John Pauley: A Path to Engineering Excellence and Engineer of the Year

In the realm of engineering, where innovation and ingenuity reign supreme, few individuals stand out as distinctly as John Pauley, who has recently been named the Engineer of the Year by Industrial Plant & Equipment. Have a read through John’s path to engineering excellence.

John's journey into the world of engineering started with a deep-rooted fascination for solving real-world problems. "I would consistently listen to my parents talk about the struggles they faced at work and try to develop solutions to help alleviate them," he shared. His inventive spirit emerged at an early age when he participated in "Invention Conventions" at his elementary and middle schools. From ideas like pocket voice translators to help his mother communicate better with her nursing patients to toothbrushes with built-in toothpaste, John's creative mind was evident.

His educational journey led him to the University of New Hampshire, where he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering in 2015. It was here that he honed his skills and laid the foundation for a remarkable career ahead.

Despite growing up just a stone's throw away from CBI HQ, John discovered the company during a junior year internship fair at the University of New Hampshire. His love for all things mechanical, especially cars, made CBI's equipment an enticing prospect. The prospect of being part of a team that manufactured groundbreaking machinery was a thrilling adventure he couldn't resist.

John's career at CBI has been marked by a remarkable evolution in his roles and responsibilities. He recounted his journey, saying, "I have been lucky to try so many different roles at CBI that allowed me to learn!" His initial role as a "Project Manager" for the attachments line required him to be a jack of all trades, working directly with customers, OEM dealers, field visits, installations, and even sales. His responsibilities continued to diversify as he ventured into supporting Farwell machines and later the hybrid 5800BTM's.

As his career progressed, John transitioned into taking on the 6800CT. Upon his return after a brief hiatus, he embraced the role of managing the 5800's and 6800's in the upswing group. His most recent role as Principal Engineer for NPPD projects, a goal he always aspired to achieve, has solidified his position as an engineering leader.

Like any successful engineer, John has faced his share of challenges throughout his career. He pointed out that having no guidance and interpersonal challenges have been some of the most frustrating aspects. However, he learned that communication is key, emphasizing the importance of face-to-face conversations for problem-solving and alignment.

In situations where no examples or mentors were available, John's determination kept him going. His advice for aspiring engineers is simple but profound: "Keep your head down and keep pushing on. There are endless resources available to you; the task is to find and absorb them as thoroughly as possible."

Among his many achievements, John fondly remembers working on the 5800BTM's as a standout experience. This project was his first major design venture, involving multiple rework areas on the machine and the challenge of salvaging high-value components from older machines. The uniqueness and complexity of each machine in this project made it a memorable adventure, ultimately resulting in delivering dependable, customized grinders to clients.

John attributes his success to qualities like integrity and a willingness to learn. He believes in absorbing knowledge from both the office and shop floor by asking questions and valuing the insights gained from experienced colleagues.

John keeps abreast of the latest industry developments through trade shows and online articles. He acknowledges that trade show visits might sometimes be limited, but he recognizes the value in connecting with experts and learning about the latest advancements.

When reflecting on his career, John's father stands out as a significant role model. His father imparted qualities that have contributed to John's success, including integrity and a strong work ethic. As for his career, he is immensely grateful for the mentorship of Nate Fuller. John's professional growth and knowledge were profoundly shaped by Nate's guidance and leadership.

John's interest extends to the fascinating field of biomedical engineering. The potential to grow fully functional human organs through innovative engineering has captured his imagination. He believes that removing waiting lists for critical organ transplants would be a monumental win for humanity.

John's advice to those embarking on a career in engineering is simple yet profound: "Ask questions! Accept the fact that you don't know everything, and most of what you're going to learn won't come from your education but from those who have experience."

He emphasized the importance of putting forth one's best work, taking pride in every task, and understanding that even seemingly minor contributions can make a significant impact. John's journey underscores the significance of continuous learning, collaboration, and unwavering dedication to the craft of engineering.

Winner of the Engineer of the Year Award:

John Pauley's nomination and subsequent win as Engineer of the Year reflect his outstanding contributions to the engineering field. He hopes to use this acknowledgment to inspire others to pursue excellence in their careers. His journey from inventive thinking in childhood to a distinguished career in engineering serves as a testament to the potential within each aspiring engineer to shape the world through innovation and dedication.

John humbly stated, "I feel extremely grateful to be the recipient of the Engineer of the Year Award. Even the nomination was quite a humbling experience, and I am just thankful for those who have thought highly of me and my work. The recognition is truly a culmination of every small interaction I have had with my coworkers where I was taught valuable lessons to help educate and shape me over the years."

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