the different mechanical test methods for rubber and how it behaves non-linearly and is non-Newtonian. Basically they sold me with cool aspects of engineering elastomers. But then my manager also told me I'd need to interact with customers more and deliver training courses, which I wanted to try out to branch out from pure engineering like I'd done before.
Other interests: Seeking out antiques for restoration with his wife, Jessica, and 2-year-old son, George. Also enjoys woodworking projects like building furniture and other small items.