This month Omega is pleased to spotlight one of our finest team players Ian Barrett. Ian was nominated by Production Director Terry Finnell who said in his nomination “Ian is a rock star”. For those of you who don’t know him, Ian is the production manager for specialized coatings and has been with Omega for almost 17 years. Ian loves solving complex issues and is always willing to lend a helping hand to his fellow teammates when they need it. Ian takes great pride in what he does, there is no question about it Ian “is a rock star”!
What does a typical day look like?
My job requires me to manage the Soft coating, UV, as well as the Oxide departments. I'm a working Production manager so I still have my hands on production daily which requires lamination and deposition of multiple chambers. I'm also currently learning how to run the chamber which puts out all our UV work.
What led you to working at Omega Optical?
I served in the US Navy after High school and after that I was working 2 jobs. I was working mornings in a kitchen at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and when I got out of work there, I would stock coolers at a mini mart until they closed. I got tired of working 2 jobs and I heard about a position opening at Omega for a second shift run technician. The job sounded like fun and it was also so different from any other jobs out there, so I applied. That was back in 2005 before Omega moved to its current location.
What is your favorite part about working at Omega Optical?
My favorite part about working at Omega is handling the challenges we face on a day-to-day basis. We are always pushing the boundaries of what can be done in the field and I really enjoy collaborating with members from other departments to solve complex issues.
What has been your favorite project and why?
I have had a lot of fun working with Tom Rahmlow on all his various projects over the years. Nick Castine and I worked on hyper gradient Linear Variable Filter's, we coated the glass tubes with a thin layer of sputtered aluminum and experimenting with photolithography. Tom’s projects are a break from the normal stuff we do every day and challenge us as techs to think outside the box.
What have you learned since working at Omega Optical?
It's hard to answer that question in a paragraph. I've learned so much from run depositions to spectroscopy, to lamination, to how to design optical filters. It seems I'm learning something new every week. There's so much to learn that I'll never get bored, I think that's part of the reason why this field is so fascinating because there's always new technology being developed.
Do you have any good stories about Omega?
I loved working on the second shift with Tavis Rose, Mark Dubuke, Nick Castine, and Gary Seymour. We became a close team, sometimes we would go out for dinners or have cereal night or work 24-hour shifts. Those days were always a lot of fun and we cranked out a ton of work.
What is some advice you have for those pursuing a position in your field and/or at Omega Optical?
I think this field is for anyone who loves a challenge and loves science. There is a reason why most people who enter this field stay in it. I would say to anyone who thinks it's too technical to give a job in the field a try, you just might get addicted to it over time. I know I have.
What is your favorite activity to do outside of work?
I read a lot and love to write stories.