Bruce Hagerty
Portland

What is your job title, and what does that position entail?  
I am a Senior Automation Engineer here at Olympus. Basically that means that I get to spend time visiting engineers all over Oregon and SW Washington and help them find solutions to their automation projects whether it be Motion Control, Robotics, Machine Vision or Safety. I also get to work with a fantastic group of folks at Olympus who are motivated to help each other best serve our clients.

How long have you worked at Olympus, where did you come from?
Originally I am from Pennsylvania where I developed a love for Yuengling Lager. My first job out of school was with Parker Hannifin’s Automation Group just outside of Pittsburgh. In 2001 they had an opening in the Pacific Northwest. I thought it would be a fun adventure to move out here. I worked for 3 years alongside Olympus Controls. In 2004 Olympus had an opening for an Engineer to cover Oregon and SW Washington. I jumped on that opportunity and have been with Olympus Controls since February 2004; I love the job more and more every year.

Can you tell us a little about your background and how it helps you in this position?
My degree is in Mechanical Engineering, the degree touched on electrical engineering and programming. I remember Dynamics being one of my favorite classes. I enjoy the physics of motion which is a perfect fit for Olympus. I always enjoyed projects involving programming as well. One of my favorite parts of my job is pressing the go button and watching a robot or a motion control system or a vision system do what I programmed it to do. Of course it is always disappointing when I find out I told it to do the wrong thing 🙂

What do you like best about working at Olympus?
Hands down it’s the people. Having spent now almost 12 years working together, we have really become a second family to each other and that means a lot to me. That is true with our clients as well. We know each other’s families and care about each other.  As Olympus Controls grows, one of the greatest things we have offer new employees is our culture. I always enjoy getting to be a part of the personal and professional growth of new and old coworkers.

What was your first job ever?
My first job was a small lawn mowing business I had as a kid. It’s funny how little I knew about business back then. I have a ton of advise that I would give younger me if I felt like younger me would listen to older me.

Describe some of your hobbies ‐ what do you like to do outside of work?
I have a daughter in first grade, one in preschool and a wife commuting a great distance to grad school.  So when I think of free time, princesses, laundry and dishes come to mind. However, the girls are familiar with wrestling. My youngest’s nickname for me is “knuckle face” which makes me smile inside. My family brings me tremendous amounts of joy.

What are some key lessons you have taken from your career thus far?
When I first considered an Engineering Sales position, the terms Engineering and Sales seemed contradictory.  What I have learned is that I bring two useful things to this position.  I do have an engineering mind that enjoys solving problems, and I also really care about contributing to my client’s success, in order to do that I am constantly learning how to be a better listener. One truly freeing thing about working at Olympus is that we really mean it when we say we want to be the first people our clients call for their automation projects. The sales position allows me to help my customers find solutions whether I have products for those solutions or not.  It turns out that Engineering Sales has been a perfect fit for me. It has been truly enjoyable and meaningful.

What is one thing you customers might find surprising about you?
Oh I don’t know. I used to be a skateboarder and wish I could get back into it. Turns out my arms and legs are key to my success at work and home, so I will just have to remember those days fondly. Also, I took 10 or so years of piano lessons as a kid, but I play like I took maybe 5 years of lessons (see previous reference to theoretical conversation with younger me). I still enjoy music very much though. Oh and I like salad for dessert.