David Pawlak, control systems supervisor, first joined Daifuku Airport Technologies in 2012, prior to his sophomore year at the University of Michigan, as a summer intern in the mechanical engineering department. Two years later, he returned to Daifuku with an interest in controls engineering and found his career calling. After graduating from the University of Michigan with a B.S.E. in mechanical engineering, Pawlak returned to Daifuku as a controls engineer.
In 2021, Pawlak accepted the role of controls systems supervisor, a position that entails leading multiple project engineers, managing department resources, and engaging the development group to design, build, commission, and test baggage handling systems. Recently, his team completed the successful Factory Acceptance Testing for the SEA Baggage Optimization Phase 2 at Daifuku’s facility in Novi, Michigan. At each airport, Pawlak works directly with stakeholders to help them understand the control system and engages them in the implementation process.
“Getting to travel frequently to different major airports gives me the opportunity to experience the uniqueness of each city. Working behind the scenes in the baggage handling areas also allows me to be exposed to a variety of different systems, so I am always continuing to learn and apply my knowledge in different ways,” he said.
Looking to the future, Pawlak said he hopes to improve passenger experiences, “There’s nothing worse when traveling than being overwhelmed by long lines or lost baggage. I think improving on these experiences is in the mind of the majority of people in the operations sector of the airport industry and our company is really focused on providing solutions for these problems,” he said. “A big part of what our group has been tasked with in the past couple years is doing complex retrofit projects for existing systems. Really honing the execution of these types of projects will allow airports to minimize downtime while still being able to upgrade their systems to meet anticipated growth.”