By Lauren Hines | Bond LSC
Anywhere from small rockers to large plexiglass fabrications in the facilities service building. Shawn Dey, research technical services supervisor, can usually be found there either repairing the wires of a small motor, trying to find the best adhesive to bond acrylic together or responding to an equipment failure emergency.
For the past 20 years, Dey has lived in Millersburg, but he was born and raised in Columbia. With a 13-week old daughter, another at home and seven other kids, Dey has a lot on his plate.
“It’s like the Brady Bunch, but in the 21st century,” Dey said.
However, Dey knows what it’s like to run a large operation. He owns two businesses, two rentals and an Airbnb. One of his businesses, Installers Unlimited, a remodel and service company provides customers with installs and repairs of different sorts of equipment as well as entire additions and renovations. Dey took over Installers Unlimited in 1989, so he’s been his own boss for a while, but decided to join Bond LSC in February 2019 after touring the building twice and taking a month to decide.
“It’s a major transition because Installers Unlimited still runs full time,” Dey said. “It’s been a little bit hard to be bound here but being here isn’t bad. It’s just not being out there that’s hard.”
Energetic, a little scattered and with a big smile, Dey is pulled every which way during his workdays.
“[Working at Bond LSC] definitely adds to my portfolio,” Dey said. “Sometimes it’s semi laid-back. Sometimes it’s very demanding.”
When Dey first arrived, there was a staff of five in the service department. Now there’s three. With a full list of duties on his desk, he says they “stay more than busy in house.”
Dey and his team repair all the research equipment in the building and conduct alterations to the labs themselves.
“As much as I don’t do the research in the laboratories, we have to have at least some working knowledge of what each piece of equipment does and what each piece does, especially when they come to our shop for repair,” Dey said. “We have to know what we’re looking for.”
This gives the facilities service building that Dey works out of a large role in each researcher’s work.
“If they didn’t have Markus, Danny or I they could be out thousands, tens of thousands of dollars in purchasing new equipment or trying to get service technicians from whoever produces that piece of equipment, and it can be difficult and expensive to get them here,” Dey said.
When equipment breaks or stops working, research that already takes time to complete may have to be stalled or even stopped completely.
“We just had an auto-injector go down, and they just had to put a halt to everything they were doing,” Dey said. “There wasn’t another one in the building. There’s not one somewhere he can just go to get. They had to go to another building to get one.”
With a year under his belt, Dey isn’t planning on going anywhere anytime soon.
“When we work on the equipment,” Dey said, “my team and I try to go above and beyond.”