Leader Under 40: Matt Goska
Matt Goska, 31
Mechatronics Engineer, Siemens, www.usa.siemens.com/drives
Elk Grove Village, Ill.
BS + MS Mechanical Engineering, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Concentration: Control Systems
As a vendor for Sinumerik CNC control systems, Goska’s time is divided between implementing solutions and performing a mentoring role to machine builders and end users. “I have a firm belief that the only way to prove that a person has mastered a concept is to successfully teach it to others. In industrial automation, the obvious goal is to reduce the cost of a quality product.” He shares experience and expertise with machine builders to develop machines to meet these goals, helping end users to use machines to full potential. Code templates can be quickly modified and implemented, and some tasks can be automated and shared with colleagues and customers. “I also spend a large portion of my time at customer sites in a mentoring role with a small group. We look at the machine and process as a whole to find not only the best way for the machine to function, but also how to efficiently complete the control integration while thinking about how the operator and maintenance staff at the end user will interact with the machine. “Most machinery I work on has at least five degrees of freedom between the finished part and the process tool. I work with, and provide mentoring on, the full range of system integration: servo optimization, kinematic measurement, volumetric compensation, custom operator interfaces, and the automation programming to make the machine function transparently to the operator. Besides the normal CNC process of milling, turning, and grinding, I also work with waterjets, lasers, aerospace riveting, and carbon fiber placement machines.”
For the last 12 years, starting in college, Goska has been surveying and mapping U.S. caves. Surveying and mapping is a way to obtain access to more caves and makes a positive contribution to local geologic and biologic efforts, he said. “Through one of my national group affiliations, I now spend much of my caving time volunteering on projects for various government park services.”
“I spend substantial time learning about the perpetual stream of new technological concepts, and also expanding my understanding of fundamentals. While flying to customer sites, I taught myself the ‘C’ programming language. I follow the news of the IT security industry for a pair of reasons. Because of the similarity to puzzles, cryptography has interested me for years. News of software exploitation is interesting because it centers around conditions occurring which the programmer never anticipated. In my professional role, I need to consider all of the possible actions an operator may take, and how I can prevent unintended machine actions,” he said.
Goska, with a “general purpose curiosity about how all things work,” has a girlfriend who works in a plant pathology lab for a nonprofit organization. She describes to Goska some interesting piece of biology equipment and how it is supposed to work. “About the time I start getting interested in the details of the device, I find out that it is sitting on my bench in the garage and needs to be fixed. This is very similar to my career, where I spend much of my time figuring out how things work so I can improve on them.”
As a child, Goska liked to “take everything apart to see how it worked. Like this story usually goes, it took several years before I learned how to put anything back together. From there, I developed an interest in mechanical linkages, couplings, and cams. I learned how a spinning motor could drive many forms of motion, which led to my course of study in mechanical engineering. While in college, I discovered how much more could be accomplished when software and electronics were included a system.”