2021 Airport Business Top 40 Under 40: Matthew Sornig, Controls Development Supervisor, Daifuku Airport Technologies, Jervis B. Webb Company

Dec. 9, 2021

Matthew Sornig is the controls development supervisor for Jervis B. Webb, a Daifuku company, and has been with the company for 12 years and in his current role for two. Sornig describes how he came to be with Jervis B. Webb as a “whirlwind.”

Sornig graduated in 2008 and, like many at the time, had difficulty finding a job. As part of his undergrad program at Kettering university, Sornig was required to write a thesis for his co-op employer and when he went to pick up a copy of it, he told his supervisor the poor luck he was having finding work. They told him they might know of an opportunity with one of their customers – Webb.

Sornig reached out and the rest, as he said, is history.

After working in airports for a few years, Sornig discovered his knack for programming and system design. He has been involved in several R&D projects and a few projects that required lots of customized controls code, which has lead him to where he is today.

“You know, if you'd asked me 10 years ago, what do you want to do in 10 years? I'd be like, ‘I want to be in this position that I'm in today.’ So, it's really nice to see that be able to come to fruition all because I just said yes to a job opportunity that I had had no idea what I was walking into,” Sornig said.

In his role, Sornig leads the team of engineers that write all the code for all of the projects for the baggage handling side of Webb. The ten person team develops code, creates custom and standard PLC and SCADA products, supports installations and retrofits, and provides long-term support for baggage systems.

“The one thing I really like is that every day is kind of different. There's a lot of complexity to what we do to design an airport baggage system that has a thousand conveyors and getting bags from point A to point B, but also maintaining secure tracking of them and making sure that passenger bags make it to the airplane,” Sornig said.

Every baggage system is unique, and custom solutions are required to ensure that each piece works as part of the broader system. This makes the work of developing PLCs and graphics modules innovative by nature. As Sornig describes, it’s solving the same problem over and over, but each time in a unique way.

“When you break it down into small sections, it's like, ‘well we know how to move bags from point A to point B,’ but then every airport there's always something different or unique about that. And maybe there's something new that you haven't worked with. And so, you're solving the same problem in a different method, a different challenge,” Sornig described.

Over the years, Sornig has played a key role on ten airport projects, eight Daifuku affiliate projects and on the development of the Innovation and Training Center at Daifuku’s North American headquarters in Novi, Michigan. Sornig works directly with stakeholders at each airport to help them understand the controls system and engages them in the implementation process.

About the Author

Walker Jaroch | Editor

Contact: Walker Jaroch

Editor | AMT

[email protected]


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