Employee Spotlight: John Sullivan
John Sullivan, Systems Engineer
Rose Hulman is highly represented at DMC. What made you choose DMC?
The atmosphere. The idea of working with such outstandingly smart people was enticing. By the end of my interview it was evident that DMC is a top-notch organization. Additionally I was excited to see a variety of projects from start to finish.
What do you like best about working at DMC?
The push to produce top-quality work and customer service. Even though my career is relatively young, I have the opportunity to be involved in all parts of the project process and I have learned many different technologies as a result.
Do you have any engineering hobbies?
I used to dabble in robotics projects, mostly playing around with various sensors on a small wheeled robot, but have not lately. In college I constructed a skee-ball machine.
I have many athletic hobbies, including running, hiking, rugby, skiing, and backpacking. I recently went on a four day backpacking trip in the Weminuche Wilderness in southern Colorado with my dad, and also completed an Ironman.
What are your tips for surviving an Ironman?
- Start slow on the biking portion
- Eat every 20 minutes on the bike, even when your stomach doesn’t want to
- Keep a 5-Hour Energy in all of your bags
- The course I participated in was very hilly, which Chicago training did not prepare me for. I’d recommend driving out of the city wherever you can train on hills for more adequate training.
I completed the Ironman in less than 15 hours, which was happy with considering I did the whole thing with a torn rotator cuff.
You are currently DMC’s “Fastest Engineer.” How does one get so fast?
Lots of running. I actually began running to get in shape for wrestling season and when the program was cut I started running full-time. I was running 50-60 miles per week in college during the season and kept getting better. My fastest mile during college was 4:43.
How does Chicago compare to the Southwest, and what are your favorite Windy City hangouts?
I grew up in the mountains of New Mexico, so Chicago is obviously lacking the mountains. Small towns have their special characteristics, but there is much more going on in Chicago. I definitely make full use of all the events going on in Chicago such as concerts, shows, and free festivals.
I really like Faith & Whiskey on Fullerton because all of the employees are easy to get along with and it has a great laid-back atmosphere. I am also a fan of dueling pianos, so Sluggers is another favorite spot. The best show I have seen in Chicago thus far has to be Million Dollar Quartet.
What have been your favorite projects at DMC?
I worked on an interesting 3D laser vision inspection project on a rocket with a 14-foot diameter nozzle. I also did a nanomotion project automating processes to help create a production ready product. In this case, I was working in nanometers and sometimes couldn’t even see the motors moving. It’s exciting to see how small changes can push the limit of what can be done.
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