Supporting the New "Makerspace" at NJIT

A Makerspace is a place for students and industry professionals to come together, share ideas and build things. By providing the manufacturing equipment and facilities for students to explore their ideas (and connecting them with experienced industry veterans) we can help nurture the next generation of innovative thinkers.

Imperial is proud to support the newly announced Makerspace at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. We're excited to visit once construction is complete.

Welcome, Dr. Michael Begarney

It is with great pleasure that we announce the addition of Dr. Michael Begarney to the Imperial Machine & Tool Co. family as Chief Scientist.

Mike has spent the last 20 years working in the III-V semiconductor industry. After completing his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Mike went on to get his Ph.D. from UCLA. His graduate work focused on "Gas Phase & Surface Chemical Reactions on Compound Semiconductor Surfaces" and primed him for a career pushing the boundaries of semiconductor technology.

Since his Ph.D. research in the late 1990s, Mike has been involved with advanced semiconductor applications in many different capacities. From managing a fleet of Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) reactors at a semiconductor wafer production facility, to designing innovative new MOCVD systems with ground-breaking gas injection systems, Mike has a well rounded and "real-world" understanding of the compound semiconductor industry. Mike believes in a hands-on approach when it comes to solving new problems and is known by his peers for his ability to get things done.

As a company that has specialized in manufacturing complex semiconductor components since the 1960s, we are excited to work with Mike to develop new market opportunities. With his keen insight into a wide variety of technical disciplines, and our over 7 decades of advanced manufacturing experience, we are in a great position to recognize and capitalize on emerging opportunities.

One of Mike's custom designed MOCVD gas injectors and tubing sets

One of Mike's custom designed MOCVD gas injectors and tubing sets

Mike loves to play beach volley ball and tinker with cars, but these days most of his free time is happily spent with his family. He is about to celebrate his 8th anniversary with his wife Kelly, and they have 5 year-old twins; a boy and a girl.

When asked what the best part of being a husband and dad with 5 year-old twins is, Mike smiled and said, "Probably coming home after a tough day. My kids are at an age where they're always super excited to see me. Before I can even take my keys out of my pocket, they run up and cling to my legs and crawl all over me. I love watching them grow up and I'm excited for all the things they'll be able to do as they get older... but for right now... that's one of my favorite parts of being a dad."

Mike believes family is at the core of a happy life and spends as much time as possible doing things with his. He and his wife have a small vegetable garden in their backyard. His 5 year-olds love to help, and we're happy to share that for the first time ever the twins no longer pull out tomato plants in their eagerness to pick the tomatoes.

We warmly welcome Mike to the Imperial family, and look forward to working on many new and exciting projects together.

A candid photo from when we took a headshot for the site; we think it captures Mike's personality well.

A candid photo from when we took a headshot for the site; we think it captures Mike's personality well.

Imperial launches new Co-op Program with student Karen Gomez

Over the last 73 years we've learned the importance of getting young folks involved in manufacturing. Without engaged and talented employees our industry can't move forward. Typically we rely on apprenticeships to bring in young folks. We provide comprehensive in-house training; letting these young men and women work alongside some of the most talented craftsmen and machinists in the industry.

More recently we partnered with the Monroe Career & Technical Institute to establish a student co-op program. Our new co-op program allows young folks still in high school to get a taste of the manufacturing world. Our first MCTI co-op is Karen Gomez.

Karen working on her Haas CNC machining center

Karen working on her Haas CNC machining center

Karen has been a fantastic addition to the Imperial team. She's proved to be a quick learner, starting out in our complex-assembly department while going through our CNC machining training program, and then moving up to running a CNC machining center on our manufacturing floor. It's this hands-on learning that makes all the difference. 

Karen and Imperial's Director of Operations Mike Clifford recently attended the Monroe County Cooperative Education awards dinner, highlighting the accomplishments of Karen and a few other young folks who are getting real-world manufacturing experience.

Imperial's Director of Operations Mike Clifford (left) and student Karen Gomez (center) at the 2017 MCTI Co-op Awards Dinner

Imperial's Director of Operations Mike Clifford (left) and student Karen Gomez (center) at the 2017 MCTI Co-op Awards Dinner

Karen plans to study engineering in college, but believes her hands-on experience at Imperial will directly help in her academic career. "I think it's a lot easier to learn about a new topic if you have something to relate it to. I'd never worked with metal before. After making metal parts on a CNC machine I think it will be easier to relate classroom topics to the real world."

Karen will be working with Imperial for a few more months. We'll be sad to see her go, but we're excited for the next phase of her education and career.

It's bright young folks like Karen who give us hope about the future of American manufacturing.