***Editor's Note: The "I Became An Engineer" blog runs every Friday. To share your story email***

This week's story comes to us from ECN reader Lloyd Carder.

I was always caught in between engineering and science.

I was quite hands-on as a child, working on anything broken. As my track record of success grew, neighbors would leave broken things at our house. I also raced go-carts and had to weld up the cracks that developed during racing. I even built my own engines from McCulloch chain saw motors (they were my sponsor). I found myself working at a local hospital as my next job. I was an aid in the emergency room and developed e-ray films for the radiology doctor at nights.

Around that time, I was going to college as a medical technology student, but took enough mechanical engineering classes to go both ways. I loved science and discovery, so I treated engineering the same as science, not being bogged down by trying to make things perfect.

You can learn more from failure than success. 

So I went to college and did both, but still could not choose. During college, I worked at the City of Hope Research Inst. in neuroscience doing morning dissections and computer automated nerve studies. I helped develop interfaces to some of the newest computer systems at the time. I even had to build our own computer PCBs to get the needed data bits (remember an 8-bit microprocessor then took four of those bits as address lines). I came up with a filter hood system to do tissue culture from parts of an older evacuation hood.    

After working in neuroscience research, I was asked to join a manufacturing company to do electro-mechanical-production engineering. The company made automated welding equipment and was quite young. They wanted someone to do electrical, mechanical, and welding training for new installations along with production engineering.

I loved being the chief sustaining engineer bringing new products to production including drawings assemblies and BOMs. There I was—working the last 12 years as the director of engineering working to bring new technologies and advancements to a department (and company) that had increasing challenges.

After 32 years there, I now have my own company still looking how to use what is new. We sell automation solutions to manufacturing all over the pacific coast.

Oh yes, now I also teach Metallurgy and NDT at College of the Canyons. 

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