In this week’s blog post we’re excited to introduce you Mark Slutzki, our experienced product Manager, who’s recently became a proud grandfather! When not at work, Mark can be found scuba diving and engaging with martial arts. In this week’s blog post, Mark shares his favorite part of work and reveals how he manages to keep up on the latest developments in laser and photonic measurements.
So, First thing first – What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
We’re blessed with a pretty large family, and I’m also blessed (not to compare…) with a really broad range of interests – the “tension” between those two definitely keeps life interesting. I’ve always loved the “scholarly” stuff, and I’ll often have a Talmud study session in the evening and read a personal-growth or physics book before bed (I’m not kidding!). Scuba diving and martial arts are my other passions.
You have had a very broad career history. How did you go from being in the Air Force to becoming a Product Manager in Ophir?
In the Air Force I actually served as a physicist, having been privileged to study before starting active duty. I was involved in a number of special projects, usually at the interface between industrial partners/vendors and the Air Force “customers”, helping define requirements and evaluate solutions. From there, it’s been a pretty natural progression to what I do here at Ophir, which is in many ways similar.
What is your favorite part of your work?
There are really 2 “favorite parts”. One is, without doubt, the people and atmosphere here at Ophir. I enjoy getting in the car to come to work in the morning! The people here are really a special group, and the culture and atmosphere here are unique.
The second “favorite part” is the varied nature of the work I do. We’ve got a lot of really, really talented people here doing the actual problem solving, working for months on a tough problem and cracking it; I, on the other hand, get to jump from problem to problem, helping match our customers’ problems with the right solutions – I can deal with any number of different issues in a given day in totally different fields. For me, given my nature, it’s a wonderful fit and a lot of fun.
How does Ophir add value to laser-based processes for our customers?
For our customers’ laser processes to be profitable, or for their research to proceed smoothly, the laser system performance has to be stable and predictable. What we offer our customers are tools to help make that happen, and relevant support all along the way. After all, modern technology is able to do what it does because it’s quantitative. I remember my mentor in my final-year-of-studies project explaining to me that in any project, experiment, or product development, after that first flash of creative insight – which is what an engineering student expects all engineering work to be – it will usually then come down to the nitty-gritty details. Things like operations, logistics, and…measurement. Our goal is to take the measurements part off our customers’ heads so they can focus on what they do best – their work – without having to worry about the tools.
How do you keep up on the latest developments in laser and photonic measurements?
It’s a never-ending challenge, particularly since I’m not directly involved in the actual hands-on R&D itself. I have to keep up on 2 fronts – what our customers are doing and what we’re doing. The latter is easier – I’m surrounded here by probably the world’s top experts in photonic measurement. For the former – luckily the work I do naturally brings me in contact with our customers, so I get to learn about how they use our products and what they do in their applications, and how our measurement technologies can better help them. There’s also the usual industry resources…Still, it’s never enough – which is a good sign.