For the past 25 years Peter Lewis has been the driving force behind Applied Measurements’ success. Peter has chosen this milestone to retire. Peter’s retirement celebrates the end of this successful era but marks what we believe will be the start of a new, equally prosperous period.
We hope you will join us in wishing Peter a huge congratulations and gratitude for making Applied Measurements the huge success that it is today. To hear the secret of his success, we give you an exclusive interview from the Managing Director himself.
How did you come up with the name Applied Measurements? Was there an apple on the head moment?
I wanted a name that would cover a wide range of transducers and instrumentation, anticipating that over time our transducer types would diversify, hence the “Measurements”. I also wanted to convey the message that we were not just selling transducers from a catalogue but knew how to apply them, advise customers about their application and of course design and manufacture custom transducers for their application, hence “Applied”.
What was your most challenging project you have worked on?
This was the Gemini Telescopes project, where we provided custom designed load cells to support mirrors constructed using individual segments rather than a single piece. We had to meet several design challenges, small size, extremely high accuracy and stability, integral amplification and perfect electrical output symmetry when operated in tension or compression. Development took over 12 months and introduced to the company several new high accuracy pieces of instrumentation and a purpose built calibration system. There were 3 capacities required for different parts of the mirror support system, and to meet the needs of two mirrors over 700 Gemini load cells were built.
Controversial……Who have you most enjoyed working with?
Everyone, each person has been different and I always enjoyed the interaction with individual personalities. Often amazing, sometimes challenging, but always interesting.
Who has been the most influential person in your life?
My wife Carole, she introduced me to a vast range of experiences, that perhaps engineer types do not always notice. Stars, classical music and opera, beautiful sunsets, the influence of light and colour.
Describe yourself in 5 words?
Moody, meticulous, cautious, humorous and caring.
If you were an animal what would you be and why?
A cat, independent, territorial, and loyal (well if you keep feeding them).
What was the first car you ever bought?
A 1947 Austin 8 price £25.00, it was terrible always breaking down, leaky roof, but great fun when your 17.
What do you drive now?
Bentley Arnage. The roof doesn’t leak on this one.
What makes Applied Measurements stand out from the crowd?
The ability to design and manufacture custom transducers with acceptable delivery times and realistic pricing. Understanding of the customer’s application and hence giving them the confidence to work with us. Exceptional customer service, always reacting positively to delivery, technical and commercial issues.
If you hadn’t started Applied Measurements, what would you be doing instead?
Not long before Applied Measurements was started, I had a sales managers job lined up in America. The company was located in Los-Angeles, I went there for a week to be interviewed and unfortunately developed a dislike for the LA culture, otherwise I would probably still be there now. Had I stayed with my current employer in the UK, a leading American pressure transducer manufacturer, I probably would have become Managing Director.
What advice can you give to people wanting to go into engineering?
Make sure that you extend your knowledge beyond the theory and include “hands on” experience. Where possible extend your knowledge beyond your own engineering discipline to give you a broader knowledge to apply to engineering problems.
What will you be doing with your free time now that you have retired?
DIY, Gardening, Reading, Holidays, Walking
If you had to do it all again would you change anything?
Not really, it’s all worked our quite well.