30 Under 30: Ryan Boehm
*Click here to download our 30 Under 30 List*
Ryan Boehm has worked at waterjet cutting developer Omax Corp. since October 2006 when he joined the company as a research assistant and waterjet operator. Since 2011, Ryan has worked there as an R&D mechanical engineer, designing experiments to evaluate technologies and helping to write code for Omax’s Intelli-Visor monitoring software platform released at IMTS 2012.
A standout athlete in high school, Ryan was captain of his Bishop Garcia Diego High School football team in Ventura, CA, where he also competed in wrestling and weightlifting. Ryan started out in manufacturing as a machinist at his grandfather’s company, Tricoss Inc., a manufacturer of springs and metal stampings in Ventura. After his freshman year in college, he worked as a waterjet operator at Trupart Mfg. in Ventura.
Ryan earned a multidisciplinary degree with a bachelor of sciences in Applied and Computational Math Sciences and a BA in European Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle. “It was a multidisciplinary degree, so there were a lot of different subjects that I was learning,” he said. “It was nice to be able to learn the applied math side, physics and even electrical engineering—a really diverse program, I definitely recommend it to others.”
When he’s not working, Ryan says he’s become kind of a true resident of the Pacific Northwest, going out charter boat fishing for halibut in the ocean and finding time for fishing the abundant rivers nearby Seattle.
At Omax, Ryan’s work is partially research into mechanical aspects of the business but also involves a lot of electrical and software development. Ryan first got interested in programming when he learned Visual Basic (VB) when he was 12 years old. “I was interested in video games, and I was actually a real tinkerer,” recalled Ryan, whose skills include using Visual Basic, Java, SuperCollider, Delphi, Assembly, C/C++, HTML, Matlab and Fortran 90, as well as analysis software such as Maple, JMPStats, LabView and QVI Laser.
His work at Omax makes great use of his programming skills, where he has assisted Dr. Axel Henning on projects involving waterjet controls, sensors and pump technologies. He’s designed circuitry on sensor cells and other projects, and also in developing Omax’s Intelli-Visor monitoring software.
“I was very, very involved on that project,” Ryan noted of the monitoring software. “There’s been a lot of testing in the past, dating back to close to a decade, on different sensor technologies and interfacing those with the controller. And what I did was working with Dr. Axel Henning, I worked off of his model, so the software architecture we developed together, mostly coming from him from previous studies, and I was the one that actually wrote the code to make that function.”
His research work includes what he called side projects on developments in micro and nanotechnologies, an area that interests Ryan for future study. “It’s more of a side thing. I am considering going back to further my education and probably moving into those fields in the future.
“I’m very interested in nanotech manufacturing. We do some work in micromachining here with Omax. Just given the technology, it’s a little tricky to get into nano. That would definitely be a whole new field for me. UC-Santa Barbara, as I was leaving about eight years ago, they got money from the state of California grants for a nanotech manufacturing and research institution there. It’s intriguing me.” ME