2014 Engineering Leader Under 40: Chris Lake
Vice President of Engineering, Chief Engineer; RedViking; Plymouth, Mich.
Chris Lake, 38
Vice President of Engineering, Chief Engineer
Education: BS Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan
Chris Lake has helped to change the world of military helicopter testing for the U.S. With the design, build, and implementation of the Transmission Test System (U.S. Patent 8,758,184), he has ensured accurate, repeatable gearbox testing for enhanced troop safety. His designs also dramatically improve the operator work environment, creating ergonomic machine access and safe machine interactions. In his current role at RedViking, Chris manages 40 mechanical, software, and controls engineers, as well as program and project managers, technical writers, and university interns. Chris is widely recognized for his contributions to the world of multimodel transmission and gearbox testing, and has spoken at conferences nationwide.
Chris met his wife, Amanda, when he was 14 years old, and they will celebrate their 15-year wedding anniversary this fall. He worked for Amanda’s father and started his engineering career at age 14. Chris and Amanda have a 5-year-old daughter with juvenile diabetes, and together they have worked to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Why choose this career path?
Chris has always had a hands-on, problem-solving personality. He has always loved building things, and started working with machinery at a young age. He enjoyed the experience and the challenge of engineering then, and continues to love it today.
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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