Live Event: May 16, 2019 at 1:00pm Eastern (US)
Travis McGuire is a Robot Engineer for Transocean where he uses physics, math and materials science to help people work in and around large machines and stay safe on the job.
Name: Travis McGuire
Title: Engineering Manager for Machine Interaction
Layman’s Title: Robot Engineer
Years in this organization/position?
9yrs Transocean 1 yr in position
What does your organization do?
Drill for Oil & Gas in the Ocean all over the world
What is your role in the organization?
Engineer for helping people work with machines
Describe your work and how it is important to society:
To society as a whole the work we are doing can be applied to a number of other work sites that have people working in and around large equipment and automatic machines or even robots.
What type of science, technology, engineering or math do you use in your career? And how often do you use them?
Physics, Math, Material Science (types of materials to use and when). I use parts of these nearly everyday in some form. Many times combining all the various things we learn is the most valuable.
What accomplishments are you most proud of in your current role?
Creating and Designing a computer system that helps keep people safe.
What are the biggest challenges you face in your work?
Keeping people safe at work so that they can go home everyday.
What is the most exciting, most amazing, or scariest thing that has happened to you during your work?
My favorite story occurred just a few months after starting my first job. I had been assigned to a project building a gold mine in Guatemala. We had to stop on the road for a large piece of equipment to pass by. While waiting a group of use all got out of our trucks. Once the equipment passed we all got back in our trucks. After about 20 minutes of driving we realized we had taken the wrong truck. We laughed about this the rest of the drive home, the owner of the truck had to take ours and he did not find nearly as funny as we did. I still have good memories from that day not only of the event but also the people I was with.
Highest degree attained/ Schools attended?
Master of Business at University of Texas and Welding Engineering at The Ohio State University
What educational accomplishments are you most proud of?
Graduating on Deans List at OSU and UT. Working while earning an MBA.
Previous employers and positions that have lead to your current role:
I worked for 5 years at Chicago Bridge and Iron working in and around Oil Tanks and Refineries
Other positions not necessarily related to your current career
Farm Jobs growing up.
Best job you’ve ever had and why/Worst job you’ve ever had and why:
Best job is my current one working on this project.
Ive never had a bad job just some bad moments or even a few weeks. Generally even bad jobs done last long and sticking with them and getting them complete you learn the most.
Favorite classes/coursework in elementary school, middle school, high school, college:
Elementary – Gym and geography
Middle – all sciences
High School – Math, I had a great math teacher, Mr Eakins. I even took 2 classes of math at the same time so I could eventually take Calculus in High School. Mr Eakins and I are still friends today.
College – favorite class outside of my engineering major was a general construction class, learning how to build houses, run electric, do cement work and other small construction jobs.
My favorite engineering class was Thermodynamics and Welding Metallurgy.
What were your favorite books/shows/movies when you were a kid?
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
What did you think you were going to be when you grew up at age 12? At age 15? At age 18?
I don’t remember at 12
At 15 I wanted to be a Vet.
At 18 I was in college and started in Welding Engineering
When did you know you wanted to pursue your current career, and what drove you towards it?
A friend of my uncles had graduated from OSU in Welding Engineering and he introduced it to me and told me about the career potential. At first I wanted to work for John Deere or Caterpillar. About my Junior year I was talking to a professor about direction and asked about going a different direction toward Construction. Prof Richardson introduced me to another Alum working at Chicago Bridge and Iron and I ended up taking a job with them after graduating. The good thing about Welding Engineering is there are very few schools that offer this subject and OSU is very well known and students are highly looked for.
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, what other career(s) might you have pursued?
What are your favorite hobbies or activities you do for fun?
Horse riding especially cutting and reining horses.
Do you play any musical instruments or play any sports?
I used to play saxophone and basketball
What is your favorite non-science book, magazine, or blog?
I really like the Jack Reacher books.
What’s the most frequently played song?
There are too many great songs. If I had to choose just one to play at anytime I would have to choose Don’t Stop Believing, its a classic song that you just can’t help but sing along to.
Who do you look up to and admire?
My Grandma growing up is who I looked up.
In a career setting, I was very fortunate to have a good mentor during a part time job in college. He really took the time to teach me many things technically as well as some hard lessons in making a transition into a real job. I think most people need a good mentor when making this transition.
What advice would you give a student interested in pursuing your career?
Engineering has many paths, just because you didn’t study that specific subject many of the basics we learn in becoming engineers apply to lots of different areas.
What advice would you give students in general?
Study hard even on things you think aren’t needed. We never get to a point where we are not learning new things and having a good knowledge of basics helps us apply what we’ve learned previously to new things we learn and in new ways. Find good opportunities for part time jobs and internships, especially ones that give hands on experience.
What are some interesting places you’ve traveled?
I’ve traveled to 14 different countries and lived in 3 countries outside the USA. I enjoyed living in Chile the most, it’s a very friendly place and has many things to see, from deserts in the north to beautiful forests and mountains in the center and glaciers in the south. It’s a very narrow country that is as long as the distance from New York to Los Angeles.