Leader Under 40: Jason Stoddard
Lead Controls Engineer, Michigan Custom Machines Inc. – AS Electrical Engineering, Mott Community College
Jason Stoddard, 28
Lead Controls Engineer, Michigan Custom Machines Inc., www.michigancustommachines.com
AS Electrical Engineering, Mott Community College
“In my time at Michigan Custom Machines I have been fortunate enough to write a lot of code. I am currently directing the standard for which all PLC code is being written at MCM, as well as directing the standard for our HMI software package. I have created the standard code that we use in our robotics processes as well. I strive for excellence and simplicity in my code and control process. Keeping it simple, modular, and reusable is always the goal. Then more engineers will want to use it.”
Stoddard enjoys spending time with family and motorcycling, as a source of relaxation.
“I recently designed a back rest/luggage rack for my father-in-law's motorcycle, and then made it. There wasn't an off-the-shelf model available for his bike, so we needed to make one. I am also in the process of putting together a “smart-home” system based on an A-B ControlLogix PLC. I am prototyping a web-based HMI platform that will run on iPhones and Android-based tablets and phones, and this seems like a simple, small application to start with.”
“I am the youngest employee at MCM. I was 22 years old when I started working here.”
“I was a software engineer that was looking for something more. Seeing things move and actually ‘creating’ something was much more appealing than writing queries to databases. Now doing controls engineering, I get to do everything from robots to hydraulic controls, and get to play with some cool things while doing it. It is honestly the best job. I can't see how anyone wouldn't want to do it.”
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.