Sean Borchert: Software and SAG Card Lead to a Wild Ride

Sean_Borchet_DSC_3572 copyIf Sean Borchert, the latest addition to our engineering staff, looks familiar, it might be that you’ve seen him in the movies. No, not at the local AMC theater, but up on the big screen. In an earlier life, he appeared with A-listers such as Sigourney Weaver, Ray Liotta, Gene Hackman and Rene Russo. His movie credits include Heartbreakers, Big Trouble, The Librarians and Loving the Bad Man.

He got involved in acting after being approached by producers while bartending in Miami. It seems he was a dead ringer for the leading man in a production being filmed nearby. It wasn’t long before he was dodging (fake) bullets and other stunts. The resemblance was so close that it’s actually Sean in some of the publicity stills, standing in while the actor was off on location. He continued working as a stunt man and soon took on acting rolls. He earned his Screen Actors Guild card, which probably makes him one of few people in the world with a SAG card and a degree in mechanical engineering.

Heartbreakers_edited2An Engineer at Heart
Sean has always been fascinated by engineering. In grade school, while other kids were drawing ducks and horses, he was designing racecars and rockets. This interest continued into his acting days. When not on camera, Sean was busy building websites and doing freelance projects using SOLIDWORKS software.

He had started working with SOLIDWORKS, a 3D CAD and CAE computer program, in 2006. SOLIDWORKS appealed to him since it allowed him to be artistic and precise, appeasing his perfectionist side. His familiarity of programming allowed him to unlock SOLIDWORKS’ potential with behind-the-scenes coding. This came in handy between acting gigs. “I could get by on four hours sleep in those days,” he quipped.

Full Time – and More
When tax incentives drew film productions from Florida to other states, Sean decided that an engineering career would be a bit more secure. He moved back to the Chicago area and started work as a lead designer for a semiconductor company in 2012. While there, he designed semiconductor components that are still considered cutting edge today. The company was impressed enough to encourage him to go back to school and get his bachelor’s degree.

A six-month contract with a Fortune 100 company followed, but Sean hated being a cog in an impersonal corporation. He took the opportunity to work for a small family-owned engineering and design firm. “They had a wonderful sense of hustle as they turned out great work in short time frames on limited budgets,” he said. “I loved the atmosphere.” He worked there full time for two years while continuing his education on a part time basis. He earned his degree in 2017 from Northern Illinois University.

The Right Mix
With his diploma in hand, Sean went looking for a challenging high tech opportunity within a family-like setting that he had come to enjoy, and soon joined our engineering team at SMW Autoblok. After just three weeks, Sean already began programming our internal SOLIDWORKS software to automate drawings and save hours of engineering time.

“The company needs to continually develop high tech design techniques to stay competitive into the future,” he said. “I think our Engineering Department is well positioned to make sure that happens.”

Taking a Breather
After his eccentric lifestyle in Florida and four years of hard work and school for 80 hours a week, Sean’s next project is finding a more balanced life style. For now, he is content to enjoy his new job, watch the Syfy Channel and monitor the progress of private aerospace companies as they take their first steps into interplanetary travel.