Faces of Interface Featuring Chief Engineer Ken Vining
Throughout his career, Ken Vining has lived by the philosophy that if you don’t make mistakes, you will not learn. This approach has guided Ken to become the outstanding engineer and innovator he is today. It has also helped to shape his techniques as the head of the R&D team at Interface.
“The number one thing I tell my team is that failure is the most important device we can use to learn and improve. I will never be upset if they spend money on an idea and it fails or doesn’t meet expectations. However, I will be unhappy with my team if they wish they had spent money to pursue an idea and didn’t because they were afraid to fail.” Ken Vining, Chief Engineer at Interface
Ken Vining’s career in force measurement began in 1981 when he took a position as a draftsman at Beowulf Corporation in Huntsville, Alabama. After a short time with the company, Ken decided he wanted to pursue a career in engineering because he thought he had the natural talent to excel in the profession. He began taking night classes in mechanical engineering at the University of Alabama.
Ken continued his career in force measurement while simultaneously expanding his education in mechanical engineering and the development and use of application specific integrated circuits (ASICs) for force and pressure measurement products. His continuous pursuit of knowledge has allowed Ken to stay well-informed on current and future trends in mechanical engineering, electronics and force measurement.
In 2008, Ken joined Interface as a senior project engineer, a role he held for six years. He was later promoted to Director of Advanced Engineering where he developed and launched products for force, torque, and signal conditioning.
The technologies that Ken has been instrumental in producing leading-edge force measurement solutions including products made with bonded foil, semiconductor and sputtered thin film strain gages. Some of the most significant product launches that he has led or contributed to include Interface’s newest and biggest launch, the AxialTQ, and a product that is just about to launch, the 1923 wireless load cell.
Earlier this year, Ken was promoted to Chief Engineer at Interface. In this position, he oversees the R&D department and focuses on new product lines and capabilities that the company can explore. Ken’s relentless pursuit of education, personal growth and eye for innovation is what makes this role a natural fit.
Ken enjoys his new role at Interface because he knows that there are plenty of opportunities to fail, grow, and succeed in developing innovative products. The projects that get him most excited are those that give him the opportunity to blend basic load cell technology with high-end electronics – a process that Interface has a history at excelling in.
As for Ken’s free time activities, he’s an avid skier and bicyclist. He competes in a bicycle race or two per year, and his most recent ski trip brought him to the historic Telluride ski resort in Colorado.
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