Field Engineering Spotlight: Mike Strobel, Field Engineer, Swagelok Penn
In a new series, Swagelok Reference Point is highlighting Field Engineering Services—our global, boots-on-the-ground team of engineering experts who are tasked with solving our customers’ toughest challenges. Today, we sit down with field engineer Mike Strobel, who discusses how he helps customers untangle complex sampling system issues that could be seriously compromising efficiency and profitability.
Swagelok Reference Point (SRP): Hi Mike. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Mike: I’ve been a Swagelok field engineer for four years, and I’ve been with Swagelok Penn for seven years total.
I started my career in the manufacturing sector and over time discovered that I wanted to use my technical expertise in a more customer-facing role—and that’s how I found Swagelok Penn. I started as an account manager and eventually transitioned to a dedicated field engineer where I’m able to interface directly with our customers, in their plants, helping them solve real challenges.
SRP: What kind of challenges? Where are Swagelok customers turning to you for help?
Mike: Usually I’m helping customers on fluid systems and sampling systems, both in a troubleshooting and design capacity. These are often complex issues that we’re dealing with together and can result in recommendations that involve fundamental changes to the system design.
In a typical day, I might be assisting with a grab sample evaluation or performing design optimization services for an OEM. But no matter what it is, my goal is to share my knowledge to best help their operation succeed, to build trust, and to become a true technical expert that they can rely on for engineering support in their fluid systems.
“The customer took our recommendations and calculated they’d save more than $1 million over the course of just one year.”
SRP: Are there any specific challenges you’ve helped a customer solve recently that have been particularly rewarding?
Mike: Recently I worked with a customer who was experiencing a lengthy time delay at an analyzer used to control their process. I helped evaluate the system, and we were able to determine that the sample was changing phase multiple times as it traveled from the process tap to the analyzer. Not only did this cause a lengthy time delay, it also ruined the representativeness of the sample. The customer was making process changes based on data that was inaccurate.
We summarized our results into an actionable report. The customer took our recommendations and calculated they’d save more than $1 million over the course of just one year.
SRP: That’s quite an impact!
Mike: It really is. That’s the real value we can deliver. We’ve seen customers who have issues like this that persist for years so when we see their relief when the problem is solved, it’s a great feeling.
Overall, it’s a very rewarding job. I especially enjoy the opportunities I have to work with my fellow field engineers, which enables me to continue to learn and develop myself. Working with those talented people from all over the world is truly invigorating.
SRP: What are some of your hobbies and interests outside of work? What else inspires you?
Mike: Outside of work, my wife and I love to travel to places both foreign and domestic. We also share a passion for craft beer and seek out the best beer a city we are visiting has to offer each time we travel. While at home, I enjoy hiking, fishing, and hunting. Thinking ahead to our next vacation and learning about the culture, history, and brewing of our destination keeps me inspired. Finally, my wife and I are expecting our first child, a boy, on July 4. We couldn’t be more excited!
Want to learn more about Field Engineering Services and how you can benefit? Get in touch with your local Swagelok Sales and Service Center today: