Mark Christopher: Applications Engineer (and Know Your Doosan guy)
Mark Christopher wears a whole lot of hats at Doosan Machine Tools, and some of them are visible on camera. Our Application Engineer is a natural problem-solver, fielding customer support, training and troubleshooting on a daily basis. On top of that, he’s the star of our latest YouTube series, Know Your Doosan.
So, how did Mark land at Doosan, and how on earth did he become the Know Your Doosan guy? Let's find out.
Making his bones in a literal closet.
After graduating from technical school in the late 90s, Mark worked in a tool-and-die shop, then a mom-&-pop shop. His big break was working for a medical device company.
“They had their shop in a closet,” Mark said. “Literally. 9th floor of an executive building. I always wondered how they got their equipment up there. We grew out of it and moved into a 2,500 square foot space. We did a lot. Prototyping, 3D printing, engineering, testing. That really expanded my skillset.”
On top of his CNC knowledge, Mark also learned how to do business. “It became easy to spot when shops were taking us for a ride,” he said. “This shouldn’t cost 10k; more like 6k.”
Eventually, the company axed its R&D completely, which also chopped Mark’s role. He managed a shop for a few years and assumed he’d spend his career there. Then Doosan came calling.
This guy knows Doosan.
Before the pandemic, Mark fielded questions and traveled regularly to support customers all over North America. He’s responsible for anything that has to do with Easy Guide, and he also has a lot of automation knowledge from working with our pallet systems.
Since COVID hit, Doosan customers have had the time to address the things they were previously putting off. “It was tons of phone and email support for the first two months of COVID. Then, as restrictions lifted, I actually got back to traveling a bit,” Mark said. “It’s not easy being in a warm facility with goggles, hearing protection and a face mask, but we all make it work.”
How Mark landed Know Your Doosan.
Being on camera is borderline impossible for many people, but Mark’s easygoing personality and southern charm made him a natural fit for the Know Your Doosan series. “I like to joke that I was told and not asked to be on camera,” Mark laughed. “From what I understand, there was a focus group that nominated me for the job.”
On top of his on-camera duties, you won’t be surprised to hear Mark is doing his trademarked support work in the YouTube comments as well. “We’ve gotten some ideas from the comments, for sure,” he said. “Most of our topics are customer-generated from YouTube and Vimeo, and I give out my personal contact info to answer questions that come in from all over the world.
“I’ve enjoyed it, and it’s definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. I’ve gotten to write scripts and learn a bit about video production. Overall the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s been cool to see.”
Looking back at the very first episode, Mark can’t help but laugh. “I think I was in shock the first day. I was nervous and stiff. Looking back at the video now, I feel bad for our video team. They were doing their best to relax me, but it was all so new—reading from a prompter, knowing what to do with your hands. It’s not easy! I think they’ve had more fun making my blooper reels than the actual episodes.
“Ultimately, our job is to sell machine tools. It’s a little strange being on the marketing side now as well as engineering, but really, both groups have the same goal. If making this video gets us considered, I’ll happily do it. I love being at Doosan. My boss, the company and my support network are all phenomenal. I can’t sing their praises enough.”
What’s Mark up to when the camera is off?
Mark’s daughter is 18 and pretty darn bright. She did dual enrollment for her last year of high school and will start nursing school in the fall. His son, currently an 8th grader, keeps the family busy with baseball. His squad has been all over the country, and, to quote Mark, “he has more rings and titles than I can shake a stick at.”
“We love to fish a lot, my son and me,” Mark said. “We do bass tournaments together, and he’s really good at it. For me, fishing is my getaway and my therapy, for sure. Also, my wife and I love to travel. We’re high school sweethearts, married 22 years this year. She’s put up with a lot over the last 22+ years from me, so I am very grateful for her!”
Talk to Doosan (or Mark, for that matter)
If you ever have any questions about a Doosan machine, don’t hesitate to contact us. Also, if you could use some tips about how to get more from your current Doosan equipment, drop Mark a line. Hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org.