After a long and successful 29-year career at SED/Calian, Lorne Maximnuk, Engineering Associate, retired on February 3, 2023. Lorne began his career with the company in September 1994 when he was looking to make a career change. Although it wasn’t exactly the role he was looking for, Lorne applied for an operator position with the RADARSAT antenna and was offered an interview. Lorne didn’t get the operator position, but was offered a technician role in the manufacturing department, which was a better fit for his skillset.
After a few years, Lorne moved to the integration section of the Engineering department as Engineering Associate, where he worked for the duration of his career. Lorne was offered the opportunity to travel for work and take multiple site trips globally that he thoroughly enjoyed. “After a few site trips, the travel bug hit me, and I took every opportunity to travel that came up,” said Lorne.
Lorne has been impressed the company’s ability to evolve. According to Lorne “what impressed me is the ability of SED to adapt and change to whatever the market required. If new technology was required, we did what needed to be done and either acquired or developed what was needed. The company is ever evolving.”
Lorne’s love of travel and his ability to solve problems was apparent to his colleagues. According to Roxane Pare, Engineering Associate/Section Head, “Lorne would jump at any chance he could to go to site, especially the warm sites and, when he was in the office, he was a great guy to bounce ideas off. He always had an opinion or suggestion to improve the design and could solve any problem thrown his way.”
“I managed to work a couple of work sites with Lorne and saw great results without wasted efforts and a happy customer,” adds Kevin Grassing, Technical Officer.
According to Scott Zdunich, Project Manager, Communication Ground Systems, Lorne is renowned at Calian AT for a few things. “Lorne loves to travel and will go almost anywhere, at any time, for any duration... providing it's not too cold! His flexibility for work travel has gotten us out of many a bind over the years. Lorne is known as a problem solver, especially while on site. I'm not certain, but his middle name might be MacGyver. But seriously, his ingenuity and ability to think outside the box to solve problems will be missed.”
Lorne has witnessed many changes within the industry during his almost three-decade career with the company. According to Lorne “the biggest noticeable change has been in the size of installations. Early systems that were several racks in size, now take up only part of one rack. Going to various sites and seeing all the empty equipment racks that are now replaced by a couple of instruments.”
Some of Lorne’s proudest work moments included “getting the floor stock system started so our parts lists were reduced by multiple pages, designing the AMCU which then evolved to the MCU, and then to the very popular Mini-MCU, plus site installations that resulted in satisfied customers.”
Tom Thalheimer, Senior Systems Engineering has traveled on multiple site trips with Lorne, including a site trip during the Covid-19 pandemic. “I’ve been fortunate to work on several site trips with Lorne. The most memorable is the New Zealand trip during the pandemic lockdowns of 2020-2021. Lorne, his wife MaryAnna, and I were there for four months that included Christmas as quarantine rules meant that returning home for the break was not a viable option. They treated me like family the entire time, inviting me over for suppers and bringing me along on their day-off adventures. I will never forget my Christmas Eve with the Maximnuks, eating tacos and playing dice in their beach-front hotel room. What could have been a lonely and depressing experience turned into an awesome memory for me, and I will always be grateful to Lorne for that,” says Tom.
Retirement plans for Lorne include working on projects and more travel. “Now I will finally be able to get around to some of the projects I have been putting off for too long,” says Lorne. “My son's car is still in my shop waiting for paint, so that's first. Then, I have a 1953 Chevy truck that needs to be de-rustified and brought back to life and I’d like to get back into more woodworking. I’ll also try to spend more time at our place on Vancouver Island, as well as explore the world and visit as many new destinations as possible. I’m going to try to match the number of countries visited with my age.”
Lorne has been a valued team member for almost 30 years, and he will be greatly missed,” says Daryl Warkentin, VP, Engineering. “He was among the top travellers for the company, and he’s installed systems on all continents except for Antarctica. When talking to Lorne you learn that everything people say to each other can be said in the form of a joke, and he's constantly making people laugh. We'll miss the lighthearted energy that he brought to work each day. All the best in your retirement Lorne!”
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