Our Industry Person of the Week is Allan Rienstra, owner of SDT Ultrasound Solutions.
Q: How did you get started working in your field?
Allan: My father raised me to always search for ways to add value, whether that be by solving an existing problem, or taking a solution and making it better. When I first discovered ultrasound, I saw endless possibilities to make that happen. Our technology helps asset stakeholders create safe and reliable organizations. I wanted to be a part of that from day one and after I notched my first happy client in 1991 I never looked back.
Q: What do you love the most about your job? What are you most proud of?
Allan: I love so many things about my job and it’s hard to say one is “the most”. Definitely, I get to meet and interact with amazing people from around the world every day. The customers; The sales channel; Our amazing trainers; I marvel at the opportunity to visit literally every kind of manufacturing imaginable, see how things are made, and understand the challenges these innovative companies face. Playing a role in solving problems that lead to greater efficiency, lower environmental impact, energy conservation, and higher profits is what I love the most. Again, it’s hard to pick out one thing over 32 years that makes me most proud. Certainly, during the 2020 pandemic I took great pride in building a training platform that allowed our knowledge to flow freely to anyone who wanted to consume it. In less than 6 months we had more than 4000 subscribers, mostly from reliability-minded people who wanted to continue to improve themselves through the isolation of COVID-19.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering this line of work or new to the field?
Allan: Never stop learning. Maybe you are a graduate of the most prestigious school and achieved great degrees of knowledge. But what you learned in school is more than likely obsolete before you get through the probation phase of your first job as the pace of technology is in a state of acceleration unlike anything we’ve seen. Therefore it is more important than ever to be a life-long learner.
Q: Can you talk about a project you recently worked on?
Allan: I’ve been involved in quite a few actually. As a representative of Canada through the Standards Council of Canada I serve to help steer the ISO 18436-8 standard for ultrasound condition monitoring. I recently helped EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute) revise and republish their Nuclear Maintenance Applications Center: Airborne/Structure-Borne Ultrasound Technology Sourcebook. A new initiative called SaRA (Safety and Reliability Alliance) is being formed with the vision to promote safe, reliable, sustainable manufacturing. I am a member of the founding steering committee. My new book about Ultrasound and Condition Monitoring will be out later this year. That has been 3-4 years in the making and it is long past due. Our community really needs an inexpensive access to this level of knowledge.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
Allan: 1. Be kind. I realize that may seem out of context, but it is a simple thing to do and we are all doing it less and less. I wrote about the acceleration of technology and the impact it is having on all our lives. One offshoot of this acceleration is an increase in our tendency to lash out – – especially online – – in ways we never would in person.
2. Defend your personal time. There is so little separation between life and work anymore. Seek to keep balance and leave time for the moments that will define you in your silver years. Live well with the short time you have… you will be dead for a long time.
Connect with Allan on LinkedIn.