Talent Spotlight On Joel McLachlan, Electronic Technician

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Talent Spotlight is a regular feature profiling the employees of Product Creation Studio. See the Talent Spotlight archive for more interviews. 

What led you to a career in product development?

After graduating from ITT Tech in 1993, I started my career in electronics service industry, working for several very interesting companies in fulfilling positions.

A few aspects of the service industry I disliked were not being involved in the creative process and the obscurity of why certain decisions were made in the final layout. Having the opportunity to work on design in the creation phase here at Product Creation Studio finally allows me the opportunity to participate from initiation to completion. The idea of contributing in this process to enhance lives is very exciting to me.

What excites you most about your job?

I have an opportunity to contribute on projects which benefit our clients and their customers to improve quality of life.

I worked in the medical ultrasound industry for 7 years, so I know what I’m doing here makes a significant impact. Not only am I involved in medical projects which save lives and improve comfort, but I play a role in projects which enhance the overall human experience. This is the driving force behind the passion I feel at Product Creation Studio. 

Describe your most rewarding work experience to date.

One experience that was very rewarding at my last job was a time when we had a remote hospital in the midwest that needed their ultrasound probe repaired immediately for testing on patients the next day. This can be critical due to small hospitals lacking expensive equipment and surgery being dependent on test results.

A small team of three technicians, including myself, stayed at work through the night to have the probe flown and delivered by hand to the biomed at the hospital the next morning. After our all-nighter, people started coming in to work and asking us when we got in because it was still very early. “Yesterday, we got in yesterday.” was our reply.

It was rewarding to know that our sacrifice that night may have saved lives, and we were able to go home by 8:00 AM that next day (Friday morning), making for a long weekend.

What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?

Apart from the joy I feel building knowledge in electronics, I love being a husband to my amazing wife, Becky, and dad to two amazing kids, Ethan (9) and Elizabeth (6).

My main interests are:

Astronomy: My primary telescope is the Orion Skyquest XX16g GoTo Dobsonian. My secondary telescope is a 5” Celestron refractor on equatorial mount. I also have a Coronado solar telescope that “sees” what is called H-alpha. This is the hydrogen converting into helium part of the solar atmosphere. I use this scope to watch the solar storms and surface of the sun. I like to observe solar system objects and have successfully seen all the planets, including Pluto (still a planet in my opinion!!) with my scopes. I also enjoy doing deep sky searches for galaxies and supernova.

History: I enjoy exploring medieval manuscripts and seeing artifacts from the ancient world. I’ve read quite a lot on early empires and how history has been passed down to us from that time. I’m interested in the colonial and Revolutionary War period as well as the Civil War era. In more recent world history, I enjoy reading about the Russian Revolution and WWI era.

 Science/Math: My science interests include Physics, Chemistry, and Biochemistry. I also enjoy Mathematics, specifically cryptography and information science.

What is something about you people would be surprised to know?

In my teenage years (and into my 20’s), I was very involved in music and played guitar in a handful of bands. It was the mid 80’s, and I definitely had the look: long hair, faded torn jeans, etc., of the bands I listened to. It was the era of Van Halen, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Metallica, and The Police.

It is worth noting that my taste in music has grown immensely over time, and now I enjoy relaxing to classical symphony music as well as jazz. I have tickets to the September 2019 Iron Maiden concert in Tacoma, so I still enjoy the heavier stuff at times.

One more fun fact, I have a rather large library containing over 1800 books on everything from the classics of literature, to cosmic wormholes, to Persian grammar.