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Brad Beach

Born and raised in Indiana, next door to Purdue University. 3rd generation engineer. Musician.


Brad persistently aims for a better way. He has success making change happen by running experiments.


Twelve years at Schlumberger Wireline taught him how to understand technology from its first principles, how to operate a high-tech service business in a complex environment, and how to function with a “dual perspective” - keep the business running today and improve for tomorrow.


One year at BiSN taught the importance of trust. Without trust nothing will go well.


Four years at Evonik has shown that while the technical details change, the principles of operating a business, making things happen, and experimenting for improvement is the same for every business and every one.


Which leads to this insight - what I’ve learned at Schlumberger, BiSN, Evonik, can be adapted to any business of any size, if only we can make the right connections to the right assets in a frictionless way.


Let’s have a conversation, aim to do something together, and see where it goes.


brad@steamchest.org



Heathcliff Howland

I knew I wanted to work with machinery the day my grandfather took me to his machine shop. I followed him around as he stopped to talk with each machinist on the shop floor. The machines were the coolest things I'd ever seen and the parts they spit out were beautiful. The shop gleamed and smelled like oil. I was 10 and that's when I decided I wanted to be an engineer.

Fast forward 11 years to Chignik Alaska where I'd managed to score a job working on the 'slime line' of a 350 foot floating fish processing ship for the summer. Outside the bunkhouse was the door to the engine room where the Chief Engineer lived. He was a mechanical genius. On the trip from Seattle to Chignik before the salmon season started he fabricated the entire slime line out of stainless steel and hydraulic gear. Every day he was in and out of the engine room with his earmuffs on, fixing broken things. I was 21 and right then I decided I wanted to be a marine engineer.

A year later I graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Environmental Studies and went on a surf trip to New Zealand with my best friend. Everywhere we went we were welcomed into homes and onto farms and the people we met knew how to build and fix things on their own. They were mechanics, welders, electricians, hat makers, honey makers, felt makers - not by trade but because that's what needed to get done. I was 24 when I decided I wanted to learn how to weld and that's when my journey with industrial machinery and systems really got started.

I moved to San Diego and after taking a welding class at Mission Bay High School I convinced my teacher to give me a job as an apprentice shipfitter. He had just starting building a 79 foot steel tuna longliner at a small shipyard in Chula Vista. There were days when he'd leave me alone to fabricate, fit and weld sections of that boat all by myself with just a bunch of drawings and some soapstone sketches on steel plate. I still can't believe he let me do that. He's the one that convinced me to go to the California Maritime Academy. Thank you Mr. Berggren, that changed my life.

heath@steamchest.org www.linkedin.com/in/heathcliffhowland

Neil Holmgren

My love for machinery began as a teenager with a passion for old cars & engines. I expanded these interests at the California Maritime Academy where I got my hands on marine engine systems, received an engineering degree and went to sea.

Over the years I have pursued many opportunities and interests without ever taking my hands off the engine throttle. After several years in shoreside and sea going engine work, I sharpened my design skills developing surgical tools and then went back to school to study and eventually teach sociology. During the years working with surgeons and scholars, I maintained my connection with industrial machinery by shipping as an engineer or consulting shore side.

In 2014, I started my own company where I currently provide solutions to owners and operators of industrial engines and their related systems.

It is common for me to talk with other engineers and reflect upon the element of engineering that brings the most joy. I have heard many wonderful answers over the years. For me, it is the culmination of so many efforts and talents that converge on the moment when we press the “Start” button and things simply work as they should. It is the collaboration that is invigorating.

neil@steamchest.org




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