From Lego Bricks to Medical Machinery
How a childhood passion for Legos led Javier Delgado to an engineering career
Process Mechanical Engineer Javier Delgado joined ASG last year, and he’s already learned a lot about engineering research, NFC technology, and Automation Engineering. His path to an engineering career began in childhood when he was a kid playing with Legos. Today, Javier’s ability to develop models is one of his engineering superpowers.
“Javier listens carefully and always asks great questions,” said Onna Koeneman, ASG’s co-owner and quality risk manager. “He creates a process or model in his head then then he executes the request quickly. A lot of people don’t understand that process immediately, but Javier does.”
In this Q&A, Javier discusses his love of Legos, how they exposed him to the field of engineering and robotics, and what he loves about being an engineer at ASG.
What drew you to the field of engineering?
When I was around 10 years old, I loved playing with Legos — Star Wars, to be exact. I even liked following the instructions. The process was very hands-on and interesting to me. That led me to join my school’s robotics team in high school. At first, I mainly focused on the electrical upkeep and the mechanical design/building of the robot. I’d check the electrical wires on the different robots and fix something if it needed it. That led me to take engineering courses that my high school offered.
What do you love the most about engineering?
The thought process you go through. When it comes to applying the engineering skills that I’ve gained through my studies and experience, I try to go in with plans and backup plans instead of winging it. I think about what will happen if something fails, or how I could resolve something before it becomes an issue.
What keeps you motivated?
I like seeing the process as it comes together. It’s great when things click. Whenever I reach a milestone, I’m like, “Oh wow!” It’s super interesting to see things come together.
Tell more about your job at ASG.
My official role is a Process Mechanical Engineer. In that role, I typically test a lot of our devices for potential failures and I’ll end up running several diagnostics on them. If there is something that ends up going wrong, I’ll go in and figure out what exactly went wrong and how to go about fixing it. I often go beyond my job description and do different things too. I love to help out my teammates and the company as much as I can. For example, I recently helped another employee build devices for a project.
I’ve worked on two major projects. One involved a lot of testing, documentation and engineering studies to evaluate the performance of NFC tags attached to product packaging. An NFC tag is a small electronic device that uses technology to transfer data wirelessly between two devices that are close to each other, usually within a few centimeters. It’s the technology that’s in your credit card and passport. It can be programmed to store data such as serial numbers or manufacturing batch numbers. If someone picked up one of these products and wanted this data, the NFC tag would be there to assist with that.
The second project I’m working on is a bit out of my niche. It involves Automation Engineering. I’m the one in charge of getting all of the automation things working. It’s still in the development stage, but I’ve already learned so much.
Do you prefer working alone or with a team?
It mainly depends on what I’m doing. When it comes to writing up documents and drafts for a project, I prefer to work alone. When it comes to getting feedback and making sure everything is laid out correctly, I definitely prefer a team.
What’s been your biggest takeaway since you started with ASG?
Definitely the NFC process and learning exactly how NFC tags work. While I was in college, I took courses that focused on biometric technologies, which included NFC technology. It’s very useful and interesting, too. I hope to keep learning about it and applying it to my own future projects.
I also really love the people I work with. Everyone is so nice. Our culture is positive, too. The fact that ASG uses a variety of engineers within the company is something I admire. Having a blend of different engineering backgrounds makes the projects that we work on so much more interesting. Something else I really appreciate about ASG is how flexible our work and home life balance is. We can be in the office some days and then resume the rest of our work via Microsoft Teams or email. It’s all very seamless.
What are some of your favorite ASG moments?
Our Thirsty Thursdays, where everybody on the team meets at a local bar, are really fun. I also enjoyed our Super Smash Bros. tournament that was held at the office. I like just hanging out with the other people who work here.
What do you do in your free time?
I love to play video games, like a lot of other ASG employees, especially single-player games. I like going to the movies as well. I’m more introverted than extroverted, but I still love to go out and have fun. If someone invites me out to do something, I’m most likely going to say “yes.”
Does Javier’s work interest you? Learn more about ASG careers.