10 Qs, Summer Intern Edition: Meet Ian

August 7, 2015 in Notes from the Field

Ian Morrow, Engineering

1. What do you do at MAYA?
As a member of the Engineering group, my primary responsibility has been working on MakerSwarm — a visual authoring tool that runs on mobile platforms.

2. What superpower do you bring to the Engineering team?
An unrivaled ambition that keeps me optimistic and constantly marching toward the best possible solution to any problem.

3. What’s your educational/professional background?
I graduated with an Electrical Engineering degree from Penn State in 2012. During my undergraduate, I worked with several research groups on projects that ranged from building 3D printers, developing unmanned submarines and designing power supply systems for cubesats. Following graduation, I spent two years working for the Harris Corporation doing hardware development for government contracted projects.

Currently, I’m attending the IIT Institute of Design with a focus on design strategy and research.

4. What is the most meaningful project that has shaped you as a professional?
During my undergrad, I interned as a maintenance engineer at a steel mill in eastern Pennsylvania, and some of the mill operators refused to use a new crane I installed. When I asked an operator to verbalize his frustrations with the new crane, he mentioned that the controls “suck.” Since he wasn’t able to vocalize exactly what the issue was, I had him show me how he used both the old and new controls. Through observation, I was able to infer that the new controls were putting stress on the operator’s arm. Previous controls sat at waist height and were held up with backpack straps, taking all the weight off of the arms. Changes were made to the older controls so that they would operate the new crane, making a 12-hour shift much more manageable for the operator.

I didn’t know it at the time, but this was my first step into the world of human-centered design, guiding me to the path that I am currently following today.

5. What do you hope to learn while at MAYA?
I’ve always had a strong affection for engineering, and jump at any opportunity to improve my understanding of the technologies used for developing the future. I am also extremely interested in growing my understanding of design’s place in how that future technology is developed and steered. Finally, I am most excited to see how MAYA, as a design consultancy, operates from the inside. Using design methods from the safety of my desk at school can only go so far. Whereas, applying them to develop real-world concepts offers many more opportunities to learn and grow.

6. Where can we find you outside of work?
Outside of work, there is a 90% chance you will find me at the closest rock climbing center. If I’m not climbing, I’m either camping or mountain biking, or some combination of the three.

7. Apple Watch or Moto 360?
Apple Watch (only because everything else I own is created by Apple and I am now trapped in their ecosystem).

8. Colbert, Kimmel or Fallon?
Colbert

9. What sequel could we have done without?
Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones (A sequel that shouldn’t have been made, in a series of prequels that shouldn’t have been made).

10. What’s the first thing you ever made?
The first advanced thing I ever made was a wind tunnel for a middle school science fair project to test the aerodynamics of different baseball pitches.

To learn more about Ian, connect on LinkedIn.

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