Behind the Spec: Operations VP Younes Shabany, PhD
Q: What is your role at Atonarp?
A: I have been with Atonarp for more than five and half years and held several roles over that time, including mechanical, thermal, and industrial product design.
Recently, I have taken on leadership of Customer Fulfillment Operations for Aston's US-based customers. In this new role, I will work with product development, applications, sales teams, and customers, to make sure we are well prepared for our evaluations at customers sites, as well as to quickly respond to customers for any repair and service they need.
In my day-to-day activities now, I have to wear multiple hats, including manufacturing operations, customer fulfillment operations, thermal engineering, EMC compliance engineering, PLM and ERP administration, and more.
Q: What is your training and professional background?
A: My background is in Mechanical Engineering with focus on Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer. I graduated from Sharif University of Technology in Iran with a BS degree, and went to University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, to finish my Masters degree. I was very interested in Turbulence Modeling and Computations – and Stanford was the leader in that field at the time – so I then went to Stanford for my Ph.D. degree and graduated with a major in mechanical engineering and a minor is aeronautics and astronautics.
After graduating from Stanford, I started working as a thermal engineer at Applied Thermal Technologies, working with 35 companies and designing thermal solutions for over 50 different products in my time there. I then went to Flextronics and worked as the thermal architect in the corporate technology group, helping to train and grow the thermal engineering team across the globe, and architecting thermal solutions for ODM products in telecom equipment, AC/DC power supplies, high performance computers, highly concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar modules, battery compartment for electric cars, and high-power LED based lighting modules. I followed this with 3 years designing new products and prototypes at Sanmina before joining Atonarp.
In addition to my professional career, I have been teaching as an adjunct faculty at San Jose State University since June 2001. I started by teaching electrical and computer science students on how to cool the electronics, and then continued by teaching mostly graduate level courses in Engineering Analysis, Thermodynamics, and Heat Transfer. One of the outcomes of my teaching career is the book "Heat Transfer; Thermal Management of Electronics,” which I published in 2009.
Q: What drew you to join Atonarp?
A: I have always had a passion for physics and working on technology products. Although I had a lot of experience in mechanical and thermal design of various products, the mass spectrometer was something I had never worked with before and seemed like a great challenge. It also gave me an opportunity to be part of a team building and growing the infrastructure of a company from the ground up.
All these years later, I am still happy to be a part of Atonarp because (1) the challenging nature of our work ensures it never becomes trivial or boring, (2) it feels good to bring products from initial concept design through full development and commercialization, and (3) the team at Atonarp is one of the most dedicated and amazing teams I have seen in my career.
Q: What kind of challenges do you face in your position?
A: The main challenge in my job is to meet both product quality and delivery schedule. We never want to compromise on product quality to meet the schedule, or to meet the product quality but miss a schedule deadline. The way I deal with this is to use the available resources as best as I can, to regularly gauge progress and adjust as needed to stay on schedule, to gain speed by performing quality tests on sub-assemblies instead of waiting for the final product, and to limit product changes to those who have been proven to work with the same quality as the current product.
Solving problems is the most rewarding thing for an engineer, and that is what I love most about my job. After 5+ years, I am still happy to be a part of Atonarp because the challenging nature of our work ensures it never becomes boring and the team at Atonarp is one of the most dedicated and amazing teams I have seen in my career.
Q: What motivates you professionally?
A: Solving problems is the most rewarding thing for an engineer, and that is what I love most about my job. This does not necessarily mean that I personally solve engineering problems by myself. In fact, my role often supports teammates at Atonarp, as well as our customers, to solve engineering problems. This includes creating the infrastructure needed at Atonarp for others to do their job, making sure people have the tools and resources they need, on-time delivery to customers, coordinating customer support and service, and offering my inputs on directly attacking engineering challenges whenever applicable.
Q: What project or challenge are you currently focused on?
A: As Atonarp's customer base grows, one of the challenges we face is how to support our customers 24/7 across the globe. To achieve this goal, one of the interesting projects I have taken on is to make Atonarp US office as the center of excellence for customer satisfaction for our Atonarp Mass Spectrometry business unit, and Aston as our newest product. This means that Atonarp US would be prepared to help our customers for initial installation, evaluation of the Aston, as well as potential on-site and off-site repairs and services needed down the road.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: First, I should say that I would love to have free time! When I do, I enjoy hiking and camping. I have hiked many trails in the Bay Area and camped in quite a few national parks. Yosemite is my favorite national park and my family has camped there multiple times. My son and I had many day trips there, where we hiked long hikes, during the last year and a half. I am also an amateur photographer who enjoys landscape photography and often snap pictures on our treks.
Lastly, I must mention that I have been a lifelong Manchester United fan. I can watch soccer all day long, no problem!