Leader Under 40: Jeff Smoot
VP of Engineering, CUI Inc. - BS Mechanical Engineering, Montana State University-Bozeman
Mr. Jeff Smoot, 36
VP of Engineering, CUI Inc.
BS Mechanical Engineering, Montana State University-Bozeman
Smoot has played a critical role in the development of CUI’s AMT capacitive encoder line. He worked tirelessly to bring the proprietary technology to market with the first products, the AMT102 and AMT103 incremental encoders. As the VP of Engineering at CUI, he has subsequently led the development of absolute and commutation versions of the AMT. Smoot has also co-authored several technical articles with CUI’s CTO including the APEC 2012 paper SEPIC Fed Buck Converter which was presented at the conference.
Smoot loves the mountains and skiing. This played a significant role in his decision to attend Montana State. Every year he skis in the Oregon Cancer Ski Out, a two-day competitive skiing event that raises money for hospice, cancer research, and education, and prevention programs. Smoot feels that it’s a great way to help others by doing something he is passionate about.
For the past two years, Smoot, through CUI, has participated in the George Fox Engineering Program’s Senior Design Project. Last year, Smoot mentored students that worked on an automatic tester for CUI’s encoders. This year, the seniors are working on a transient load generator for CUI’s digital POL modules. Smoot enjoys sharing his expertise with the budding engineers.
“I have four kids all under the age of 5!” said Smoot. “Let me just say that every day is an adventure and there’s always something new happening. We didn’t plan on it but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s really fun and always entertaining, from chasing bugs to painting toenails. I am also an avid runner. I enjoy participating in races from 5 k to marathons. I ran in college and have coached local high school cross country and track teams.”
Smoot’s interest in controls and automation began when he was working for Gerber Legendary Blades. His job as a manufacturing engineer gave him a lot of experience in these areas. The move over to CUI was a natural next step as he had the opportunity to work with the inventor of the AMT capacitive encoder technology. It’s been a fun challenge to turn his IP into a marketable product, said Smoot.
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey