Employee Spotlight – Leonard Thompson

Leonard Thompson, Lead Industrial Designer

Leonard Thompson, Lead Industrial Designer

 Leonard is a Senior Industrial Designer who has been with R2FACT for over three years. He has a degree in Industrial Design from Kansas State College in Pittsburg and studied Mechanical Engineering for two years at the University of Missouri at Rolla. He says his engineering background gives him an objective perspective on solving problems but he wanted a major that dealt with the appearance of a product as well as the function.

What makes you get out of bed in the morning?

I wake up with ideas about how I can solve problems with the projects I’m working on. But sometimes the great ideas are hard to remember when you’re fully awake! Other times when you get into the office you find out these solutions don’t work in the real world. The brain is not constrained by physical laws but our design projects are – the ideas sometimes don’t translate into the physical medium. Reality is a hard taskmaster.

Describe your biggest “win” on a project.

I think more about all the small successes. Whenever you can make a client happy that’s a big win to me. You have to remember that we are dealing with people’s dreams. Turning a dream into reality is the biggest win you can give to a client.

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?

I’m a designer.  If I’m not designing at work I’m designing at home. One year at Halloween I got fed up with burning your fingers when you stick the match in to light the Jack O’Lantern. My idea was to cut the bottom out of the pumpkin instead of the top.  That way you could fix the candle on the bottom, light it, and put it in without any problems.

Jack-o-Lantern designed by Leonard

An easier way to light Jack-o-lanterns. Design by Leonard

What’s a little-known fact about you?

I once spent the night in a train station Ladies’ Lounge, which I didn’t realize at the time. My wife and I were vacationing in Scotland and our train got into Edinburgh after midnight.  We didn’t have a place to stay and saw people gathering around the conductor. We joined in, and the conductor said there was a place we could stay in the station. We went in the back door and he led us to a lounge where we slept. It wasn’t until the next morning that we discovered where we were. Needless to say, after I found out I didn’t go back in.

Posted in: American Innovation