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Continually Learning: Q&A with Senior Electrical Engineer Ralph Bowling

A phrase often repeated around Gray is personal growth precedes company growth. It’s a standard that the company has followed and lived by for the past 60 years and one that permeates all of the Gray family. And along with this growth comes the opportunity for constant learning, both for our team members and companies. We had the opportunity to speak with Ralph Bowling, senior electrical engineer at InLine Engineers, a Gray Company, about the opportunity for growth and learning, how the company has evolved, and the best part of his job.


Can you tell us what your normal workday or “day in the life” is like?


“After catching up on emails over a cup of coffee, I get started on the project that is up next. As one of four electrical engineers on a team of sixty, I am on several projects at once. As a long-time former manager, I am used to assigning priorities among competing projects. The term ‘juggling’ implies that this is random or haphazard, but it is really scheduling. There are customer or internal team meetings, specifications to write or to review, drawings to study or mark up, equipment lists that need electrical details added. My background is in machine and control panel design and manufacturing, so this allows me to communicate well with our equipment suppliers. I work with them to make sure that their equipment meets the customers’ needs and can be installed cleanly in a way that blends with that of other suppliers on a project.”


Since you started with the company, how has it changed in your opinion?


“We have grown a great deal. Other than the synergies that come with the rest of the Gray family, our daily work hasn’t changed much. We have a lot of long-time engineers and project managers who keep things moving forward.”


What do you enjoy most about your work?


“After having spent most of my career as an original equipment manufacturer in several industries, I enjoy the variety of what we do. There are new and different kinds of responsibilities on each project. I am still learning all the time, which may not be true of every engineer in their mid-fifties.”


What does being a part of the InLine and the Gray family mean to you?


“I think family is the right term. I grew up in Central Kentucky and when Gray first came into the picture I reached out and everyone I spoke to had good things to say. They all had a friend, a neighbor, or a former coworker who worked for Gray and liked their job.”


In one word or phrase, how would you describe InLine?


“A group of smart, experienced, highly skilled people.”


What hobbies do you enjoy outside of work? 


“We have three children in their early twenties and became empty nesters (again) after our youngest daughter went back to the University of Kentucky in the fall. So, we adopted a stray puppy. A friend literally found her in a ditch by the side of the road. Daisy is really our primary hobby and exercise program!”


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