Meet Ken Smith - An Engineer with Geometrics Since 1975!

Aug 21, 2017 | Posted in Blog, News

Meet Ken Smith – Electrical Engineer

Sometimes it is fun to look back on 1975 and remember: gas cost $0.44 per gallon, the average cost for a home in the US was $39,300, Jimmy Hoffa disappeared, and Bill Gates and Paul Allen develop a BASIC program for the Altair 8800. It was also the year Ken Smith began his career at Geometrics. He walked in the door as a part-time summer employee at Exploranium [Geometrics of Canada] in July of 1975 as a college student working part time.


A man out standing in his field

Ken is known as a bit of a harmless prankster. Casual Friday means that he wears a t-shirt with an amusingly facetious phrase meant to entertain his colleagues. He's also famous around the office for altering every group photo with his own brand of humor, and if you look closely at those images you might find items such as UFOs and Santa Clause flying around in the background. This kind of behavior isn’t new. In one such event in the early 1980’s, Ken and a few of the other employees debated whether or not blue food exists. Ken, determined to prove his point, created a rather colorful shredded carrot and raisin jello salad into which he added a significant amount of blue food coloring. He molded this concoction into a fish mold and then plated it onto a bed of brightly died green endive and red radishes. He finished the dish off with baby gherkin pickles and tiny crookneck squash. The entire dish looked rather extraterrestrial, if not thoroughly inedible. He stood back and watched people avoid the salad, but finally a brave soul started to eat it. Thus Ken proved that there was in fact blue food (the question was not whether there was naturally occurring blue food and thus he could declare a victory).

Stand back...He's trying science!

Ken grew up in Ontario Canada. He has said that when he was young, the province was called Upper Canada. Though considering Upper Canada became known as Ontario in 1841, you can be assured that once again he’s pulling our leg. At an early age, Ken knew he wanted to work in electronics. As a child, he built crystal radios and other electronic gadgets. He studied for a Bachelor of Technology degree at Ryerson College in Toronto. Ken is quick to point out that this degree has gone the way of the dinosaurs and has been replaced with an Electrical Engineering degree. Ken assures me that during this time he was very fit because he ran the 3 miles to and from school each day and at that time it was up hill in both directions.

During his first years, Geometrics was known for their magnetometers and Exploranium for their gamma ray spectrometers. Ken was a product and testing technician working on both the product lines. He quickly moved up the ladder and became an engineering technician and finally an engineer. His current title is Electrical Engineer and he spends his days working on the latest generation of magnetometer, the MFAM.

At the start of his time at Geometrics, Ken worked on the portable magnetometer line and except for the G-801 has since worked on every magnetometer Geometrics has produced. He has also been involved with our seismographs and EM products. He is currently focusing his talents on the MFAM project. Ken has been with Geometrics for 42 years, and if you've ever used one of our magnetometers, you will have undoubtedly used an instrument he has helped develop.

Ken is married and lives a short commute away from the company with his wife and zero pet giraffes. In his free time he enjoys gardening and on rainy days a little coding. His most recent rainy day project is creating a digital haunted house that manages to be both amusing and a bit creepy, all at the same time. Ken is an asset to our team and after over 40 years of service deserves to pull all the harmless pranks he wants!


Ken and his self-designed solar eclipse viewer

Editor’s Note: Ken also has some skill as a writer. Som of the techncal papers Geometrics publishes were created by him and the finl edits on this document were done by him to make sure it was all corrct.

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