Meet the Team: Erin Hanek, Service Manager at Datum Tech Solutions and Piano Hobbyist

3D laser scanning & survey equipment technician

Datum Tech Solutions is proud to welcome a new member to the team. Meet Erin Hanek, our Service Manager, resident Boise fanatic, and tech extraordinaire. Before coming to Datum Tech, Erin spent nearly 15 years as a service technician learning everything she could about the instruments she serviced. Now, she’s getting to know more about innovative tech solutions of all types. 


As she’s settling into her new role and looking forward to upcoming tech trends within Datum Tech and beyond, we got to ask Erin a few get-to-know-you questions about pandemic life, being a woman in the industry, tips for novice technicians, and more. 


You started in this new role in February. With a few months under your belt, how would you describe your job? 


EH: So far my duties have been to advise and acquire all the needed tools and test equipment for a Leica Certified repair center. This takes a bit of time because some of the specialized 3D laser scanning equipment has to be built and/or shipped long distances. When that is in place, there will be procedures and maintenance to be performed and recorded for auditing. I can make adjustments, repairs, and inspections on many Leica robotic total stations and GPS receivers


There’s always firmware and software to keep up with. Customers can ship in repairs or walk in and drop things off personally. There are also many rentals to be maintained before returning to the field. So definitely lots to do!


What led you to apply to Datum in the first place?


EH: Rumor is, Harry Waldron mentioned to Stan that he remembered me back from when he worked at a survey company and I helped them with Leica equipment. A couple phone calls later and I recognized that this is a great team doing great things and they wanted to open this service center in Boise. Um, heck yes I want to be a part of that! Truth is, I really like working on Leica robotic total stations.

 

Before this, you spent nearly 15 years with Bonneville Blueprint Supply. What did you learn there that helps you in your current role? 


EH: Bonneville Blueprint Supply was where I got my introduction to the survey and construction world and allowed me to learn everything I could about the instruments I serviced. Of course I was mostly focused on repairs and adjustments but did a fair amount of support, both face to face and electronically. That daily interaction with customers and their needs gave me tons of insight into the industry and I learned so much from these random situations. I appreciate the opportunity Chris and Jim gave me to learn in that environment.


Most importantly, I formed my mechanical knowledge and skill set there! I learned how the systems inside the tools work from doing many repairs. Lots of rotating lasers, GPS receivers, levels of all types, optical units of all types, machine control systems, sensors and cables, data collectors, all the other accessories, etc. Having this background is important going into this new job and I am thankful to have it. 


Women tend to be less represented in both tech and construction industries. You have experience in both! Do you feel like being a woman has impacted your career? 


EH: If I am truly honest, I think yes, for the better. Even thinking back to college professors there was some encouragement for us girls to be in the industry. It was just me and one other girl in this electronics class. I always had really great job experiences with decent managers. Hard work and integrity always pays off. Gotta show them what the girls can do!


What projects at Datum are you currently the most excited about? 


EH: Before Datum, I had very little knowledge of the RTC360 scanners, what they were capable of and how to use them. I love that we do scanning as a service and was most impressed by this. Also, I am really excited about this new Boise office!


Since you began working in tech, how have you seen the industry evolve? What trends are you anticipating or hoping for in the coming years?


EH: I’ve seen a lot of new technology but not always in action. Lots of automation for machine control and networked job sites. Drone technology seems to have changed for the better. I love the idea of 3D printing on a large scale, like concrete houses.


Any advice for younger folks who are just getting their start in tech? 


EH: There are so many options in technology. Just follow your strengths and be honest with yourself. There is something for all skill levels, in all industries.


Putting work aside, what do you enjoy doing in your off hours? 


EH: We have been spending a lot of time in the backyard, repotting plants and stuff. My eight-year-old son and I are getting some chicks this year so we’re pretty excited about that. About eight months ago, I got a piano after not having one for 20 years and realized that I shouldn’t have ever been without one. Still pretty happy about this! The three of us are kind of home bodies. We have projects going on all the time.


Lastly, just for fun: When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?


EH: Apparently, I was nuts about wanting to be a bus driver. I didn’t know this until Grandma got her retirement job driving a school bus! She’s just trying to make me jealous…