In this re.engineer feature we invite Roger Tetrault Jr., a Senior Instrument & Electrical (I&E) Maintenance and Reliability Technologist for Dow Chemical to share his perspectives on following your passion for technology while also extending that passion across multiple generations of professionals. Roger has over 13 years of industry experience both inside and outside of chemical manufacturing and one of his core responsibilities is being a technical resource to other technicians as they partner to solve complex I&E challenges. Throughout his career, he has also collaborated with operations and the various engineering functions to identify solutions to high level, long standing reliability problems and as a result, he has been able to minimize unplanned events for the business customers that he supports.
Very early in life, Roger was the kid that installed everyone’s car stereos and electronics. At some point he realized that he could leverage his skills to the marine crafts, so he began installing stereos, auto pilots and GPS systems on boats. The experience and knowledge that he gained with marine crafts opened up an opportunity to work as a military contractor fabricating, installing, maintaining and repairing electrical, communications, and weapons systems on special operations boats. Roger entered the industrial world as an electrical apprentice, and he eventually went on to attain his Associates of Applied Science degree from Brazosport College while working full-time and fulfilling the role of husband and father, a role that that he takes very seriously. During this time he received multiple NCCER certifications and graduated both the Project Management and Project Supervision Academies. Roger became a Dow employee in 2016 and since then, he has served as a mentor and trainer in the Dow apprenticeship program, joined the adjunct staff at Brazosport College and is planning to complete his Electrical Engineering degree. Roger is considered to be a leader in his industry and I am very blessed to have connected with him as we are both working towards giving back through collaboration.
Q: What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
Roger: I have always been intrigued by electronics and electrical components from a young age. I enjoy the challenge that comes with troubleshooting complex systems that include multiple technologies. I also enjoy the aspect of technology that’s ever-changing and having to continuously learn and educate yourself and others to keep up with the advances. My earliest memory is of proudly removing the radio out of my mother’s car to disassemble and see how it worked. I learned two things from that “accomplishment”; my mom can be proud and angry at the same time and that I loved working with electronics.
Q: At re.engineer, we believe that collaboration is the key for long term value creation. How are you applying this concept?
Roger: I am currently working to build an instrument, electrical and analyzer network within Brazoria County to help break down barriers within our industry. I believe that through a strong network and collaboration, all challenges can be overcome. In the early stages of this network, we are working hard to build a culture where everybody can add value from their position in the industry no matter their level of education or experience with the proper coaching and motivation. Along with opening the dialogue for these much needed changes, we are in the early stages of forming a non-profit organization that will help individuals both entering the I&E and Analytical industry and those looking to grow their knowledge by sponsoring technology specific training. One of my goals for the network and non-profit is to be able to offer scholarships, purchase tools and provide many other services that will help advance others in this field. We are already hosting local monthly network meetings to help forge the connections that make a strong network while continue to grow the team behind the movement at a rapidly increasing pace through strong collaboration.
Q: How are you delivering innovation or productivity in your career?
Roger: When moving into my current position I brought with me the mindset that everyone’s input is valuable, and that communication and collaboration is the key to success. By introducing a work process to my current units that I had utilized in my past position, I was able to reduce the number of instruments in manual/alarm by 70% and decrease the mean time to repair on work orders by 76%.
Q: What’s the most difficult technical challenge you’ve resolved?
Roger: The most difficult challenge to date was when I was called in to loop check a new automated bag line and dust collector, with only one very green helper. During this process it was discovered that the newly purchased control panel was not wired properly to allow for the plant to operate it as needed. I was then asked by the plant to figure out the needed changes to the panel in order to get the system operational. This was a little intimidating considering I’d never ever seen one of these systems let alone worked on one. As I was inspecting the wiring it became very apparent that the wiring did not even match the drawings provided by the vendor. Once getting it wired as the drawings indicated it was still not operational. I was then tasked with redrawing the circuits to fix the issues and make the field changes. After a few hours, a lot of determination, very tedious troubleshooting and added relays, with everyone standing over my shoulder at 10pm, we attempted to start the machine once again. It ran for about 1 minute and shutdown. As a collective sigh of defeat filled the air, I studied the wiring closely and made one final change. We were finally able to successfully start and run the machine as originally designed.
Q: What advice would you give to anyone starting in the Instrumentation and Electrical discipline?
Roger: Be willing to learn every day and put in the work, don’t be afraid to ask questions and take criticism, Take initiative and don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Mistakes are simply proof that you are trying.
Q: What keeps you up at night?
Roger: Any time we have a complex issue we are working to resolve at work I have a tendency to take it home with me. I will run through the circuits in my head over and over thinking of possible solutions that I can try once I get back on site. I have a strong drive for resolution and don’t like to admit defeat when it comes to troubleshooting instrumentation and electrical systems because I have a true passion for this industry. I am also constantly thinking of ways to resolve the people problems that come from working with various, and sometimes conflicting personalities, in order to effectively utilize the skill-sets that they offer.
In just a few months, Roger has developed a growing network of industry professionals, and for that, we congratulate him for not only elevating his technical community but also for being a advocate for all of the I&E and Analytical professionals across Brazoria County. Your work is being noticed and will have a positive impact for many years to come! We are proud to welcome Roger as a Re.engineer Trending Leader!!
Facebook: Instrumentation, Electrical, and Analyzer Network of Brazoria County
LinkedIn: Roger Tetrault Jr.