Cesar Pena: Senior Project Engineer
You have had the opportunity to live and work in several different countries; what have those experiences been like?
It broadens your view of the world and opens your way of thinking. You definitely learn to appreciate things that are usually taken for granted. For example, in America you can generally find a store open at anytime of the day or night; but in Germany hours are more restricted and stores are closed entirely on Sundays.
Priorities differ from place to place and I try to learn from the best aspects of each place. Germany has a very “green” and ecologically-minded society, which I have tried to integrate into my life. In Mexico, I value the great emphasis placed on spending time with one’s friends and family. I appreciate the practicality of American infrastructure and the entrepreneurial attitude of the U.S.
Do you have any key career lessons to share?
Always be learning; you place yourself at a disadvantage by remaining stagnant. Making mistakes is a great exercise in learning and applying knowledge in future situations. Also, never expect opportunities to fall into your lap - be a go-getter. These are definitely attitudes espoused here at DMC.
What do you like best about working at DMC?
DMC engineers are able to work on projects with a great degree of variety and challenge. Also, it’s great to work with such intelligent coworkers.
What is one of the most interesting projects you have worked on at DMC?
I worked on a dimensional weighing system to measure the volume of boxes. Using a camera and moveable laser we developed a 3D vision system to calculate the volume of boxes on a forklift.
Do you have a favorite programming language?
I would say C++. It is very flexible for me since I have a great amount of experience in that language.
What do you like to do outside of engineering?
My two small kids are a full-time hobby! I am training for a triathlon, so after they are put to bed at night I go running. I also bike and swim when I can to prepare for the triathlon.
I really enjoy traveling, and have visited every continent except Oceania and Antarctica. Thailand is one of my favorite destinations for their wonderful food, awesome weather, and amazing culture.
Any favorite Chicago destinations?
I love the lakefront path when it is not too crowded. Also, my wife and I enjoy exploring restaurants all over the city. My favorite is probably Thai food, but we love trying different locations.
Explain your self-proclaimed snobbery.
I am a coffee snob and prefer dark roasted beans. Also, I am a dark chocolate snob and will go out of my way to purchase quality European dark chocolate. You just can’t get it at the chain grocery stores!
Describe yourself in three words.
Smart, funny, and ecological.