The goal of National Engineers Week is to increase the understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers. We asked some of our seasoned engineers about the influences that drew them to the field, memorable career events and their greatest challenges.
Scott Zangl, center of excellence senior manager with Weasler Engineering, said he was drawn to engineering because he was always interested in mechanical things and curious about how they worked. “I first knew I wanted to be an engineer after working a few years in a manufacturing environment,” he said. I was always interested when new products would be released for production.”
It wasn’t an individual who influenced Zangl’s decision to become an engineer, but a period in history. “Engineering developments of the Second Industrial Revolution (1870-1914) are what influenced my decision to become an engineer,” he said. “The Second Industrial Revolution witnessed the introduction of the electric light, steel mills and the elevator. Labor-saving devices for use in the home were also invented, like the washing machine, vacuum cleaner, dishwasher and refrigerator. There were changes to transportation with the development of the railroads and the invention of the diesel engine, the airplane and the automobile. There were many notable engineers and inventors during that timeframe, including Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Ransom Olds, Orville and Wilbur Wright and Henry Ford.
“My favorite part of my job is that it represents a constant source of learning,” Zangl said. “It is about understanding how things work and finding ways to make it work better. I like the challenge associated with finding solutions to problems.”
One of the most memorable events in Zangl’s career was when he was tasked with redesigning one of Weasler’s product lines. “My challenge was to replace a custom component that was unique to our company with a standard component that did not work in the design at that time,” he said. “It seemed that the design could not be changed to function correctly, because it was all based on the custom component. I successfully replaced the component and the new design is one of our leading products to date.”
Having worked for Weasler for a considerable amount of time, Zangl said his biggest challenge is continuing to be innovative. “I have to continually seek out new ideas from other resources and continue to learn about new technologies,” he said. “I have to understand what our customers are looking for, to keep us, and them, ahead of the competition.”