2022 Engineering Leader Under 40: Ben Lester, 33
Ben Lester, Senior Technical Lead, Factory Technologies, Modesto, CA
Ben Lester, 33
Senior Technical Lead
Modesto, CA, United States
BS Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
Why Ben is an Engineering Leader
Ben Lester is a true leader amongst his peers. His technical skills stand out in a sea of all-stars. Ben leads and mentors junior engineers with poise, respect and determination. Ben is routinely single sourced by Factory Technologies’ customers and works diligently (onsite, in the office and remotely) to support every technical challenge that is thrown his way.
Achievements, Advancement & Career-related Industry Contributions
Ben loves to dig into complex technical problems. A recent example is working on wireless pump carts used extensively in the wine industry. A winery’s tank farm presents an issue for wireless networks due tanks being tall metal cylinders located in close proximity to each other. Traditional Wi-Fi networks struggle with coverage and large wireless mesh networks are expensive to implement. Ben developed a way to leverage off-the-shelf components – mainly Ignition Perspective, ZTC Edge redundant servers, an IFM combo PLC/HMI, a barcode reader and MQTT communications – to provide reliable communications for this environment.
Non-work-related Activities & Hobbies
Ben has made friends all over the world as he traveled to participate in videogame tournaments. He also owns a 24-year-old parrot with his wife Marleen.
In 2016, Ben took a leave of absence to travel abroad and worked as a Brewers Assistant in Sydney, NSW, Australia. When he returned, he built out his own fully electric home brewery, which he eventually programmed to run automated batches with Ignition talking to an Arduino. Ben is Ignition Gold certified.
Why Ben chose this career
“I’ve enjoyed being a systems integrator so I can tackle a large variety of problems on a daily basis in many different environments and industries,” said Ben. “I also really enjoy working alongside talented mechanics and electricians in order to help them improve their facility and implement changes for the benefit of everyone’s quality of life.”