Rob, currently a Technical Service Engineer, has been with ThermoGenesis for more than 30 years. He was drawn to the company in its initial stages, when it was still known as InstaCool and, after being hired on as a temp on the heels of his college graduation, joined the team as a Mechanical Engineer.
Since then, Rob has worn many hats at ThermoGenesis, and has learned something valuable from his experience with each one. In his current role, he helps customers with any technical issues that arise, including sometimes traveling to repair instruments in the field himself.
During Your Time With ThermoGenesis, What Has Been Your Most Memorable Moment?
I joined ThermoGenesis when it was still a company called InstaCool, back in the 1990s. The company was still growing and, at one point, we had a collective goal to do what we call “get in the black,” which means to report a profit for the end of the quarter. It was an all-hands-on-deck period of time when even the engineers, of which I was one, were brought into the production floor to help out. As an engineer, I was able to learn welding with plastic and aluminum, and it was fun to learn something new and to help the company reach a milestone goal, which we did.
What Has Been Your Most Interesting Task?
The most interesting task was when I got to help design and manufacture a cryopreservation product – an MP3 portable freezer that allowed for remote collection and freezing of blood plasma, and efficient transportation back to the Blood Bank. It was similar to what we now refer to as the BioArchive System, but in a smaller, more portable form.
What Drew You to The Opportunity to Work With ThermoGenesis?
The name “InstaCool” caught my attention when I was just a few months shy of graduation from Sacramento State in California. Initially, I wanted to apply for a Mechanical Engineering position, since that was what my degree was in. At the time, I couldn’t apply since I hadn’t yet gotten the degree, but I was eventually hired on as a temp. My job was to help draft manufacturing ideas for the engineers, and once they learned about my background, I was offered a position as a Mechanical Engineer. I have stayed with the company ever since.
What Has Been the Most Rewarding Part of Your Time With the Company?
In my time with the company, I have worn many hats – Manufacturing Engineer, Design Engineer, and my current role of Technical Service Engineer. In each role, I have gained so much knowledge and experience. Being able to use that knowledge to help customers use our products properly and make a positive impact in the world. The work that we do – creating products for cell manufacturing and cell banking- it saves people’s lives.
What is the Ultimate Mission of ThermoGenesis, and How Does Your Role Play Into It?
The ultimate mission of ThermoGenesis is to make life-saving cell therapies more accessible to more people. At the end of the day, our goal is to help save people’s lives, and we do that by creating products that medical professionals can use to collect, store, and retrieve cells that are used in patient cell therapies. A product like our PXP® System provides a cell processing system for healthcare professionals to ensure that patients are getting the best possible outcomes in their cell therapies. My role, specifically, is to help customers use these products correctly, resolve any technical issues, so that they have the best results.
Where Do You See ThermoGenesis in the Next 35 Years?
In the near future, I see ThermoGenesis taking our products to the next level and offering instruments that can be used at Point of Care sites. We have spent the last three decades creating products for cell manufacturing, and now I believe we are ready to take that a step further and have our products be even more accessible to patients. In the next 35 years, I see the company on the S&P 500 list, continuing to make a positive impact on the world, and even in the investment community.