My job experience started early. I used to love hanging around my father's aerospace company when it was in it's early years. There was always something exciting going on and my mother would bring me there on Saturdays and sometimes during the week when they were working. I was given odd jobs such as removing resistors and capacitors from used circuit boards to be re-used in his custom built machines. I was also given the broom and vacuum cleaner all too often, to clean up with, much to my dismay. This gave me the opportunity to ask questions about the equipment I was around and the parts I was working with. I remember the early flickering red LED segment displays that were cutting edge back then! I think I was the only eleven year old in my class to know how to identify resistors, capacitors and diodes by eye!

This early part-time bubble gum and Mad magazine money job progressed into a full-time job for a number of years. In these years, I went from sweeping the floor and taking out the garbage,to assembling skids and packing the finished machines to doing some of the grunt jobs around the machine shop. This started with jobs such as lapping machined parts to micron tolerances, drilling holes with the drill presses and cutting pieces to a rough size using the band-saw and cutoff saw. Working in that machine shop taught me some valuable skills such as reading micrometers and other measuring instruments. I also learned to use marking dyes and learned of tolerances and other skills from some pretty knowledgeable machinists. I did some work on the lathes and Bridgeports, but nothing that was especially critical. I learned to braize small torsion spindles and other mechanical parts with silver solder and other metal rods.

After proving myself as not a complete hack!, I progressed to doing jobs in the assembly manufacturing end of the business. This started with assembling cables by following blueprint specifications, soldering mil-spec connectors to multi-wire cables cut to the correct sizes and stripping and shrink wrapping the wiring appropriately. After I proved myself to the correct degree, I was soldering custom circuit boards, wiring harnesses in the machines, mechanically building the units and assembling the pneumatic solenoids and controls from blueprints. The instruments made by my dad's company are used in many military applications and this level of quality was necessary. I learned a little about the supply end of the business, also, such as where the different parts were supplied from and how many different distributors and vendors were really behind a successful manufacturing business.

After going to school for electrical technician training in the early 1980's, I decided to get a job outside of the family business and worked in a power supply company for a few years assembling and testing power supply units for use in large telephone systems. This included working on the line, assembling the units, bolting items to the cases with automated torque tools. I also tested all the units for proper output and waveforms, crimped wiring harnesses with terminal crimping machines and assembled and soldered circuit boards

As the job making power supplies was getting kind of monotonous, I decided to try another trade for a little bit, I worked for a company framing expensive houses for a year. This was a valuable life experience as I learned how much there is really to building a house from framing to insulation to electrical to plumbing. I had learned plumbing and other skills from my dad, but these reinforced it a bit. I left after a year or so as it was just too darn cold doing that in the winter!!

After this, I worked in a machine/manufacturing shop for a year where we made right angle worm gear assemblies. These were made from scratch, where I started with a mammoth 2 ton press where you put your parts such as a shaft with a tapered bearing in on a fixture hit the press, turn them over press again, etc. (not fun!). All the parts such as the shafts and gears and flanges were made on the premises. The case castings came in bare with no holes, we bought our hardware and bearings. I worked on an automatic four head drilling and tapping machine that would tap different pipe threads into the cases, it would automatically reverse itself at the properly set depth. (not fun!). I also did final assembly which required the use of different size shims to get correct end play. This company ended up moving south to North Carolina and I didn't feel like moving 1500 miles, so I moved on!

I decided to go back into my electrical and manufacturing scene so I got a job at a small company that produced circuit boards, custom wiring harnesses and other small, limited and extended run specialty electronic devices. After a few months, I was head of the wire department and wave solder machine department. This included running the wave solder machine, trichloroethane degreasing machine (sole operator) and running a series of specialized Artos wire machines which cut, stripped and stamped wires to designated lengths. I built cable assemblies and harnesses, potted small electrical assemblies, inspected circuit boards and electrically tested assemblies in quality control and ran automated terminal crimping machines. Some automated circuit board assembly machine experience also. This was a pretty cool job and I was there for six years until it closed.

My next job showed me how the cast parts were made that I had worked with over the years. I made cast metal parts at a foundry in Ct where we used the lost wax technique for casting metal parts for a few years. I worked in the wax room creating the wax parts, I worked in the shell room coating the wax with ceramic slurry which had a strict drying schedule. I was lead man at operations out in the foundry, removing the wax from the molds, pouring the castings using both the air pour and a high tech vacuum furnace. I also removed molds from the kiln before pouring, broke the molds off the castings in the vibrating machine and worked in both finishing (grinding, sizing and inspecting) and plating operations. This company also decided to relocate down south and again I was not going to move for them!

Since I had always enjoyed working on cars for a hobby and had done a lot of work with my father on his cars, I decided to get a job in a metal fabricating shop doing automotive work. I worked in a shop, welding and custom bending tubing to specific shapes and lengths using pipe benders (Bend-Pak). I used Miller 200 Mig-welders with mostly overhead welding and extensive cutting torch experience. I also used Lincoln stick welders for arc-welding thicker parts. I also worked on the automobiles. This included building custom exhaust systems, chopping and welding front clips onto older chassis's for hotrod assemblies, doing brake jobs and general auto repair. I decided to sign up for the ASE certifications and after five or six years, I earned my Master Automobile Technician Certification in eight different automotive areas. This job gave me EXTENSIVE experience in welding and fabrication, but also gave me extensive burns and wasn't the easiest cleanest work, so I moved on...

After completing a two year stint at Pontiac/Nissan going to the latest and greatest training courses, I moved to Cadillac/Oldsmobile. Here I worked on automatic transmissions and the ever increasingly complex automotive electronics systems for quite a while until deciding that the dealer I was working for was incredibly cheap. In this time, though, I established a rapport with some GM powertrain division representatives and fixed many an "unfixable" vehicle. A paper can be found on my website describing some of the electrical systems in these earlier and later model cars. I attended hundreds of GM technical courses at the GM training center and managed to become an Oldsmobile Master Technician and Cadillac Master Technician for many years. I worked with the district reps and the GM technical assistance team to get the difficult cars repaired. I watched the infamous Cadillac HT4100 all aluminum V-8 slowly improve into the modern Northstar engine. I was there when Cadillac decided to rebadge the Chevy Cavalier and call it the Cadillac Cimarron. I saw the Allante and Catera launch and then get dropped a few years after. I was around to do the numerous head gaskets in the Quad 4 engines with dissimilar heads and block materials. I was also around to do about 200 4.9 liter oil pan gaskets over the years as four different designs were tried. I earned my license as a State of Connecticut Certified Emissions Technician which requires a long training course, certification test and issues a license to repair emissions related systems. In these days, I was a member of the Oldsmobile Service Guild and the Cadillac Craftsman's League and went to all kinds of events for service personnel. Nowadays, most of these are gone and there isn't much incentive to excel in the automotive field.

The last job in Automotive Service of which I worked from February 2000 to May 2011, was at a Chevrolet/Isuzu/Oldsmobile/Suzuki dealer. It then turned into just Chevrolet/Suzuki as Oldsmobile went away and Isuzu was dropped. In addition to keeping up with my training, I'm still an ASE Master Automobile Technician and earned the prestigious GM World Class Technician degree in 2002 which only about one percent of GM technicians have earned. It requires becoming a GM Master Technician in eight different areas, and I have done it in ten. Each Master Certification requires certain training standards and a monitored certification session for each one. The bulk of my work was rebuilding and repairing automatic transmissions and electrical and driveability work. At the end I worked only about 30-35 hours per week with my full-time college workload and left in May to get an Engineering job.

After doing all these jobs and getting my Engineering degrees, I can pull all my hands on experiences to become a pretty well rounded Engineer. I have had the fortune of seeing all kinds of things that looked good on paper fail in the real world due to something that the Design Engineer didn't forsee. My Engineering training took me seven years and I received a Bachelors Degree with a dual major in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Engineering Technology. Graduating in 2011, I have been working as an Engineer in the aerospace field for the last two and a half years ...

Latest Job .. Beacon Industries Manufacturing Engineer/Tool Designer/CNC Programmer Engineer in charge of creating and overseeing processes to produce aerospace parts. We produce rotating disks, hubs, shafts and seals for both aerospace turbine engines and ground gas turbine engines. This includes daily use of CAD/CAM systems such as Unigraphics NX 6, NX 7.5 and others to create fixture designs and drawings, process sheets, CAD models and manufacturing files. I also write NC programs for CNC milling centers using Unigraphics, Mastercam, and hand coding. Other Engineering duties include diagnosis and problem resolution of machining center issues, process issues, production issues and setting up and designing fixturing for various processes from FPI to Shot Peen to Balancing and Spin Testing. Liaison with vendors on technical issues is also a part of the job. Since most of these parts are locked Engineering Source Approval processes, QC procedures, Root Cause Analysis and Inspection skills are also needed to get processes approved. Drawing interpretation and specification review for customers such as Pratt and Whitney, GE, MTU Aero Engines, Rolls Royce, Goodrich, Sikorsky and others are necessary. Creating and approving rework and repair procedures are also part of the job. June 2011 Present