Careers @ LI-COR
"We have always stayed current, and not scrimped on equipment, or on education. That's a huge support factor."
The company that this 32-year veteran started with as a production machinist is a much different one than it was in 1977. He started making parts for the environmental instruments then being manufactured.
It was small in every way, there were 15 or 17 of us working at small metal benches in a building that was a fraction of its current square footage, thanks to multi additions over the years. That original building still houses environmental production, shipping, and marketing employees, but the LI-COR campus as a whole has exploded to include several buildings and expanded parking areas.
Now a mechanical design engineer, the veteran's career has grown right along with the company. He soon began to do more engineering prototype work, which slowly turned into almost fulltime prototyping, then design work.
"Before the sequencer, (the introduction of the company's biotechnology product line) everybody's jobs were a lot broader. You had to do a little bit of everything," he says. "Now, there is enough work that people are more specialized. There is not quite as much interdiscipline."
Learning new disciplines is just fine with this engineer.
"That is the thing that I've liked a lot," he says. "Because we were changing markets, no one had that background. There was so much to learn, but it was actually a fun part of it.
"For me, changes in the job are a challenge, but it's what I like. The job was interesting, because it changed all the time. It was very cutting-edge."
Through all of this change, there have been several constants – flexibility is one, and also the company's policy of providing top-quality tools and equipment as needs changed.
"We have always stayed current, and not scrimped on equipment, or on education," he says. "That's a huge support factor."