By K. Richard Douglas
Sometimes the people who read Popular Electronics as a kid or who watched a radio be returned to life after a session with the soldering gun turn out to make a career of it. The fascination with electronic gadgets, and knowing your way around a circuit board, are addictive.
For Jeff Davis, who is a medical equipment repair technician with Network Imaging Systems Inc. in Charlotte, North Carolina, this is how it all started.
“My fascination with electronics began as a teenager, when I visited my uncle’s radio repair shop. I soon began subscribing to any electronics magazine I could find. When I figured out how much I enjoyed fixing things, my career path was decided,” Davis remembers.
“After 30 years in the automotive electronics repair business, I was looking for a new challenge. I received a call from Network Imaging Systems, after they found my resume posted on a job board, and I was thrilled to find they were willing to train me as a biomedical equipment technician,” he says.
Davis had already earned an associate degree from Virginia Western Community College in Roanoke, Virginia and then a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering technology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
“While I did not study biomedical equipment technology in a formal setting, my background in troubleshooting electronic circuits was very beneficial in learning to troubleshoot CT and MRI machines. After I was hired by Network Imaging Systems, Brent Hull directed my training with a combination of physics (electrostatics) study and on-the-job training,” Davis says.
Before becoming an imaging service professional, Davis began his career as a parts changer while attending college and moved into the role of technician after graduation.
“I’ve also been a quality engineer, a division manager, and I’ve run my own service company. I’ve been fortunate to wear many hats during my career and I’ve been able to bring all the skills I’ve learned along the way to my role at Network Imaging Systems,” he says.
Being good at detective work has proven to be an asset when working on imaging systems.
“My biggest strengths are in troubleshooting electrical circuits, such as power supplies. I also don’t get frustrated easily, which is an asset in troubleshooting complex systems. I love problem solving and will work through problems until they are solved,” Davis says.
Entry into imaging has presented a few challenges as has a trailer lift gate.
“Understanding the physics behind the MRI was a challenge in the beginning. It’s important to understand the theory behind the machine in order to troubleshoot when there is a problem,” Davis says.
“One project I spent a good deal of time on was a lift gate circuit in a mobile CT trailer. We had acquired a mobile CT trailer that had an inoperative lift gate. The wiring had been removed and I had to recreate the wiring diagram to create the interface between the lift motor and the switches and lights in the trailer,” he adds.
Mixing Sound and Accomplished Family
When not on the job, Davis mans the mixing board and spends time with family.
“I love music and I’ve been a part-time sound engineer for my church, Lake Forest Church in Huntersville, North Carolina, for more than 20 years. I’ve enjoyed mixing for several blues artists such as Larry McCray, The McCrary Sisters, and Grammy Award-winner Mike Farris. I also love to ride my Harley-Davidson on North Carolina’s country roads,” he says.
Davis can talk shop at home and at least part of the family will know exactly what he is talking about.
“I’ve been married for 27 years to my wife, Carol, an electrical engineering technology instructor at Central Piedmont Community College,” he says.
“My oldest son, Bradley, just graduated from North Carolina State University in biomedical engineering. My middle son, Hunter, will be a sophomore at UNC Charlotte in the fall. My youngest son, Jackson, is a sophomore in high school and loves to play electric guitar,” Davis says.
Asked what readers should know about him, Davis opines his perspective on work and problem-solving.
“I never met anyone I didn’t like and I work well with everyone. I have a very laid back personality and I’m generally a very happy person. I love my job and the people I work with. I know there’s always a solution if you work the problem long enough,” he says.
When an MRI or CT is down in North Carolina, Jeff Davis can be dispatched to get it working again. And, if there is a concert venue nearby, he can get the sound just right too.