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Engineer Spotlight: Mike Berrong

1/29/2021

ByJulia Jaskie

WHAT IS YOUR ROLE AT STANDARD ELECTRIC, AND WHAT DO YOU SPECIALIZE IN? 

I am an Application Specialist on the Technical Solutions Team (TST).  I’ve been in industrial automation for many years and focus on motion, motion control products and mechatronics.

HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN ENGINEERING? 

I went into the Navy right out of high school and found I was skilled in electricity and electronics.  I worked on autopilot systems which, as I think on it, is an: analog, three-axis position-control system with force override.  Oh, and the axes are coordinated with each other as well as some military technology I’m not at liberty to discuss.  At any rate, my efforts landed me at Purdue on a scholarship and the rest is history.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THIS INDUSTRY?

Right out of college I went into industrial automation as a technology writer.  The company I worked for developed training systems and curriculum for many of the products we distribute here at Standard Electric.

WHAT TRAITS DO YOU HAVE THAT HELP YOU IN YOUR ROLE?

First, you must be curious.  You need to be driven to step out of your comfort zone and want master new technology and concepts.  I’m also very detail oriented.  I’m not comfortable with a spec or a configuration until I know for certain that every single facet is accounted for.

WHEN YOU'RE WORKING WITH CLIENTS, HOW DO YOU HELP THEM IDENTIFY AND SOLVE THE PROBLEMS THEY'RE FACING?

I let the customer do the talking!  I am an engineer and I’ve been doing it a long time.  But… the customer has been doing what they do just as long or longer.  They are the experts in material handling, packaging, extrusion or machine building.  They know best how to solve their problems.  To be a good solution provider is to just really be a good listener.  After that, the engineering part is just math and physics.

WHAT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU'VE LEARNED WHILE WORKING AT STANDARD ELECTRIC?  

It’s a lesson I wish I learned long ago…. Customer first.  We hear it everywhere, but it’s generally lip service; something that looks good on a glossy brochure or entryway signage.  At Standard Electric, it’s in our DNA.

WHAT KIND OF THINGS DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE OF WORK?

I’m a beach bum. Sand, sun, (sunscreen), salty water, adult beverages, and a Bluetooth speaker are all I need. Central Indiana isn’t necessarily a beach-lover’s haven, so I also cook. Then there’s our weekly Trivia night.

WHAT IS AN INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOU THAT MIGHT SURPRISE CO-WORKERS OR FRIENDS?

Let’s see…. even though I was in the Navy and travelled the world, I never once saw a ship.  I saw lots of Soviet submarines (they couldn’t hide from us) but never a US ship.


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