Pioneer Spotlight: Paul Dorsey
Paul Dorsey, an instrumentation and controls engineer for Information Technology Services, joined the University of Wisconsin-Platteville last summer. With a bachelor’s degree in general engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy and four years of experience as a manufacturing and high speed manufacturing machinery design engineer, Dorsey now provides support for computer-connected equipment in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science. When he’s away from the university, Dorsey enjoys working on model airplanes, vacationing and spending time with friends and family.
Can you explain what a day in the life of an instrumentation and controls engineer is like?
There’s no such thing as a typical day. Generally, it consists of checking to see what kind of calls and issues come in and figuring out how to make the rounds to get everything taken care of. If there’s a new piece of equipment that comes in, I’ll make sure to go assist with the software and the setup. Sometimes equipment just shows up in a box and people will say, “We don’t know what to do,” so I try to help with that as much as I can.
What do you like most about working specifically with the College of EMS?
It’s a wide range of different software and equipment to work with. There’s always something to learn. Sometimes I’ll get a call about a piece of equipment that I’m not even sure what it does at first, so then I’ll get to learn about it and research it and then work with professors or lab managers to make sure it’s working right.
You’re a relatively new face at UW-Platteville. What brought you here?
I’ve always liked the engineering and academic environment. There is a big variety of projects going on and things to get involved in. There’s always something extra you can do, and you’re not locked into what you’re doing day to day. You can always volunteer to work on something with somebody and help them out. Also, during the interview process, I could tell that the work environment was positive. Everybody was working together. Everyone is respectful and helpful, and they make sure that students and faculty are taken care of as best as possible.
Having been at UW-Platteville for a full academic year now, what has your overall experience been like?
It’s been a very positive experience, and it’s been a great career move on my part. Like I said, the work environment is very positive and everyone has good intentions. I also get to manage the machine shops in the engineering college. There are two machinists we just hired, and I get to help them get into a teaching role since they both came out of industry. They’re not officially teachers, but they have to teach people how to use the equipment. The teaching aspect that I get with that is nice as well.
What are the most difficult and rewarding aspects of your job?
The difficult part is trying to balance out everybody’s needs and wants – especially on the IT side of things because there are a lot of different priorities that everyone has – and then trying to meet as many as I can with budget and space restraints. It’s also the most rewarding part because there’s usually a way to make it all work out. When I finally get there, that’s rewarding.
Interview conducted by Amanda Bertolozzi, Writer/Editor, Communications. To nominate someone for the Pioneer Spotlight, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.