November 14, 2017

Employee spotlight: 20 questions with Tom Pickering

Employee spotlight: 20 questions with Tom Pickering

We couldn’t do what we do here at Zemax without our team of smart, driven, problem-solvers who like to have fun. In celebration of our stellar team, each month, we’ll profile a different Zemax employee, giving you an idea of what that person does all day at Zemax—and how he or she spends free time, too.

  1. Name: Thomas Pickering, but I go by Tom (or Dr. Tom if you ask some of my colleagues)

  2. Title: Product Engineer

  3. Briefly describe what you do all day. Every day is different, so that’s a difficult one to answer. However, coffee is always involved.

  4. What’s the best thing about your job? Never having a dull day.

  5. What’s the best thing about Zemax? The work atmosphere is very committed, supportive, and fun. I really appreciate being able to work with so many creative and hard-working people, who can also enjoy a laugh.

  6. What does your workspace look like? Fairly messy: photos, a small red telephone box out of cardboard, some festive Santa sunglasses, star-and-stripes streamers and old coffee mugs.  

  7. Who is one of your role models and why? David Hasselhoff, because of his undisputed involvement in tearing down the Berlin Wall.

  8. What’s been one of your proudest moments working at Zemax? Surviving my first training course as the sole instructor.

  9. What do you like to do when you’re not at the office? Playing with my new puppy, Charles Dingo Ryan-Pickering a.k.a. Charlie

  10. What inspires you? Breakfast meats

  11. Fill in the blank: I once met the King and Queen of Norway. I was 18 at the time and so freaked out by the situation, that I couldn’t answer any of their questions.

  12. Fill in the blank: I’d most like to have dinner with physicist Richard Feynman. He led an incredibly fascinating life, besides being one of the most brilliant minds of the 20th century.

  13. If you could pick one superpower, what would it be? Mind reading

  14. What is the song title that best describes your personality? Destiny's Child - Independent Woman

  15. Best Star Wars villain? Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, Kylo Ren, Boba Fett, or Jabba the Hutt? Jar Jar Binks

  16. How would you most like to time travel? By DeLorean, portal, hot tub, TARDIS, or other? (If “other” please fill in the blank.) Hot tub

  17. Greatest game in history? Street Fighter 2

  18. Favorite app? The Guardian

  19. Favorite cause? Back in the UK, I used to do a lot of fundraising for the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT). THT works to end the transmission of HIV in the UK; to support people living with HIV; to eradicate stigma and discrimination around HIV; and to promote good sexual health.

  20. What are five words of advice for others in your profession? Do not regret, just learn.

Read about a recent project by Tom and his team, the enhanced API support feature in the latest version of OpticStudio.

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