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Engineer of the Week – Brian Premock

Jennifer Alanskas | March 28, 2023

Our Engineer of the week series is dedicated to inspiring future engineers by increasing their understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers. They are essential to our business, and we proudly celebrate their accomplishments. 

Our Engineer of the week brings a new perspective to where engineering can lead your career. Brian Premock, Vice President – General Manager, has been with InSource Solutions for over 13 years. With his background in engineering, he has utilized his creative and strategic mind to help his team achieve their yearly goals. As a kid, Brian’s many influences steered him toward becoming an Engineer. Although not the easiest path when it came to school, he found his passion for solving complex problems while helping his clients. While the Manufacturing Industry is constantly changing, Brian continues to support the younger generation’s ability to see the potential of the industry’s future and how it is transforming digitally. Learn more about Brian and how engineering became a part of his life.

What inspired you to become an Engineer and pursue a career in manufacturing? 

A combination of influences led me to become an engineer and pursue this industry. As a kid, I was creative and liked solving problems, and my favorite pastime was creating freestyle models out of Lego. As a teen, I was particularly fascinated by science, physics, and electricity. I loved it so much that I had Radio Shack’s 100 in 1 electronics project kit and built everything.

Besides my passion for solving problems and using my creativity, my dad also influenced me. He was an industrial engineer and worked at IBM Federal Systems division, a defense contractor, and through employee events and open houses, I learned more about their work and engineering. He was also an excellent electronics technician, and when I was young, he purchased and built our first TV. It was a “do-it-yourself” mail-order kit, which sent him a new assembly part every few weeks. When he received these packages, I helped him separate components and held parts in place when he soldered. It was fascinating to watch the process, and I still remember when he turned it on for the first time, tuned it in, and there was a video. It was like being part of a magic show.

What do you like about being an engineer in the manufacturing industry? 

The work to get an engineering degree was rigorous; every semester was filled with science and math, which required a lot of time and homework. At the time, I was envious of those that went down a less rigid path to their degree. However, the reward is that you leave with a perfect foundation in many disciplines like physics, mechanics, electrical circuits, and thermodynamics. Along the way, you also learn and apply complex information proficiently, and this is one of the most valuable skills I learned from that experiences. It’s rewarding to sit in a conversation with a client and get the big picture of their systems and processes to assess how and where we can apply our solutions to help them achieve their goals.

What is that one thing that inspires you professionally every day? 

My inspiration comes from the opportunity to get involved with so many great companies and people. Our job is much like the TV series “How It’s Made “(the best cable show ever). We have opportunities to help clients with programs that make what they do faster, better, and leaner, which got me thinking about how long I’ve worked in the industry and how many plants I visit yearly. I’ve visited nearly 1,000 plants over my career, yet every time someone extends an invitation to visit a plant, I jump at it. I’m still fascinated by “How it’s Made” at every company I visit. The part that intrigues me the most is the innovation and creativity that is so abundant in the industry. It’s rewarding to get involved in a person’s vision and work with all kinds of technology and groups of people to bring it to life.

What is that one piece of advice you would give someone pursuing a career in manufacturing but is still deciding about it?

What timely questions, as I just had this conversation with an engineer in college last week. I heard that manufacturing wasn’t his first choice due to a perception that the industry can be low-tech, inflexible, and not the safest bet due to a track record of offshoring and layoffs when things got tough. What was most striking was a concern the work could lack challenges and a fear he would miss out on working with leading-edge technology in other industries.

After taking a moment to digest this, I responded that some of this perception was true. But, on the other side of the fence, I shared that manufacturing was also at a crossroads and possibly on the threshold of a significant evolution. The pandemic showed the threat of outsourcing too much, creating a trend toward onshoring and digital transformation investments. I advised him that he was an asset to an industry that needed him more than he needed it. So he should be selective and be prepared to interview the companies looking to hire. A large group of leading manufacturers have a vision and are spending on transformation technology. Joining a company in the leading tier will yield plenty of challenges and experience across many technology domains and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to re-imagine manufacturing in America.

Our engineers are a vital part of our company, and as we learn more about them, we find a new gratitude for the work and skills they bring to InSource Solutions. Their passion for growing within themselves and helping others succeed is remarkable and shows daily in their work.