Employee Spotlight: Eric Nielsen

Employee Spotlight: Eric Nielsen

Eric Nielsen, Systems Engineer

What do you like best about working at DMC?

I really appreciate the community of intelligent and driven individuals and wide range of projects we work on.  I couldn’t last in a monotonous position where I had to do the same thing every day; however the ever changing projects at DMC, the range of customers and industries we partner with, and the ability to utilize cutting edge technology guarantee that we are consistently challenged (= happy). 

What is your favorite programming language?

I would have to say LabVIEW because of its versatility.

What is one of the most interesting projects you have worked on at DMC?

One of the most interesting projects I’ve worked on is a system for a national laboratory that characterizes and tests fuel cells and lithium ion batteries for hybrid electric vehicles and future storage purposes.  It’s really interesting to assist in the development of new green technologies and the shift from relying on fossil fuels.

Can you tell me about some of the wilderness certifications you’ve achieved?

As a guide and instructor I had the opportunity to take a number of courses in different disciplines.  I am a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) – a certification that falls between advanced first aid and wilderness EMT.  I was also able to become a Leave No Trace Master Educator, which focuses on sustainable use of wild lands across the globe.  Overall, I spent 6 or 7 years guiding and instructing.  I had an opportunity to work doing wilderness therapy for individuals with Aspergers and high-functioning Autism. In addition to instructing climbing and backpacking courses in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, the central Rockies, and New Hampshire I have also worked in whitewater instruction.  Additionally, I recently completed a Level 1 avalanche rescue course and took a couple courses in alpine mountaineering to further advance my personal climbing skills.

Interestingly, I often meet many other engineers or mathematicians in my climbing adventures.  I think the challenges of the sport’s highly technical aspects appeal to the people of a methodological nature.

So how many states total have you hiked, guided, or climbed?

Seventeen states total, plus British Columbia, Ontario, and an extended expedition in Chilean Patagonia.

What has been your favorite trip?

I did a 3 month-long trip with the NOLS in Southern Chile and Patagonia.  Check the NOLS Patagonia page out, I’m in the small picture of the group at the terminal moraine of the Pio Once glacier at the top of the page.  Interestingly, Pio XI is one of the few growing glaciers left in the world.  We had the opportunity to sea kayak for 32 days straight through ~340 miles of fjords and open South Pacific Ocean.  We also spent over a month backpacking and climbing on Pio XI.  After that we had to build a Huck Finn-style raft to get back across the river swelled by spring snow melt.

My favorite place to visit in the U.S. is the Cascade Mountain Range in WA.  Once place I haven’t been but would love to go is definitely Glacier National Park in MT.

You were recently on “vacation” for a month in the Pacific Northwest and BC.  What was the coolest thing you saw?

I had to bivy just below the Sherpa glacier on Mt. Stewart.  As I laid down to sleep on the snow under the stars,  a mountain goat and her kid bedded down on a bolder just above me.  It was a perfect end to two 16+ hour days climbing and descending off the Upper North Ridge of Mt. Stewart.

When you are in Chicago what is your favorite place to visit?

I like swimming and kayaking in the lake as well as biking on the lakeshore path.  Two of my favorite indoor places are Hopleaf and Café Matou

What are your top three wilderness tips for amateurs?

1. Don’t bite off more than you can chew (at least until you have more experience)
2. Live in the moment!
3. NEVER stop exploring



EMT Training
Very interesting certifications. Can you give me more info on the WFR? I've recently been trained for my EMT but would love another cert :)

Post a comment

Name (required)

Email (required)

Enter the code shown above:

Related Blog Posts