Being an Engineer

S1E44 How I Met My Mechanical Engineering Mentor on YouTube | Joseph Larsen /Joko Engineering

October 15, 2021 Joko Engineering Season 2 Episode 44
Being an Engineer
S1E44 How I Met My Mechanical Engineering Mentor on YouTube | Joseph Larsen /Joko Engineering
Show Notes Transcript

Joseph Larsen runs an Engineering YouTube channel (Joko Engineering) with over 32K followers, in which he covers tutorials on SolidWorks, FreeCAD, Calculus, Engineering, Turbocharging dynamics and more. He also works a Medical Device Handle Design Engineer at W. L. Gore & Associates. He graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University. 

Rafael, our co-host, met Joseph via YouTube when he was looking for resources to pass the SolidWorks CSWP exam. Little did they both know, that they both lived in Phoenix, Arizona. 

Joseph Larsen Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-larsen-74786a72/ 

Joko Engineering YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-CubOaooNwC-3RBKUoAOQQ 

Pass CSWP with 100%: https://youtu.be/zJXQxtx5e4s 

Cohost: Rafael Testai https://www.linkedin.com/in/testai/ 
 
 

The Being An Engineer podcast is brought to you by Pipeline Design & Engineering. Pipeline partners with medical & other device engineering teams who need turnkey equipment such as cycle test machines, custom test fixtures, automation equipment, assembly jigs, inspection stations and more. You can find us on the web at www.teampipeline.us.  

Presenter:

The Being An Engineer Podcast is a repository for industry knowledge and a tool through which engineers learn about and connect with relevant companies, technologies, people, resources and opportunities. Enjoy the show.

Joseph Larsen:

There could be some young or prospective engineers that are listening. And if so I would say, go for it. I was selected to be an engineer over people that were more qualified than me. And it was because I smiled, I was as pleasant as I could be. And they chose me because I could add with my personality.

Rafael Testai:

Hello, everyone, welcome to the Being An Engineer Show. Today, I have a very special guest, a mentor of mine. His name is Joseph Larsen, aka Joko Engineering, and I'll explain that in a moment. I'm your co-host, Rafael Testai. Today we're doing something a little bit different. We're doing not only a podcast, but also a video call. So we'll have the link to the video call if you want to see our faces, and you want to see some of the PowerPoint slides that we'll be sharing. It'll be just in the description below. I know a lot of people like to listen to the podcast driving like myself. So you're only going to miss out about 5% of the whole show. If you don't watch it. So 95% of the content will be auditory, so you're fine if you just want to listen to it. So Joseph, welcome to the show.

Joseph Larsen:

Hey, it is great to be here. It's, it's an absolute honour.

Rafael Testai:

Thank you. So let me set the frame of the whole conversation in the podcast. I want to tell our audience how we met and how this all started after quickly introducing you. So Joseph has a huge YouTube channel. He has 32,000 subscribers. As you can see from my screen, those of you that are watching the video, some of his videos have over half a million views. So he's been pretty successful at the YouTube thing. In his YouTube channel, he has tutorials in SolidWorks, free CAD calculus, engineering, turbocharging, dynamics, and more. He has a Bachelor's of Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University, and he is a handles design engineer at WL Gore and Associates. So let me set the frame here. This is how we met our interesting story. I was trying to get my CSWP SolidWorks certification. SolidWorks is basically a CAD programme and the CSWP is one of the most important certifications that you can get for it to show employers and everyone else that you're proficient in SolidWorks. So I was browsing YouTube, like many of you have done before, and looking at all these different tutorials. And some of the best tutorials came from this YouTube channel called Joko Engineering, to be specific as called Joko Engineering Help. So I watched a couple of tutorials. And I thought to myself, 'I want to reach out to the the owner of this YouTube channel to see if we can make a personal connection and just simply tell him that I really appreciate his content.' So I reached out, he emailed back right away. So I surprised because so many followers, I didn't think that he was going to respond. And the amount of correspondence he has received must be outstanding. And we hit it off right away. He was super nice. And we scheduled a Zoom call, a video call. And the chemistry was there. He became my mentor. And I then find out that he also lives in Phoenix like myself, like what are the odds, right? Like I'm looking for SolidWorks content, and we both live in Phoenix, we're basically neighbours. And in conclusion, I just wanted to say that I feel like I'm blessed. I seem to come across great people, I attract great quality people. And I'm very thankful that the universe has done this that God has done this for me. And I'm very happy to be talking to Joseph today. So welcome to the show. And here I'm going to ask you a couple questions about let's see, first let's start off with WL Gore, you're, the company that you work at. It says that you handle design engineer. Could you explain what that is?

Joseph Larsen:

Yeah, that's that's right. And thanks again, Raf, it's a it's really great o be here. So with WL Gore, you robably know Gore from Gortex. hey can make jackets that will reathe with air going through hem but they won't let water hrough. It's a material science ompany and I work in the edical division. So the same echnologies that are applied ith these jackets, concrete aterials that work with edicine, particularly with ntravascular surgeries. And I ork, certain handles that can un catheters through veins and arts of the body to allow ccess into places that are, ould otherwise be very, very nvasive. So these materials ith, what we call ePTFE is a aterial allow people to recover rom certain injuries and health roblems a lot more quickly and asily than with other olutions. So specifically, I

Rafael Testai:

So when you say medical handles, does that's esign medical handles that work echanically, to run certain atheters and delivery systems. mean, the handle that one uses to hold on to the device, is that what a handle is?

Joseph Larsen:

Yeah, good question. If you have seen as sometimes you see it a lot in movies, intravascular surgeries, we have a physician holding on to a device as a big catheter on it. And they'll steer the catheter through veins in this, this handle has certain controls on it that allow the catheter to be steered in multiple directions. Right? That would be a medical handle, if you've it, if that makes sense to viewers.

Rafael Testai:

Okay, so something that your hand is going to grasp on to. Is that right?

Joseph Larsen:

That's right. Yeah.

Rafael Testai:

So, forgive me for my ignorance. But let's see, I've done a couple handles before on SolidWorks. Some may need surfacing, other, others may not. How complicated could a handle be?

Joseph Larsen:

I've seen, in fact, some of the most complex models that I have dealt with have been handled models. In all of my time in engineering, they can get really complicated. Yeah.

Rafael Testai:

When you design a handle, do you design it, so it, it conforms to the fingers, like it has the little bridges for each finger or no?

Joseph Larsen:

We don't. Ergonomics, and certain elements of how it's designed are really, really a big deal. But I haven't seen handles with any kind of finger contours. It's more a concern of, can you look at this handle and intuitively know how it works. In a situation where someone's life is, is at stake in a say in a surgery, you want to be as simple as possible. And part of that is having very simple kinds of curvature and things like that. So

Rafael Testai:

Okay, so I guess that's your specificity, right? Handles for medical devices.

Joseph Larsen:

Right.

Rafael Testai:

That's all right. This is very interesting. We haven't had someone on the show with that specificity. Let's see. What should an engineer that maybe works on medical devices, know about handles, if we don't specialise in that? Couple things?

Joseph Larsen:

What should an engineer know about handles if they don't specialise in it? That's a great question. And I think it depends on what the surgery is for, Even something like surgery on the heart can vary. So, so much from a surgery on saying aorta, or other part of the body, I would say, as ergonomic as possible, at all times, you want the physician to be able to grasp the handle in a comfortable way, that doesn't lead to any kind of fatigue. Because some of these surgeries can take a long time, some of them can be a short time, you want to be able to make the handle in a way that you have a lot of safeties, you don't want to accidentally hit a button at the wrong time and have something happen that would endanger the patient. So consider a lot of safety interlocks and consider making things work with as few steps as possible.

Rafael Testai:

Okay, a couple of things that go through my mind, we have the same hands by handles may change. If one handle works for a specific medical device, then why not use the same handle for the other medical devices?

Joseph Larsen:

That's an excellent question. And I think it goes into consolidation. I think you find that especially with, I think most medical handles you'd say are injection moulded. And the tooling for injection moulding is so expensive. There's tonnes of opportunity to be able to consolidate parts if possible, because if you pay 10-20 grand for tooling, you want to use that as much as you can. Right. So I, I would say the only reason for not doing that is if you have a particular functional problem with using handles and in our case, there's a lot of times when you have a completely different implant or something else that you have to deploy, and it's just prove it. You can't do it just on the basis that the implants are incompatible. Does that make sense?

Rafael Testai:

I'm a super visual person, it would be extremely helpful if you can maybe pull up an image from Google, and maybe like hover your mouse over the area you're referring about. And we will be as descriptive as possible with our language so that people at home just listening to the audio can can follow along. What do you think about that?

Joseph Larsen:

Yeah, that sounds great. Okay, I can find a handle for you. For sure. I think I've got a really good one here, I'm just grabbing a second one.,

Rafael Testai:

Take it away. Yeah.

Joseph Larsen:

Alright, so we're looking at some handles from a company called Abbott. On top there it is a this is called mitral clip, for a procedure that repairs certain leaflets in the mitral valve, you can see that you have a handle with a knob sticking out on it, and you would twist that knob, like you're opening a jar of pickles, if you think about the ergonomics on that. Whereas below, you have an Edwards handle. And the difference would be that you have a knob built into the side of the handle, and you would move that the same way you would scroll the wheel of a mouse, and this is the same function, you're turning something but the ergonomics are very different. And it leads to a different experience when you're performing the surgery. So when we evaluate a design of a handle, it is really important to understand the voice of your customer and know what is the best to do when sometimes opening a pickle jar, kind of ergonomics is way more effective than twisting something that's in your hand like the wheel of a mouse. But other times, that's not such a great solution. So these are all factors that should be weighed when designing a handle.

Rafael Testai:

Excellent. Yeah, I've never had a such a close look like this or paid such close attention to the handle of a medical device. Usually, the focus seems to be where it's cutting the tissue, or where the motor is, but the handle is absolutely instrumental. If one gets tired from handling the device, it can be dangerous. So very cool. Okay, so what's your favourite thing about your job?

Joseph Larsen:

That's a great question. Gore is such a wonderful place to work for. And it's a great company. They've been in the Fortune Magazine, top 100 places to work for I don't know how long but years and years. So that is always great to have a job that treats you very well. But I think I love the freedom of being able to design things from scratch, see projects from cradle to grave, that actually make a difference in helping people's health improve.

Rafael Testai:

Okay. And tell us a little bit about your YouTube channel that has 32,000 subscribers. How did all that start out? And how did you keep on growing it?

Joseph Larsen:

Yes, yes, that was a funny story. I was a student at ASU Polytech. And I was pursuing my degree. And I really, really wanted to learn CAD. And interestingly enough, with a degree programme at the time, there was just not very much CAD to to take that would have helped my degree, the accreditation, I think was set up for a different kind of education. So I was able to take one CAD class and it was half GD&T. But from that half CAD class, I learned how to like fully defined a sketch and do simple assemblies. And that got the ball roll rolling for me, so that I could be able to teach myself how to do a lot more. And almost everything I've done with CAD is self taught. And every time I learned something new, I would put it on a YouTube channel. And it was almost out of spite that I wanted to do it better than my university did for other people. So I wanted to make it accessible. And hopefully people would enjoy CAD the way that I have. It's been quite an interesting journey, because I didn't actually expect it to get very washed at all but looks like people are following it, enjoying it. So it's turned out to be pretty interesting.

Rafael Testai:

Yeah, when, when you actually give me a lot of pointers on how to pass the CSWP, that I passed with 100% in large part thanks to you. Once you give me all that content and those tips. I made my own YouTube video to help other people pass that CSWP test. And every week I get messages on LinkedIn, people thanking me for putting that content out there. So I just want to relay that out to you because I don't think I've ever told you that so thank you. Thank you for passing that knowledge to me.

Joseph Larsen:

Oh, thanks, Raf. Yeah, it's like Les Miserables, that story of Jean Valjean, where loving kindness is just infectious and it spreads almost like a disease but in a good way, it's really wonderful to see how many people in the world like you are willing to, to help others and do so even for no benefit of yourself other than just being able to help. So it's really inspiring to see what's happening across YouTube and LinkedIn and all these different places.

Rafael Testai:

Absolutely. And your YouTube channel lately, you've been talking a lot about FreeCAD. Could you give us an introduction as to what is FreeCAD? And why is it useful? Anything you might want to share about that software?

Joseph Larsen:

Oh, FreeCAD's a lot of fun. It was the second platform I learned after SolidWorks. And it, it was a little bit of a steeper learning curve for me, I think, because I'm, I just got used to doing it one way. But when I figured out just workbenches and all the nuts and bolts, it became a really fun and accessible and easy to use software that is, surprisingly so powerful. There's not that much, I can't do on FreeCAD that I can also like can't do on SolidWorks that I couldn't also do on FreeCAD. I think it's a great way to learn. And I would recommend anyone to learn multiple platforms, because you can pick up so much on what's going on behind the scenes with solid modelling. FreeCAD, for instance, will call something for net, whereas SolidWorks would say normal to curve. And when you start saying, 'Hey, what's what's for net, when you do a sweep that stays normal to a curve? You start to realise, oh, there's for net equations that are starting to drive the geometry behind this and you learn little bits and pieces from just even terminology. So FreeCAD is an open source software, but it's also known as free to use, so you can reprogram it yourself. And it's a very open licence. And I love the community effort behind that in behind being so accessible, I have a lot of respect for people who are so generous making things free to use and free to view the source code. So yeah, I'm probably giving you too long of an answer. But it has just been totally inspiring to be able to use FreeCAD that's built on community and generosity.

Rafael Testai:

Yes, I agree. Freecad, but at the same time, I'm thinking a lot of people are listening may only know one software CAD package like myself, I only know SolidWorks. And it was a steep learning curve, learning all the bells and whistles, all the terminologies like you said. Now I'm finally at a place that I feel comfortable with SolidWorks and designing what I have in my mind, and I can do it quickly. Why do it all over again, with another software? Basically, we said just learning different terminologies and see what's going on behind the scenes. What else did you learn about behind the scenes from learning FreeCAD?

Joseph Larsen:

Yeah, I love that. FreeCAD has taught me a lot about analysis. So the FEM Workbench, it's the same idea behind running as an analysis and FreeCAD and running one in SolidWorks. But, of course, the the analysis and package in SolidWorks isn't cheap. So if you don't have access to SolidWorks analysis, FreeCAD is of great alternative to learn the process. And it's, you can run thermal analysis as well, which I found to be so interesting, because I haven't really done that in SolidWorks. You can I just haven't done it. And that in itself has really opened up a lot of possibilities and just making complicated things accessible. And in fact, a developer has reached out to me on my YouTube channel and is developing further analysis capabilities. And I'm just starting to, to get into that. So there's a there's even more content coming for FreeCAD.

Rafael Testai:

So did you say that in FreeCAD, you can actually edit in the software? Did I hear you say that right?

Joseph Larsen:

That's right, yeah, it's open source. And so you can get on GitHub and make your own version. In fact, there's two versions right now that I think in freecad version 20 is going to merge the fork you can between some main developments that happened between real thunder and the main FreeCAD. So there's there's some really exciting stuff happening right now.

Rafael Testai:

What would you say is the biggest downside of FreeCAD?

Joseph Larsen:

Yeah, that's a great question. The number one gripe that I hear in the comments is that the user interface isn't intuitive for people. And some, to an extent that can be in the eye of the beholder. Because it feels like I've used it so much that it just is second nature. And I think the main driver behind those comments is FreeCAD user interface can be steep to learn initially, but it makes sense once once you start using it, in my opinion.

Rafael Testai:

I see, I think right now is a good time to take a break and tell our listeners that Being An Engineer Podcast is brought to you by Pipeline Design & Engineering. Pipeline partners with medical and other device engineering teams who need turnkey equipment such as cycle test machines, custom test fixtures, automation, equipment, assembly jigs, inspection stations, and more. You can find us on the web, at www.teampipeline.us. And we are here with Joseph Larsen, aka Joko Engineering. And I wanted to ask you, we're talking about FreeCAD, and maybe learning another platform for over SolidWorks users. And why that may be a good idea, who tends to be the general audience that uses FreeCAD? Inventors, right?

Joseph Larsen:

Yes, I've had both inventors and hobbyists reach out, I've been able to help some people with some of the work they're they've been doing. And there's a lot of smart people using freecad. And as well, I get a lot of comments from hobbyists when fusion 360 changed their licence structure, a lot of people moved into FreeCAD and found a happy home there. So you get a wide variety. I see a lot of inventors, a lot of hobbyists and a lot of people who may otherwise have had trouble with the accessibility of other platforms, either by price or anything else, have been able to make some pretty incredible things on FreeCAD.

Rafael Testai:

I'm naturally a curious person. And I can't help but wonder if there's a product in the marketplace right now that was built primarily using FreeCAD as the CAD package.

Joseph Larsen:

Yes, I know of a few. I know that some furniture companies have actually made some coffee tables primarily with freecad. And I think during COVID-19, I know of some medical shields to restrict airflow where also designed in FreeCAD, I'm sure that there's a lot more out there. I just haven't dealt with them.

Rafael Testai:

I see. So I guess with FreeCAD, you can also design the tooling for injection moulding. Is that possible, or no?

Joseph Larsen:

It is. Yeah. And I don't know if it's commonly used in injection moulding. Particularly I think free CAD has some potential in having more philic capability. And with injection moulding fillets are so important. So I don't know if too many injection moulders use it. But it is possible to run a Boolean and make tooling pretty easily.

Rafael Testai:

So have you ever brought it, brought FreeCAD to the attention of your manager colleagues and say, Hey, guys, we should do a project in FreeCAD. Have you done that before now?

Joseph Larsen:

A little bit. FreeCAD is awesome for things like gears, because you can choose your own diametral pitch number of teeth, everything you want to about a gear and it just generates the gear immediately. And it's, it's really great tool. So I've, I've drawn attention to it. But I think with the way that certain files are organised and the file systems we have to use, it's really built around SolidWorks. And so there may not be too much opportunity, but I have used it in past jobs. I worked in heavy duty diesel and Indiana. In fact, I've got the Indiana flag behind me because I I love that area and I really miss it. But we I build some heavy duty diesel aftermarket parts for diesel oxidation catalyst and particulate filters and FreeCAD was great. It did everything we needed.

Rafael Testai:

Okay, what are some of the biggest challenges you face?

Joseph Larsen:

That's a great question. Would that be in the scope of the work that I do every day?

Rafael Testai:

Yeah, let's start out with that. And let's talk about YouTube after that.

Joseph Larsen:

I think one of the big challenging aspects of working in medical is you know someone's life is depending on the product that you're making, and you want everything to be as ideal as possible. And finding a balance between how much detail is realistic to add. And being able to actually progress on a realistic timeline can be a little bit challenging. I think there's a lot of prototyping and a lot of testing that is involved with medical devices and having confidence in everything that you've built, make sure that you've proved it out, can be not only extremely important and satisfying, but you want to make sure that you've tested it enough and validated it enough. It seems like always something goes wrong on test day, which is an inherently great thing. You just don't want that to happen to a patient, you know?

Rafael Testai:

Love that mindset, it is very positive.

Joseph Larsen:

Thanks.

Rafael Testai:

What's, what makes your life hard on YouTube? Like, what's something about the YouTube platform that you wish were different maybe?

Joseph Larsen:

Yeah, that's great. I, I've really enjoyed working on YouTube. And it's been able to, it's enabled me to reach people that are exceptional human beings, people like you. People like inventors, and hobbyists, and other engineers that are out to make the world a better place. Working on YouTube can be a little bit stressful when you see all the demonetization and other limitations that happen depending on the content that you put out. And so I always want to be mindful, to be quite politically correct. To make sure that I can remain accessible, and help as many peoples as I can. So that that can be a stressful thing. Sometimes you get people who are extremely negative, and it's really gotten me to get used to just shrugging people off and realising some things don't matter.

Rafael Testai:

How can someone be extremely negative about the content that you provide? You're showing people how to do stuff on CAD and giving some advice? I can't find anything negative about that. I'm sorry.

Joseph Larsen:

I like that. Yeah, that's a good perspective ref. I would say, I get some people that say that FreeCAD is junk. I've, they'll say, 'I've tried to do simple things, it just won't work. This is absolute garbage.' Right? Because some people that make a comment that, 'I should have done this and this and this differently,' and showing someone how to do that. That's a really common one. And if you break down a video, you're doing probably hundreds of different operations. I am absolutely sure I'm not doing it the best way all the time, but I'm doing my best. So

Rafael Testai:

You should be like, 'Okay, let me see your video.'

Joseph Larsen:

That would be great.

Rafael Testai:

Well, you should have converted that entity. You should have done a midplane extrusion.

Joseph Larsen:

I love that

Rafael Testai:

CAD police? Would you make a troll account on YouTube called CAD Police and just go around

Joseph Larsen:

All of it

Rafael Testai:

Geez, these guys.

Joseph Larsen:

Yeah, oh issue some citations on my own, I'll tell you what.

Rafael Testai:

My goodness. Oh, monetization. So what are some things for people that don't really understand how to monetize YouTube videos? What are some things that CAD YouTube content creator, some challenges that you face when you want to monetize your videos? What are my grey areas that sometimes, 'If you don't do this, you can't monetize the video?'

Joseph Larsen:

Yes, I know, I may be showing my age because I started my channel around 2013, 2014-ish. And, gosh, I don't remember now. But they've raised the bar for monetization since then, I know now you have to have, I think 1000 hours watched a certain or a thousand subscribers, yes, a thousand subscribers, certain amount of hours watch before they leave and monetize you. And if you can get to the point where you get monetized, it should be pretty easy. When you're uploading, you can just check the monetization box after that. It's when you upload controversial content. And especially if you have something say firearms related or something that has a child in it, and you don't check the boxes that say exactly what your content is, that can put you at odds with advertising. And, and sometimes if people promote extreme things, I think we've all seen certain channels get demonetized for what content they upload. So

Rafael Testai:

I'm scared out.

Joseph Larsen:

Does that answer your question?

Rafael Testai:

I yes. But I know that YouTube now has a feature that they can do a transcript of everything you say, I've seen that feature before. I think it's like a chat box or something like that. But if we say the G-word, which I don't want to say it again, that looks like this, then he'll appear on the transcript. And then I guess they'll flag the video right?

Joseph Larsen:

Yeah, and I don't know the full part about the G-word that might gettaken down or controversial. You can still do the hand sign, they won't find that

Rafael Testai:

They're gonna flag the YouTube channel because of this. It's okay, YouTube.Medical devices, YouTube. We're not talking about that.

Joseph Larsen:

Yes, yes. It's a different kind of thumbnail now, right?

Rafael Testai:

Handles. We're talking to my handles, yeah.

Joseph Larsen:

Yes.

Rafael Testai:

All right. So another question I have for you is what has surprised you about being an engineer that you didn't expect before you became one?

Joseph Larsen:

Yes, the business side of it. When I was an engineering student, I often just fantasise that I would be designing and doing all these cool engineer things. But I wouldn't have thought that engineering could be so heavy and things like supply chain, and supplier evaluations and doing hardcore business stuff. We, we didn't talk about that very much in school. And we just talked about the technical stuff. And so I found that I was continually learning how to do the business side, as I started my career.

Rafael Testai:

You touched on things that you didn't talk about in college, that you realise when you became an engineer were important. One of them being supplier evaluations, what's another one?

Joseph Larsen:

Yeah, supplier evaluations, supply chain management. Often, the logistics of how many people are working on a project and what the budget of the project is, and how to move talent around and get people what you need while staying within certain budgets.

Rafael Testai:

Okay, let's just talk about two of those. If we can a supplier evaluations, what does that mean?

Joseph Larsen:

Yeah, that's a, that's a great question and it's something that is done by some engineers that I haven't gotten to do yet. But it is a lot of evaluating a suppliers capability to meet certain tolerances and evaluating the shipping and logistics and costs of getting involved with supplier and making decisions on who to go with and why.

Rafael Testai:

Okay, that's what I thought. What about supply chain management? What does that mean?

Joseph Larsen:

Yeah, that's a great question. Often, when you're in the prototyping phase, you'll say, 'I need a few of these parts,' and you order them and they're sent to another location that you don't have access to. Being able to accurately predict how much of something that you need. And this, this is some stuff that you run into, on occasion when you're just prototyping. But when you're making actual product, it becomes way more important and even a much bigger deal to know how much inventory to have and when. And when you look at problems when you're producing things, and I'm a design engineer so this isn't exactly my specialty, but when you have problems producing things, let's say you have machinery that is going too slow. Well, you can fix that with inventory, you can build up all this inventory. So when customers order something, you can backfill your inventory, instead of making on demand but or if you have problems with having tracking the right quantity of something, to make a product, where you can just over order your parts. And inventory solves all kinds of problems. But the problem with having so much inventory is that you tie up a bunch of cash resources and having stuff that sits on the shelf. And Lean manufacturing, 5S, all these recent trends, even 6 Sigma are focused around how to maximise your process to get as low inventory as possible so you can use your cash resources into developing other parts of your business that will ultimately pay off better. So supply chain management can be a huge advantage when you get it right. And that also comes down to optimising process, to make sure that you have everything you need, and you're maintaining your equipment and everything works.

Rafael Testai:

Right now, it doesn't sound like that's your main task. You do design engineering, right?

Joseph Larsen:

Right. Yep, I did that a little bit more in my last position working in diesel, but now I'm pretty heavily a designer.

Rafael Testai:

So right now, I already have my bachelor's in molecular biology and genetics. And I'm going back to school to get my second bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. Because I want to be an engineer that has a degree that's one of my goals. And I'm taking all the calculus or physics classes. And I want to know down the road where you are, what's something in physics that you use frequently, maybe almost on a weekly basis, because physics is very broad. What's something that you you're going to use? They can tell me Raf, that's my nickname, for those of you that don't know, full name is Rafael. 'So Raf, what's one thing that I'm going to be using for sure, once I graduate? And if I happen to work at a big company that does medical devices, I don't know what the future holds. What's something that I'm going to be doing often in terms of physics?'

Joseph Larsen:

Yeah, that's a great question. And it depends on the industry that you go into. I started my job in aerospace. And if you asked me that, at that time, I probably would have said something like thermodynamics, especially for working on the engine side, then I moved into chemical reactors. And there, I probably would have said something pressure-related, doing a lot of pressure calculations, then I moved into diesel. And just depending on where you go, there's a lot of principles that that come out, I would generally say, get a great idea of statics and dynamics. I think wherever you go, you'll probably run into a case where you'll want to calculate the strength of something. And whenever you do an analysis, of course, you want to have handcrank calculations to back up that analysis and not just rely on finite element to tell you the answer. So that's probably a nice generic place, if that answers your question.

Rafael Testai:

Have you ever been in a position where you had to show your hand calculations to support what you just said?

Joseph Larsen:

I don't think so. And that's not to say that it doesn't happen. I just haven't been in a place where I was being that strictly scrutinised. But there are times when, in certain jobs, you, you will, especially if you become an analyst.

Rafael Testai:

When you design handles, which is what you do, do you do an FEA analysis? Or do you do any kind of force tests?

Joseph Larsen:

We have done FEA analysis. at my company, I'm not part of that group. So the last time I did FEA as part of a job was doing some pressure vessel calculations and testing.

Rafael Testai:

Okay.

Joseph Larsen:

Yeah.

Rafael Testai:

So when you design a handle, how do you know that it's going to be able to withstand the pressures? The how the doctor holds it? How do you know it's going to hold up?

Joseph Larsen:

Yeah, great question. We don't see too high forces that we would generally worry about as far as the handles that I personally have been involved with. But a lot of that is validated in testing. And as on the testing side, I have seen situations get tested that I don't think would ever happen in real life. But the level of scrutiny warrants that. So you can, in my position, with the projects I've been involved with, you can design a handle, pretty intuitively to know that it's going to be strong enough, but the real validation happens in testing.

Rafael Testai:

Perfect. Well, we're coming here to a close, is there something that we haven't discussed in this podcast, maybe we should have discussed?

Joseph Larsen:

One thing comes to mind, a bit different flavour that we've talked about is there could be some young or prospective engineers that are listening. And if so I would say, go for it. I, I was the type of engineer that played with Legos and build things and was imaginative and creative. And I can't say that I was some genius that was overly smart with math. And if you're like me, there's a place for you. I often had doubted myself, because I thought if you're an engineer, you have to be super smart and super good at math. And I changed my major a bunch of times. And when I settled in on engineering. At some points, I felt self conscious that I am with some real geniuses, what can I add that someone else couldn't? And then when I got my second job with chemical reactors, it turns out, I was selected to be an engineer over people that were more qualified than me. And it was because I smiled. In the interview, I made a joke or two, I was as pleasant as I could be. And they chose me because I could add with my personality. Whoever you are, I think there's probably a place for you in this field, because it takes all kinds of people to make the world go round. And that includes being within the subset of engineering, I think. So if you're an engineer, you can totally do it.

Rafael Testai:

Wow, what a great way to close, what an inspiration, and touching on the soft skills and smiling and having a good personality, you play well with others. Those of you that are watching the video, they're gonna see you smile constantly throughout the video. And it's, it's been a very pleasant experience. Thank you for being on the show. And how can people get a hold of you? They're interested.

Joseph Larsen:

That's great. Yes. On my YouTube channel, hopefully there'll be a link for it. I put my email address in the description. It's jokoengineeringhelp, J-O-K-O engineering [email protected] And I try to answer everybody. Sometimes I am not able to, but I do my absolute best.

Rafael Testai:

Exactly. And that's the same way that he just described is how Joseph and I met, I just send them an email out of the blue and he became my mentor and he's on the podcast now. So, everyone, thank you for listening. And Joseph, thank you for being on the show.

Joseph Larsen:

It's great to be here. It's an honour. Thank you so much.

Aaron Moncur:

I'm Aaron Moncur, Founder of Pipeline Design & Engineering. If you liked what you heard today, please share the episode. To learn how your team can leverage our team's expertise developing turnkey equipment, custom fixtures and automated machines and with product design, visit us at teampipeline.us. Thanks for listening.