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Celebrating Chris: A Day in the Life of a Senior Mechanical Engineer

Introducing #ecoationnation citizen and Senior Mechanical Engineer, Chris! After earning his Bachelor of Engineering at the University of Victoria, Chris moved to Vancouver to work in security, dedicating 5+ years designing integrated cloud and AI-powered solutions for video security, access control, and mission-critical communications. Based out of the North Vancouver ecoation HQ office, Chris played a crucial role in designing the hardware for the latest generation of OKO launched last December (2020). From the initial sketches, to prototyping, to assembling, Chris was a key contributor from conception to launch. He is also one of the dedicated essential team members who came into the office, following each and every protocol, since the beginning of COVID-19 to deliver in his role. This post aims to celebrate Chris and the amazing work he does.

What does a day in the life of a Senior Mechanical Engineer look like?

"That question has a different answer almost every single day, which is one of my favourite parts of what I do. Depending on the status of ongoing projects, I could be sketching out concepts, solving 3D jigsaw puzzles while modelling, building and testing prototypes, or helping to troubleshoot customer issues if needed. There’s always a new challenge and something to learn along the way."

What are some of the biggest challenges and problem-solving opportunities that you experience in your role?

"One of the biggest challenges during product development is the mental balancing act between different design targets, many of which are inherently at odds with one another. Ultimately the customer needs are the focus, but even these often conflict; how can we make something as reliable as possible without driving up the price tag? Weighing all of these goals in parallel forces you to think outside of the box, and that’s when the real fun starts."

You played a key role in designing the hardware for the next generation of OKO. Do you have a favourite memory from that project?

"Nothing beats watching our first unit make it onto the rails in a customer greenhouse. After putting so many months of effort into the OKO, it’s an incredibly rewarding feeling knowing that the customer is going to start getting value out of it."

You previously working in security before making the switch to AgTech. What is the same? What is different?

"Although I didn’t realize it when I started, there are a huge number of parallels between the two industries. In each case, I’m part of a team helping to build high-tech products that are actively helping to protect peoples’ property and livelihood. Both centre around gathering a tremendous amount of digital information and focusing it for a human being who has the knowledge to make the right decisions. What I prefer about #agtech is knowing that I’m playing a small part towards food security and pesticide reduction in Canada and around the world."

What are keywords you would use to describe your role?

Teamwork, adaptability, creativity.

What do you like most about working at ecoation?

Well, Saber makes a mean hot sauce...but I think the real answer is knowing that this is only the tip of the iceberg for ecoation. I’m excited to be a part of this as we continue to grow.

"Chris is the brains behind all those mechanical details that make Ecoation's products work and work well in tough agricultural environments" - Steve Humpston, Senior Product Design Manager

Thank you, Chris, for sharing an inside look into the life of a Senior Mechanical Engineer at ecoation. You are essential to our collective success, and we thank you for the work that you do.

Looking to join the team? Check out our Careers page for all of our current opportunities!