Elite Employee Spotlight: John Gondek

Among Elite’s talented engineering staff, a common thread is an interest in learning and professional growth. Working with broad varieties of devices from all corners of technology builds a desire to learn more. John Gondek moved in recent months from Elite’s Environmental Stress Testing team to Sales and Applications, where he collaborates directly with customers, answering their questions and recommending tests appropriate to their product.

John’s experience with Elite is deep, having been on staff for nearly 20 years. His background in computer and electronic technology prepared him for his years performing nearly every flavor of Environmental Stress Test called out by the industry.

John Gondek_Elite Electronic EngineeringAnd his recent work in battery testing has been valuable to Elite customers. With the sudden growth in electric-vehicle (EV) design, customers regularly call to inquire about regulatory testing of battery packs, charging systems, voltage regulation systems, and the other associated components.

“Seeing the advances in battery technology in the past few years has been interesting,” John said. “Especially noticing how devices are designed and manufactured in a way to make them more robust to face severe environments and running tests that verify it.”

John talked about challenges he has dealt with in battery tests. “Safety has always been a concern. We have to rely on our experience along with the customer’s insight on potential safety hazards.”

Part of that involves setting up the tests. “Fixturing batteries for Vibration and Shock Testing has been a challenge,” John said, “because the battery packs are unique shapes and often have soft exterior encasements. There’s a delicate balance between securing the pack for the vibe test without crushing the pack itself.”

Elite Electronic Engineering_John Gondek

The recent increase in battery testing has brought on newer designs that require creativity. “Attaching leads to battery packs that don’t have a designed-in connection point is another challenge,” John said, adding, “We have to work with the customer to find ways to monitor the battery, like any other test.”

John’s recent move into Elite’s Sales and Applications team has proven valuable to Elite, as John leverages his environmental-testing experience into guidance for customers planning a test strategy. Because of his experience, he can describe to the customer just what their test will involve, the success criteria, and how much time it will take.

In his new role as Senior Environmental Engineer in Applications and Sales, John’s expertise is especially valuable when he answers a client’s questions. As he describes it, “Clients might say, ‘I don’t know what I don’t know.’” That’s when the client is glad to speak to someone who’s been there, like John.