Meet Our People: Nick, Application Engineer
Meet Nick Norris. He joined Zuken in July 2021 after working in the aerospace and defense industry for several years. He is an application engineer for the professional services team who works from his home office in Dallas, Texas. Since coming on board, he’s been a great addition to his team, and we’re happy to have him part of the Zuken family. Recently, he took time from his busy schedule to chat with me and share his story.
The Beginning of My Career
Two years ago, I started my career at L3Harris in Texas as an aerospace harness design engineer. While there, I gained an understanding of multiple ECAD tools and worked on a few different and interesting secret programs. After a while, I came across a job posting for an application engineer at Zuken. I applied and interviewed for the position and was fortunate to get an offer. In July 2021, I joined the company, and now I look forward to being part of the Zuken family for many years!
The Many Hats of an Application Engineer
As an application engineer, I work closely with customers to help them implement their new software. I also assist new customers with demonstrations when needed. My comfort zone is the bridge between MCAD and ECAD tools; that’s where many of our tools fit in, like E3.3DTransformer, E3.3DRoutingBridge, and E3.HarnessAnalyzer. But I’m always looking for new tools to add to my belt to broaden my knowledge and help our customers.
Every morning my routine is the same. I make a big pot of coffee to last the whole day, and I take my dog, Pete, out for a walk. Afterward, I typically have a couple of standing meetings with customers. If they are experiencing immediate design challenges, I work with them to find a solution. Usually, there are no fires to put out, so I work on implementing new tools for them to help save time during their design process. At the end of the workday, I know it’s time to wrap up when Pete starts asking for his dinner.
A change in the design process can be intimidating and takes time and effort to organize. The bridge between MCAD and ECAD tools can be seamless and automated. Still, it also requires detailed configuration, which is where I can help. To help customers optimize their design processes, an application engineer like myself needs expert knowledge of the customer’s process and the Zuken tools. It takes time to develop expertise in both areas, and that’s where our team comes in. We rely on one another and work together to get the job done.
The Zuken Family
My team works great together. We don’t always need input from each other to complete daily tasks, but no one is ever afraid to ask for assistance when needed. In my experience as a newer employee, my teammates would drop anything to support my training or give me a little more explanation. Depending on the project, whether I’m working on a team with multiple application engineers or by myself, I rarely work alone. Even though I work from home, I’m never isolated; there is always a teammate to help the rest of the group and me.
Since I am still relatively new at Zuken, I haven’t spent enough time seeing a big project come to fruition. However, my most notable projects are the ones that make an immediate difference for the people I work with. A few shortcuts I’ve shared often get someone excited to use our software. Making someone else’s day a little easier makes me feel good, so those small interactions are the most memorable.
Traveling, Hiking, and Golf
I’ve been an avid golfer for a long time, and most of my friends are too. It’s my favorite sport, but I truly enjoy any form of friendly competition. My friends and I play darts, corn hole, frisbee golf, bocce ball, and cards. When my golf team and I travel, we try to experience whatever city we are in, whether it’s going to popular dinner spots or local sporting events. On rare occasions, we sneak in a round of golf, which is my favorite part of the trip. When I’m not playing my favorite sport, and the weather is nice, I spend a lot of time walking trails with my dog. Afterward, we like to cool off by a pool or lake.