Get to know Eric Pedersen, Applications Engineer

Eric Pedersen is one of Mazak's most well-rounded employees. He has worked in multiple areas of the service department as a field service engineer, field service supervisor, service minuteman, and now as an Applications Engineer. Not only is Eric incredibly knowledgeable about Mazak laser-cutting machines, he also has one of the best personalities—Eric is smiling and laughing 99 percent of the time.

As of July 2020, Eric has been promoted to Applications Engineer. Tim Tapper, Applications Manager says, "Eric comes to the Applications Department with over fourteen years of service experience. His extensive experience is a great addition to our department. We expect Eric to hit the ground running and not look back." 

To learn more about Eric, continue with this quick Q&A session.

Quick Q&A with Eric Pedersen

What is your background involving laser technology and the fabrication industry?

“I have been in the fabrication industry for about 18 years, 8 of which have been at Mazak Optonics. I started at AW Whitney on CNC punch plasma machine service. But with the advancements in technology, they introduced their laser. I was picked as one of the technicians who would switch to their laser-cutting machines.

“Since starting at Mazak Optonics, I have worked in a few different roles in the service department. I started as a field service engineering where I became a specialist on the Hyper Gear. I then moved into a service supervisor position which allowed me to learn the organization and communication aspects. Then as a minuteman, I used skills from both of these roles to best help our customers."

“As one of the first Service Minuteman, I had one of the most unique roles here at Mazak. The minuteman role was created to better serve our customers. Typically scheduling is done on Fridays for the engineers to be at our customers’ sites on Monday. But sometimes incidents occur over the weekend or even on Monday which makes it difficult to immediately respond. The minutemen are engineers based out of our Elgin, Illinois office who are purposely not scheduled and have a suitcase ready for rapid deployment for situations when a customer needs immediate assistance. The minuteman role allows our engineers to get to our customers quickly and can often provide same-day response. When I was not on the road, I was in the office and helped with phone support, created various procedures, and helped with service training.” 

What is your current role at Mazak?

"Now, as an Applications Engineer, I have new responsibilities and a more structured schedule. I will be training customers on how to operate Mazak’s laser machines, performing machine demonstrations, providing feasibility cuts, and providing customer support for laser-cutting applications. I am looking forward to growing in this role and continuing to assist our customers."

What is your definition of great customer service?

“Great customer service to me is solving a problem as efficiently as possible in order to get the machine up and running as quickly as possible. My mom and dad instilled in me that ‘if you’re going to do it, do it right’ and I always bring that work with me. Another important aspect to great customer service is also explaining it all to our customers. It is essential to take the time to help customers understand what happened and how to prevent it, all while getting them more comfortable with their Mazak laser-cutting machine.”

What are you hobbies and interests?

“Summer activities are my favorite, not a huge fan of winter sports although every fall, I always look forward to duck hunting. My friends and I have a blind on a local lake. It's not all about killing ducks but also hanging out with your buddies and have some bonding time. During the summer, I enjoy boating and working on my old Camaro. The best days are motorcycle track days. I have been into racing motorcycles since 2010. It has always been one of my passions, because it is an individual experience.I am the only one who can hold me back and I am also the only one who can make the motorcycle go faster. It’s really a mental sport, the focus required is the biggest factor. A day at the race track is both exhilarating and calming. I am also sort of a metal head. I love heavy metal music from Ozzy, Metallica, and Slayer. But I also enjoy classic country like Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and Merle Haggard”. 

If you could be any person to do something first, what would you do?

“I would want to be the first person to walk on Mars. I have always been interested in space ever since I was a kid and I still really enjoy it. I love watching shows on and learning about it; I think it is so fascinating. I also find the technology and equipment that get us into space just mind boggling. Space travel machinery are some of the most powerful creations we have ever built. Most recently, [Tuesday, February 6th] SpaceX just launched their Falcon Heavy into space to orbit a car around the sun about as far out as Mars”.

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