We sat down with Justin Faanes, Holland's Argus Product Owner, to dive deep into his engineering background and what led him to Holland for Engineers Week 2020!
What did you originally want to be when you grew up?
A lot of things! One I distinctly remember though was an archeologist. My grandfather took me to a natural history museum growing up that really left an impression. Getting to see and feel fossils that were otherworldly and the thought that more could be right underneath my feet was really compelling!
Where did you go to college and what led you there?
I graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in the spring of 2016. Go Bucky! I chose UW for the comradery of the school, its beautiful campus, a breadth of specializations, and in-state incentives.
What was your major / why did you choose engineering?
My sophomore year I was enrolled into the school’s Biomedical Engineering major. I chose engineering because I’d always had a love for math and creating. I found math problems to be more of a puzzle than the memorization practices in history or social studies growing up. Engineering was an outlet for those interests and to this day gives me the same thrill of putting together LEGO® builds as a kid. Cheesy, right?
What led you to Holland?
I started with Holland as an intern a short time after graduating. The technology and development group I started in was tremendously exciting and fun to be a part of as a young professional. Holland also offered a great number of (very patient) mentors I owe all my growth to.
What are some of your usual day to day job duties?
Since 2016, I’ve grown to help coordinate development initiatives for the Argus technology. I try to act as a center point for all things concerning Argus and be a resource to our sales group, service team, and anyone else interested in the technology! I have to stay up to date with new developments in the industry. Ultimately my work revolves around keeping an understanding of what our users want balanced with our development capabilities.
What is one of your favorite things about working in the rail industry?
One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the amount of innovation being driven in the rail world! When I first started with Holland, I was completely oblivious to the amount of technology that’s being driven by railroads, and I’m certain I’m still only aware of what’s just beneath the surface. It’s been a fantastic start to my professional career, and I would strongly advise anyone who is interested to learn more about the rail industry both in North America and globally.
What’s one thing you wish someone working in the engineering field would have told you when you were going to school?
Put a priority on developing your soft skills and statistics. Being able to effectively communicate your ideas, efforts, and concerns is crucial for not only working with your team but outside resources as well. I think I had this concept that I’d be working in a void and I’d get along fine with an internet connection and a Google search. Looking back that was an incredibly naïve and clichéd notion, and what a boring job that would be! Working with my teammates is truthfully the most enjoyable part of my day. They have been and continue to be an incredible source of learning for me.
What is one of your favorite things about working at Holland?
The people! Hands down this is my favorite part about Holland. Holland has well over 1,000 employees located all over the globe and a leadership group that prioritizes collaboration. The exchange of ideals and skillsets that I get to be a part of has taught me more than I’d thought possible. My only complaint is there is not enough hours in the day to spend pursuing topics every time my curiosity is piqued…which is often!
To learn more about Holland's Argus Testing Technology, click here.