2014 Engineering Leader Under 40: Brian Zakrajsek
Senior Electrical Engineer; Koch Modular Process Systems LLC; Paramus, N.J.
Brian Zakrajsek, 32
Senior Electrical Engineer
Koch Modular Process Systems LLC
Education: BS Electrical & Computer Engineering, Ohio State University
In 2011, Brian Zakrajsek joined Koch Modular Process Systems as a senior electrical engineer supporting the chemical industries. He currently wears many hats, including distributed control system and programmable logic controller (PLC) development and integration, electrical and process control, instrumentation selection, project management, and international commissioning tasks. Brian is a certified professional engineer for electrical power as well as a certified automation professional from the International Society of Automation (ISA). Since 2005, he has been an active member of the ISA and is a voting member for ISA101-HMI.
Brian is an identical twin; his brother is a partner at a small web analytics consulting firm in Boston. In his opinion, being a twin is truly amazing. The bond of friendship, competition, and shared experience he has with his brother is unparalleled. Brian also keeps an array of toys in his office. It reminds him to take breaks when the stress builds up not take things too seriously.
Why choose this career path?
Admittedly, Brian initially stumbled into control engineering. As an electrical engineering undergrad, he was offered an internship through a good friend which entailed PLC and HMI design. Brian loved the way software and hardware intertwine to create a system that is so powerful, flexible, and capable of anything really. On his first commissioning visit, he remembers the feeling of pressing a single button and watching his PLC and HMI start and sequence a natural gas engine the size of a building. Those are the kind of moments that keep him engaged in control.
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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