MRO Technician Spotlight: Jordan Vander Woude
The MRO Editorial staff sat down with Jordan Vande Woude of Dematic to discuss the technician field.
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Engineering support technician
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Support Dematic product development engineers with diagnostic testing, troubleshooting, sustaining engineering projects, fabrication and prototype development.
MHMRO: How did you get into this field, and what do you like about it?
Vander Woude: I have always liked fixing and building things. I learned how to use AutoCAD in high school and embarked on many fabrication projects for school and at home. Also, when I was in high school, I participated on a FIRST Robotics team and learned all I could about controls and electro-mechanical devices. That experience really affirmed my passion for and interest in technology, problem solving and strategy.
MHMRO: What are the most important skills for a successful technician?
Vander Woude: Curiosity is very important: You need to always ask why something works the way it does. Then, you do the investigating, testing and analyzing to obtain the best results. My knowledge of AutoCAD as a design tool has really helped me succeed at Dematic. General mechanical and electrical knowledge is imperative for success. Also, having an innovative spirit is vital.
MHMRO: Who were your mentors or other influential professionals?
Vander Woude: My father was a significant influence on my career choice. He taught me so much about all aspects of mechanical devices, controls and problem solving. He made it fun. Today, my work is rewarding and satisfying. My colleagues at Dematic are my mentors today. The expertise of the engineers and technicians on our team is available to me and it is valuable. The combined knowledge of my colleagues is a
resource I tap into all the time. There
is no substitute for experience.
MHMRO: How do you keep up with new technologies?
Vander Woude: I am a student now. My goal is to obtain a degree in engineering. My current job as a technician is ideal because it is so relevant to my studies.
MHMRO: What would you say to young people considering a career as a technician?
Vander Woude: Join us. It is challenging and interesting work that allows you to think, be creative, and be satisfied that you accomplished something every day. This is a field where you are constantly learning and expanding your horizons. A career in the electro-mechanical field of automation including materials handling systems is a good choice because you will most likely have continuous opportunities to grow and develop your skills.