Alex Maslakow

Applications Engineer

San Diego

What is your job title, and what does that position entail?

I am an Applications Engineer for the Southern California team.  I support our customers and sales team on all of our product lines. This includes things such-as pre-sale proof of concepts, product specific training’s, integration support, and supporting questions about the product years down the road.

How long have you worked at Olympus, where did you come from? A little history of how you got involved with Olympus?

I started working for Olympus June 2020. From 2015 to 2020 I was an applications engineer at a company similar to Olympus Controls in Minnesota. When my wife and I decided to move to San Diego my previous boss put me in contact with Olympus and luckily for me the SoCal team was looking for an apps engineer.

What do you like best about working at Olympus?

I really enjoy the variety of challenges that each day brings, due to both the variety of customers we work with and the range of products we represent.

Describe a little of your past history.

I grew up in a small town in southern Minnesota.  I received my Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN.  During my senior year I started an internship with an automation distributor in Minneapolis where I was an applications engineer focusing on machine vision and robotics. That turned into my career for the next 5 years. During that time my wife received her PhD from the University of Minnesota in Molecular Biology. The next step in her career is to do post-doctoral research, which ultimately led us to San Diego.

Describe some of your hobbies – what do you like to do outside of work?

In the last few years I have come to enjoy wood working. I’ve made larger pieces of furniture – like our dining room table – all the way down to small objects, my favorite being a cherry/walnut engagement ring box when I proposed to my wife.  I also enjoy playing with our German Shepherd and, when I get the chance, getting away to go hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting.

What are some key lessons you have taken from your career thus far?

One of the most important things I’ve learned is the importance of clear and concise communication to our customers and sales team. For example, a product might only work if it’s setup in a specific manner. That setup needs to be conveyed clearly so the product can be implemented successfully. Alternatively, there may be some limitation that makes the application impossible, in that case clearly explaining the issue can be an educational tool and can lead to finding alternative solutions.

What is one thing your customers might find surprising about you?

Before moving to our apartment in San Diego I flipped our MN home. I enjoyed doing home improvement projects but was also too stubborn and cheap to hire anyone to do any of the work for me. Some of the most satisfying projects were replacing all of the plumbing and electrical, uncovering and refinishing the 70 year old hardwood floors, completely rebuilding 2 bathrooms, and a bunch of landscaping.

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