With today’s blog, let’s get to know the employees of Teledyne Tekmar/Leeman Labs. The next person I I would like to introduce to you is Joe Barta.
Joe is a Field Service Engineer for Teledyne Tekmar based out of Chicago. He services Tekmar VOC and TOC products, as well as Leeman ICP and mercury analyzers. Besides servicing instruments, he has also trained the service engineers for our international distributors in Europe, Asia, and Central and South America. Joe will be starting his 20th year at Tekmar at the end of January 2023.
Let’s ask Joe some questions to get to know him better.
- What is your background and how did you get into the analytical chemistry field? –
I have a chemistry degree from Illinois State University. I had initially decided to be a high school science teacher, but after taking classes where I taught students, I felt that teaching was not for me. I thought analytical chemistry was one of the more interesting disciplines in the chemistry field, so I decided to stay with it. When I conduct my training classes, I still use some of the teacher skills I learned in college.
- How did you start working at Teledyne Tekmar?
I got a job right out of college in Peoria, IL, doing sample prep at a small environmental testing contract lab. Then I moved to St. Louis and worked in two contract labs there, which is where I became a GC analyst. I had a friendly relationship with my Tekmar service guy and a field service position opened for Tekmar in Chicago, so he thought I would be a great fit. I was pretty good at fixing problems over the phone with him, so that’s half the battle. I moved back home and have been working at Tekmar ever since.
- What is a typical day like for you?
My day is a standard routine. I arrive at the customer site and work on any issues they might be experiencing with their instrument. I will also answer customer emails, phone calls, and order parts for my service calls. My day will vary depending on how things go with the repair or what new service calls I receive. Once I’m done, I’m off to the next. I drive about 30,000 miles a year, so I’m always busy!
- Outside of work, what is it that you like to do?
My life outside of work is all about my family. My wife and I have a daughter who will be four years old in December. As you can imagine, she’s always the center attention. She’s such a smart and wonderful girl. She’s obsessed with dance and takes many classes and is even in competitive dance! I am known to build Lego sets with her when we have the time. Our current project is the Sesame Street set. As a family, we love spending time together doing pretty much anything. We also enjoy going on vacation together, car or plane, it doesn’t matter, we love traveling. I also like to take pictures of interesting things I see on my travels for work. I am a baseball fan and love my Chicago White Sox.
- What is one part of the job that you find rewarding?
I really enjoy the great people I’ve met over the years being a field service engineer. I value my professional relationships a lot. I get disappointed when customers retire or move on to something else. The analytical testing field is a small world, so I usually will run into some of those people again. I serviced an instrument for a customer in Chicago a few times, then he moved on to another job. A couple years later, I ran into him at a lab in Arizona! We couldn’t believe it!
- Anything else you would like to share with the readers?
I enjoy my job very much. It has its moments, as all jobs do, but I don’t know what else I would do other than being a field service engineer. All of us at Tekmar bounce ideas off each other to help solve someone’s tough problems. So although Tech Support and the service engineers don’t directly work in a central office, someone is always available to offer help via phone or email.
Being a field service engineer must be in my blood because my grandpa went to electronics school after World War II and he serviced radios and TVs around Chicago for Sears, Roebuck, and Co. until he retired.
In this series, I hope that every reader will be able to learn a little more about the employees they interact with here at Teledyne Tekmar/Leeman Labs. If you call for parts, support, or sales we all have a story and we would like to share that story with you. Visit Teledyne Leeman Labs blog to read about more employees.
For more information on Tekmar's VOC and TOC products, visit www.teledynetekmar.com or contact us