From Design Engineer to Applications Engineer - An Exposé

Vince Farrell

By Vince Farrell

Hawk Ridge Systems Applications Engineer Vince Farrell shares his perspective on his decision to join Hawk Ridge.

Here’s the story of a man named Farrell, who was busy with 3 boys of his own…Wait, that’s for another blog. This is meant to show you all a little bit of my story, mainly my transition between being a professional design engineer and then becoming an application engineer for Hawk Ridge Systems.

The best way to start out is to give you my technical background. I graduated from UCSD in 2002 with a Mechanical Engineering degree and proceeded to work for the next 12 years in the following industries: food preparation machinery, aerospace, construction and LED aquarium lighting. This meant designing parts and assemblies using a variety of CAD programs including CATIA V5 and AutoCAD, but mainly SolidWorks. Some of the highlights were getting to work on the JSF F-35 program at Northrop Grumman, being involved in Research and Development, and getting to see the designs that I created built and used (or not used if it was a poor design). Hey, it’s all a learning experience right? Overall, a pretty normal designer career I think you’d agree.

Hawk Ridge Systems Application Engineer Vince Farrell

In order to give you something to compare to, let me explain what an applications engineer at HRS does. It’s my job to train folks (just like you) on how to use various parts of SolidWorks. In addition I provide demonstrations to people and companies who are interested in SolidWorks and the variety of other products that we offer. As was clearly explained to me during the interview process, THIS IS NOT A DESIGN JOB. So you might be asking now, “Vince, from what you’ve told me, you’re clearly a designer. Why did you even consider this job?” First of all, I do love design, but I love helping and teaching people more. I forgot to mention that I was a teaching assistant in college, along with a camp instructor so this wasn’t my first barbecue. Second of all, where else would I have the opportunity to see what cool things you folks are designing? With all of the NDAs and ULAs and whatever other acronyms there are out there, not many people get a chance to share what they’re working on. And let’s be honest, why did we become engineers? Because we like working on and learning about cool stuff!

As an AE at Hawk Ridge, I have the chance to help you with your designs by showing you new things about the software you’re already using to make your job easier, or showing you other programs to make your designs as flawless and great as possible. A pretty cool gig, in my opinion. Not to mention the fact of being part of a team that has the same passion for helping and teaching as I do helps a lot.

So that’s my story (well, just a little bit of it as promised above).

Thanks for reading! Check out the training course schedule.

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