#588 – Siloed Engineering with Leigh Brady
Welcome, Leigh Brady!
Leigh got his start working in different companies in the US as young engineer from the UK as part of the Mutual Defense Agreement
Throughout the episode we explored different themes
Specialist vs Generalist
US vs UK hiring
Big vs small companies
Defense vs Industrial companies
What is the atomic unit of a system engineer?
Lockheed IRAD – Internal Research and Development
Sandia National Labs
FPGAs in defense / space
“It’s always cosmic rays”
Single Event Upsets
“Triple modular redundancy” is so commonplace in designs there are now buttons in CAD to generate the logic to triplicate a circuit and have the 3 units “vote”
Bleeding edge FPGA tools vs open toolchain
Chris recalls Xilnx ISE with F16 on the CDs
Long term supply contracts
Jumping the line with defense companies in the US – “DPAS – defense priorities and allocation system“
Big vs small
Leigh is now back in a big company
When should an engineer target a big vs a small company in their career?
Training / Budgets / Sampling are better at big companies.
Phillip Salmany (Phil’s Lab) talked about the difficulties finding mentors as a young engineer out on his own.
UK Chartered Engineer
PE / EIT vs Chartered
Leigh worked on nuclear weapons at a past company in the UK
It is, unsurprisingly, a heavily regulated industry.
Part of the job is verifying non-proliferation among other countries
Chris referenced a Ukraine treaty where they gave up their nuclear weapons and ambitions, co-signed by the US, UK, and … Russia. This was the 1994 Budapest Memorandum.
Russia control room story about not firing when they detected launches from the US. It’s widely believed that Stanislov Petrov prevented a Nuclear war
There are never active nuclear tests anymore (good), so the majority of work revolves around testing and modeling
Is there a “better moustrap”?
What does it look like when new requirements come down from the gov’t?
Did Leigh wear a white lab coat?
We were introduced by former guest Carmen Parisi, who worked with Leigh at Wasatch Photonics
Optics have tight timing requirements, especially around the image sensor.
Leigh is now working on medical devices at Phillips.
Medical isn’t as slow as Chris thought, nor is FDA planning as dreadful as Chris thought.
“Trust but verify” on part specs
Mapping past experiences into new job
Chris mentioned the discussions with Charles Aylward about not having any control mechanisms or backup as a consultant.
Leigh said there are certain scenarios where a solo consultant won’t be a good fit and that “Two people working in a team are worth three”
You can reach Leigh on LinkedIn an