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At Work: Senior Project Engineer

Senior Project Engineer
Name: Calvin Baker
Company: Hy-Tek Material Handling
Location: Columbus, OH
Age: 52
Years on Job: 8
Calvin Baker

Being a senior project engineer at Hy-Tek means always having a full plate. When a customer comes to us with a problem, I work with a team that determines the best course of action. We look at their facility and collaborate to develop a concept, and then we order parts and coordinate installation. I have been working with engineered systems for 30 years, and while the tools have changed, the basic skill set remains the same. To succeed, I have to be organized and approach problems in a calm and logical way to determine the optimal design. It’s difficult work but seeing a customer’s face the first time they see their new system work the way it was intended makes it all worth it.

Proposal Drawing
I lay out and design a solution using AutoCAD software that shows where each piece of equipment will go. Sometimes I do several revisions with customers to help them achieve exactly the look they envisioned.

Tools of the Trade
To take a project from a blank piece of paper to a steel-filled facility requires several tools. I work with a number of software programs and use the Internet to find additional information about rack loading and seismic considerations. I use measuring tools such as laser measures, tape measures and plum-bobs when field-measuring a facility.

Essential Skills
I may be doing a proposal for one customer, coordinating installation for another and ordering equipment for another. If I am not properly organized, something will slip through the cracks. I treat each customer as though they are the only one that matters.

I meet with the sales team to review what the customer wants to achieve. Occasionally, I travel with them as technical support, oftentimes during the start-up phase. It’s a group effort and everybody brings a different perspective to a project.

Installation Package
Once a final proposal drawing is approved, I put together an installation package. These are detailed drawings that identify all of the equipment for our installation crew. The drawings ensure that the installers position the equipment correctly in the building.

Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association