What Inspires Digi-Key Engineers? - National Engineers Week Wrap-Up

Since Digi-Key was founded in 1972 by Ron Stordahl, who has a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota, we take great pride in celebrating National Engineers Week. With this year’s theme of Inspiring Wonder, we took a special look at what inspired some of our engineers to pursue the work that they do today and advice they have for the future of engineering.

Ben Roloff – Associate Applications Engineer

What inspired Ben? – He was always interested in how computers work

What inspires him today? – New technology that keeps coming out

Advice for future engineers? – Find something that you’re interested in and build it!

Rich Miron – Sr. Technical Content Developer

What inspired Rich? – He was always interested in what made things work, but was especially fascinated by electronics

What inspires him today? – People who think outside of the box and develop things that were never imagined

Advice for future engineers? – Don’t sit back and wish for something to happen – make a difference and develop your own ideas

Kevin Iliff – Director, IT

What inspired Kevin? – A search for a better life

What inspires him today? – Helping young people see how engineering and technology can help others

Advice for future engineers? – Know that over time, today’s seemingly insurmountable challenges will be solved by advancing technology

Trestiese Davis – Sr. Project Manager

What inspired Trestiese? – Her Fundamentals of Engineering professor who told her that she had an unquenchable desire for problem solving and learning

What inspires her today? – New technology and the tremendous support that is given to students to be creative and explore the different fields of Engineering and Computer Science

Advice for future engineers? – Ask questions, explore different opportunities, never give up, have fun and love what you do!

Jerrid Money – Material Handling Automation Design Engineer

What inspired Jerrid? – Working on projects around the house with his dad and brother

What inspires him today? – Being able to work on things that nobody else has before and solving the new problems and challenges that come up

Advice for future engineers? – Accept and drive the integration of new technology and software into mechanical systems – we need to make high quality durable products with better materials so they can be enjoyed longer

In summary, it was great to be able to feature these five engineers with such varied and diverse backgrounds and engineering disciplines. A common theme came through from each interview – they all had someone have a profound impact on their decision to pursue an engineering career. Their advice?

  • Don’t sit back and wait – go build it!
  • Ask questions (lots of them!) and challenge conventional thinking

Above all, love what you do and have fun while you’re making a difference

About the Author

Image of Randy Rakosnik Randy Rakosnik, Principal Digital Content Strategy at Digi-Key Electronics, is responsible for driving the company’s digital content strategy by leveraging multiple content mediums to measurably enhance the Digi-Key brand and cultivate deeper customer engagement. He began this role in 2017 after a 25-year career in consulting, consumer products, and education. Randy holds a BSBA in Actuarial Science from Drake University and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He’s an avid outdoorsman that enjoys spending summers on the water and the rest of the year in the woods.
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