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14 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2019 Shaughnessy: We're all glad you could come to the show. Are you the only designer at your company? Brown: No, all four designers from our Joplin R&D group are here. We attended the CID class together, which has been great to bounce ideas around while we are thinking about them and learn all of the things we need to be doing go- ing forward. Shaughnessy: After five years, what has sur- prised you the most about this whole industry? Brown: When I came out of school, I knew what circuit theory was and how I wanted to do a schematic, but the idea of physically em- bodying it into the real world was nothing that had even crossed my mind. If we're not go- ing to put it on a breadboard, I didn't know how to do it. It's very nice to see all the tools that make this happen in a way that is effec- tive. And that there are people who have been working on this to make it work well. Shaughnessy: What are some of the biggest challenges that you every day doing layout? Brown: Learning. As I said, I hadn't really done this, and we didn't really have very many men- toring opportunities to learn these things. It has definitely been a ground-up thing for us. The design idea is all new for me. Shaughnessy: We hear more and more about mentoring now, but in a lot of companies, you're still on your own. Brown: I hope we can get something together to help leverage all of that experience that's out there. Shaughnessy: Do you have any advice for a de- signer who is just starting? Brown: Keep your eyes open for learning op- portunities, and if you can't find something, reach out and ask, and somebody will be there to help you. Shaughnessy: I'm glad you all came here as a group. That shows that you work for a good company that supports you. Brown: We're very grateful for the opportunity to attend PCB West and do this certification, back to back. A lot of people didn't get to stay for the whole week, so I really appreciate that. All of the things we didn't know we can take forward; we apply what we learned to every - thing we do. Shaughnessy: It has been great talking with you, Kalen. Thanks for speaking with me. Brown: Thank you, Andy. Next I spoke with Michael Steffen, senior electrical engineer at Crystal Group, who just received his CID this week. Andy Shaughnessy: Hi, Michael. You just re- ceived your CID this week. I believe Kelly Dack was your instructor. Michael Steffen: That's correct. Shaughnessy: Congratulations! How did you get into the PCB industry? Steffen: I'm a 2012 graduate of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. I've been working with Crystal Group since 2010 as an intern doing a variety of electrical engineering, PCB design work, assembly, and troubleshooting and test. Shaughnessy: So, you have an EE degree. How did you learn about PCB design? It's very nice to see all the tools that make this happen in a way that is effective.

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