Alex Jurney: Metal Man, Metal Bands and…Teletubbies?

Alex_Jurney_DSC_3570Alex Jurney is Set Up Operator for the CNC machines in our Prototype Shop. He’s been with us for seven months…or is that how long he’s been growing his beard? It’s actually about the same for both, since his last job was for a private ambulance service. You don’t usually see facial hair like that on an EMT for a reason.

Career Course Correction
After concluding that the health service industry was not engaging his creative side, Alex began to think about a career in Engineering and Design. He had interned in our shop after high school and had been intrigued by the progression from design to the finished product.

As he thought more about it and discussed his plan with others, it was suggested that a thorough understanding of the machining process would make him a better designer in the future. Alex took this advice and joined us full time to build a solid foundation of workholding fundamentals.

Learning More Each Day
The CNC Prototype Shop turns out a variety of jaws, grippers, part stops, locating and positioning components for our customers’ chucks. Alex finds the work interesting because every part is a “run of one,” with its own unique challenges. He admits it has been quite a learning curve, but knowing most of the guys in the shop from his internship, they are always willing to give him the benefit of their years of experience. He is learning so fast that when a new machine was brought in, he was the first to be taught how to use it, and is now training others on its capabilities.

His favorite part of the job is taking a program or print and turning it into a functional object. Alex says the only thing better would be to design the part himself and then see it machined into reality. With that objective in mind, Alex is already attending classes for programming at a local college, and will soon take some courses in engineering. His hope is to gain enough knowledge and experience to eventually take a place in our Engineering department.

file-1Alex’s Wide World of Free Time
Out of the shop, Alex’s recreational activities are varied to say the least. A Blackhawks fan since high school, Alex recently began playing Left Wing in a hockey league, with games once or twice a week early in the morning or late at night. Just like machining, the learning curve has been steep, but he is learning to let his instincts take over. The team made it to the championship last year, but lost in the final game.

When he’s not involved in a power play on the ice, Alex recently hung out with 13 ft. long sharks in Hawaii. He can’t wait to get back for more. Despite his free time activities, we are pleased to announce that Alex still has all his teeth and fingers (for now).

About the Teletubbies… Alex has been going to metal concerts for over 12 years. One night after Halloween, he and his buddies wore their costumes to a concert as a gag and got pulled up on stage. Now, it’s become a thing. Alex is the purple one (Tinky Winky). You might laugh, but the costume has enabled him to meet a lot of bands and do things he might not otherwise have experienced. He acknowledges any ridicule he may endure is just the price of admission.