Employee Spotlight: Josh Barker

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February 18, 2015

Every one of us is more than just our work and the services we provide. We have families, hobbies, and other passions that fulfill our lives and make us better at what we do each day.  After working in this industry for a few years, I’ve gotten to know many of the people that make up the EMC community at large and at Elite. Here is a brief look at what makes our Elite family so unique and diverse…

The bitter winter winds have been howling and snow piling up around the country, but there is at least one engineer here in Chicago who doesn’t mind the cold.  In fact, he embraces it.  Josh Barker is a fairly recent addition to our EMC Automotive team who certainly moved to the right place to pursue his passions for electronics, as well as the seemingly bleakest of seasons. Read below to learn a little more about this bright, adventurous, and bearded Baltimore transplant:

How did you get into Electromagnetic Compatibility testing?

EMC testing just kind of fell into my lap. I have always been interested in Electronics and how they communicate with each other and EMC just seemed to be the next logical step.

What is the most rewarding/favorite aspect of working at Elite?

I guess the flexibility that comes with the job is my favorite part of working here at Elite. Sure there are deadlines that have to be met. But, when the job is done and all the “i’s” have been dotted, then things can get pretty fun around here.

What’s your proudest moment in life so far? 

I would hope my proudest moment in life is yet to come, but, I would have to say finishing the “tough mudder” with my group of friends.

As far as experience goes, it really came down to a challenge that I thought was so out of reach that just doing something even close to that was unobtainable. And then my friends said that they could conquer it, I am not one to be one-upped by the people around me so, of course, I signed up and trained to make it through. Surprisingly after completing it, it seemed like it was much easier than first thought. But just getting through something that I thought was out of my reach was a great feeling.

If you had a personal motto, what would it be?

“If you are going to be dumb, you got to be tough!” — Tough Mudder slogan

Anything that customers/colleagues would find surprising about you?

I like winter! Not many people would say the same, but, nothing is as adventurous as trudging through the snow with a frozen beard on your face.

Speaking of winter, I hear you enjoy something called “winter kayaking”.  How did you get started in that and what makes it worth braving the elements?

I started winter kayaking a few years ago. It sounds like a horrible and cold idea, I know. My friends and I wanted to get kayaks and they went on sale in the middle of winter. So, we bought them, and when you buy something you want to try it out as soon as possible–however, it was the middle of winter. So, we decided to head out on the river while it was well below freezing. After struggling to get into the kayaks without tripping into the water, we finally got on the river and started heading upstream. It wasn’t long before we found a part of the river that had a thin layer of ice over the surface. As our boats passed on the ice, they broke and floated away. Then there was the thicker part of the ice. We charged it with our kayaking taking turns to ram the “ice bridge” until it would break and float downstream. On the colder days, icicles would form on my beard and any water that you splashed on your kayak would crystallize almost immediately into ice.

If you could ask anyone to be your valentine (living, dead or fictional), who would it be? How would you ask?

Elsa from “Frozen”. I would have done it a few weeks ago when there was snow everywhere walk up to her door and whisper through the keyhole… “Do you want to build a snowman?” Not only can we have fun in the snow but we could share the experience with everyone around us. Also, there would be winter kayaking, so, there’s that.

Quick Team Member Facts

Year Started at Elite: 2012

Areas of Expertise: Automotive EMC test procedures

Education: Geneva College; BS – Electrical Engineering

Industry Certifications:  Certificate in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago

Unique: Rock climbing, trail running, Dancing, I have a talent for goofing off, and as for unique hobbies I go winter kayaking.

Labels: Elite Experts; Josh Barker; EMC Automotive testing