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A Week in the Life of a DMC Engineer

A Week in the Life of a DMC Engineer

DMC engineers always get the question: “What is a typical day at DMC like?”

It’s a simple question, but very hard to answer because our days have the potential to be so different. One day may be spent working at a client site, and then the next day in the office working on six different active projects.
Because of this, a weekly view is much more representative of what it’s like to be a DMC engineer.

Behind the Scenes: December 7-11, 2015

Calendar of Katherine's week at DMC, December 7-11, 2015

One Week. Four Projects. Three Technologies. Two Interviews. One Party!

Project Work

The projects I worked on during the week were all unique. Here are some short summaries to give you an idea of the diversity of projects a DMC engineer can work on in a single week (or day!)

Monday: Crystal Growth Furnace

Check-mark icon PLC Programming

I spent the whole day Monday onsite working on an Omron PLC program that was used to control furnace temperatures for crystal growth. Crystal growth takes 2-4 weeks, and requires 24/7 monitoring of over 150 furnaces. The operators also had to manually alter furnace temperatures throughout the growth period.

I added closed loop control, which eliminated the need to have someone manually monitoring these systems.

Tuesday-Friday: Bus Seat Impact Tester

Check-mark icon LabVIEW

My main focus for the week was working on a LabVIEW program for a bus seat impact tester. The tester ensures that the foam in the seats will protect the bus passengers during potential impacts. 

The client’s existing system required new hardware and updated software to match an application we had developed for them previously. I was working to develop this new software which would interface with new NI hardware. Specifically this week, I was working on data logging into a TDMS file, screen navigation, and the manual mode screen which would show a graph of a specific input channel.

Interface for bus seat testing application

Tuesday-Wednesday: Smoke Detector Tester Specification

Check-mark icon LabVIEW

DMC previously wrote software that test the functionality of smoke detectors. The customer wanted to add some new calculations to the program, display that information to the user, and add the information to the data logging report.

I was working this week to write a specification for the requested changes to make sure the intended changes matched the customer’s expectations. I reviewed the specification with the customer and made the requested modifications.

Wednesday-Friday: Gas Aeration Tester

Check-mark icon .NET

DMC completed the first phase of project a year ago. The project consists of a .NET application written in C# and Visual Basic, which interfaces with LabVIEW for data collection.

The software tests a part’s ability to remove liquid oil from the air. The software controls the flow of air and oil through the system, can run three different types of tests, measures the particle distribution of oil remaining in the air after going through the test part, and creates test reports at the end of a cycle.

Phase 2 of this project kicked off this week, so I began working on the software.

Meetings

Wednesday: Weekly Project Status Meeting

DMC has optional lunch meetings that occur every week, and this is one of them. The meeting starts with reviewing how the company is doing, what management has been working on, and suggestion box submissions.

After this time, the floor is opened to a working topic, which is chosen before the meeting and can be practically anything. Brainstorming FedEx Day projects or Activity Fund ideas, discussing internal initiatives, reviewing the sales process, or anything someone suggests.

A screenshot of the email sent out announcing the lunch planned and working topic for a weekly status meeting

Friday: All-Company Meeting

Once a month, DMC has an all-company meeting which includes everyone from all five offices (via webcam, of course). There is usually a wide range of topics, but some regulars include updates from remote offices, presentations about recent projects, and the Webby award for the best blog of the month. 

A photograph taken of DMC employees laughing at a DMC Monthly Company Meeting
The meetings are often used to unveil things like our OneDMC rap or DMC Boston’s automated bartender infomercial, so there’s always a lot of laughter.

One of the really fun parts about this meeting is that it starts out with everyone in the company having the opportunity to share what’s new in their life, so it’s a good way to hear about exciting events happening in our coworker’s lives.

Miscellaneous Fun

Friday: Recruiting

One of the great things about recruiting at DMC is that everyone has the opportunity to get involved in helping to find great people to work with! I was involved with the interviews of two DMC candidates, which is always a fun time.

Friday: Happy Hour

Most Friday afternoons, DMC employees can be found convening over beer and snacks in our kitchen or on the rooftop deck. Some employees try out new board games while others battle it out over the ping pong and foosball tables. It's a great way to unwind and toast to a great week of work together!

DMC employees play foosball together during a Friday happy hour.

Saturday: Relax!

It may seem pretty hectic, but the variety is a big reason many of us like working at DMC so much. Still, if you ever ask a DMC employee what they did last week, don’t be surprised if they say, “Oh, you know. The usual."

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