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Engineering Week: Meet our Engineers Q&A with Andrew St. John

In celebration of Engineering Week 2022, we’re hosting a Q&A series so you can get to know our Engineers. Meet Andrew St. John, Advanced Mechanical Engineer at PAR Systems.

Q: What is your engineering discipline? / What type of engineer are you at PAR?

A: I work in Mechanical Engineering at PAR Systems.

Q: What do you enjoy the most about engineering at PAR?

A: I enjoy the variety of work and the people I get to work with.

Q: What has been your biggest challenge while an Engineer at PAR?

A: The biggest challenge I have faced at work was designing a stylet gripper. This gripper was attached to the end of nitinol wire then feed through a 1/8 in diameter tunnel of parts for 36″. Once the gripper got through the end of the tunnel, it grabbed onto two wires to pull a catheter assembly back through the tunnel.

Q: What would you say has been your biggest engineering accomplishment that you are most proud of

A: The engineering accomplishment that I’m most proud of is the slip compensation control loop we developed. We developed this technology to address the lack of stiffness in commercial six-axis robots so that we could use them in applications that had previously required more expensive gantry-style motion systems.

Q: What does being a PAR Engineer mean to you?

A: Having the opportunity to build cool machines with a very talented team of co-workers.

Q: What has been your biggest learning moment as an engineer?

A: It seems like every day has been a big learning moment for me.

Q: Why did you decide to go into Engineering?

A: I always had been interested in machinery and building things so engineering seemed like a good fit.

Q: What advice would you give to a new employee just joining PAR as a new engineer? Or to a student looking to go into Engineering?

A: 1) I would advise them to get to know the other engineers here. There are many gifted engineers working here and most are happy to share the experience when you need a hand. 2) A lot of difficult projects come through PAR, so when you are assigned to one remember that it’s your good character that brings the projects through to the finish line. 3) Enjoy the opportunity. There are lots of cool things going on here and lots of opportunities to learn new things.