2015 Engineering Leader Under 40: Bret Van Wyk, 32

Program Manager; Interstates Control Systems Inc.; Sioux Center, Iowa; BS Computer Science & Systems Administration, Dordt College


Bret Van WykBret Van Wyk, 32
Program Manager; Interstates Control Systems Inc.; Sioux Center, Iowa
BS Computer Science & Systems Administration, Dordt College

Van Wyk is a key resource in working with Interstates’ customers to find solutions for their supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) computer systems, industrial networks, and hosted virtualization platforms. Van Wyk also is a leader in the company’s manufacturing information technology (MIT) services group, and his primary responsibility is in the quality of project delivery. By implementing Agile work processes, Van Wyk has successfully improved efficiency and reduction of rework within his teams. Van Wyk began his career with Interstates as an MIT systems analyst and has assumed additional responsibilities over the past several years. He has always been progressive in expanding his knowledge and expertise. Van Wyk has been heavily involved in developing an industrial patching solution for a Fortune 500 company that services all plant floor PCs. This process includes analyzing the software on the system and offering approved Microsoft patches accordingly. Van Wyk is now an Interstates program manager. In this position, he is responsible for all projects within MIT, as well as developing internal work processes for his team. Van Wyk is driven to find ways to continually improve his work. He is not content with keeping things status quo, and he pushes his entire team to be better. Because of Van Wyk’s push, the MIT team has made progress in documentation, efficiency, and work accuracy. Outside of work, Van Wyk enjoys learning how to use his new meat smoker. While the meat is cooking, he is able to spend time with his family and play with his kids.

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
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The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
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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

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