Why Doug Stainbrook Became an Engineer

By Dora Smith

Doug Stainbrook spent 10 years as an engineer designing plastic injection molds and machines. Then his career took a turn when he attended a training class. He enjoyed it so much that he wanted to be the instructor. That led him to his current role in Solid Edge field support.

“It’s quite enjoyable to show everyone something brand new they’ve never seen before and see the excitement in their face.”

Doug’s gig allows him to see the world training and supporting our channel partners around the world. Here is my interview with him from Solid Edge University and a few follow up questions below.
Q: What was the early engineering inspiration in your life?
A: “I thought I wanted to be an artist as a kid and in about 8th grade I went to visit the local vocational technical school. The choice for me became whether I wanted to pursue a career in art or be more technical and go into drafting. With some guidance from my parents I chose taking drafting at our local Vo-Tech school for my four years of high school. I really enjoyed it and excelled in those classes, to the point that during my senior year I came in second place in a Pennsylvania state wide drafting competition. The light really came on for me when we had colleges and trade schools come in and show us the brand new world of CAD technology. I knew then that was what I wanted to do.”

Q: Where did you study?
A: “I attended a small technical school called Triangle Tech in Erie, PA. It was there that I got my introduction to the world of CAD modeling and really took off in that direction. The school ultimately hired me while I was attending to be a tutor in the evening on CAD modeling. Back then it was 2D and 3D wireframe modeling. After graduating I worked for several tool and die shops where my career as a designer really took off. I started by designing jigs and fixtures and from there moved on to designing products and plastic injection molds.”

Q: What was your favorite injection mold?
A: “I was the primary mold designer for a large R&D project for Pratt and Whitney designing an extremely complex mold for encapsulating airfoils used in jet engines. An airfoil is a very complex cast part that requires post machining. The challenge was to encapsulate the twisting blade precisely in a block of plastic that could be easily locked into a fixture for machining. This required precise location of the blade in the block and required sensors to be built in that would let the operator know if the blade moved during the injection process. It was a very complex and intricate design challenge, and in the end was quite successful.”

That’s Doug’s story. What’s yours?

–        Dora

Leave a Reply

This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at