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Meet Andrew Hyduchak of Esoteric Systems in North Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrew Hyduchak.

Andrew, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was born in northeast Pennsylvania in a small town but essentially grew up quite rural. My father and grandfathers were in some way involved with electrical and telecommunication work throughout their lives. From a young age, I was exposed to a lot of technical topics and it has without a doubt, defined who I am today.

I had close friends in middle and high school that shared a lot of the same interests: building and working with computers, ham radio, open-source software and hardware. I attended Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ to get my B.E. in Computer Engineering. It’s quite a fuzzy line between electrical and computer engineering, and it has not become any more defined as I put it to practice. I wouldn’t have it any other way though, because it has allowed me to work across a broad spectrum that I feel has made me a well-rounded individual.

I graduated, returned home and was looking for a job to apply my knowledge and continue to build my skillset. I couldn’t tell you today how I found it, but my first job came about from Craigslist. It was a small systems integrator based in a small farm town about an hour away from my childhood home. I inquired, promptly got a call and an interview, and ended up spending the next few years doing everything from control panel design, construction, programming, commissioning, as well as troubleshooting other company’s equipment.

It’s here that I fell in love with industrial automation. I moved on to greater challenges with a larger company, and I still remember on my exit interview, being told by my boss: “I put you into situations where you could either sink or swim and boy you swam.” The challenges and opportunities I was given to learn were so vast and as years went on and I worked with other engineers, I came to appreciate that statement even more. (Thanks Greg!)

I took another stint working for a small start-up software company, which let me hone some skills in new areas that I only dabbled in with my spare time; after doing that for a couple of years, I decided to build up my own company specializing in industrial automation, taking all of that know-how and applying it in a unique way.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I would say it was a smooth road, but only because of the great teamwork and planning my wife and I did as we kept moving forward/upward. I recognized and avoided the mindset that many engineers find themselves compartmentalized from and always made sure my work was something I woke up every day looking forward to.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
The company is still quite young, but we are growing every day. Our specializations are industrial internet of things (IIoT) applications, high-performance AC motor control and automation system design/integration. We have wide experience and perspective across a number of industry verticals, but advanced manufacturing is our primary focus. We consider ourselves a boutique engineering firm bringing the most competitive and bleeding-edge technology to American manufacturing capabilities.

What sets Esoteric Systems apart is our novel approach to leveraging the latest concepts to create solutions that many well-established companies might overlook. We take pride in our ability to deliver a customer- and application-specific approach that exceeds expectations at every level.

What were you like growing up?
I wouldn’t describe myself as much of a “social butterfly”. I had friends, and fewer close ones, simply because of where I grew up, I had a lot more time to myself to study/focus on topics that interested me. When you don’t have friends that you can hop on your bike to visit or places to go on your own, you find other ways to occupy your time. Of course there was school, but I would tell you that I never let it interfere with my education. I think that can be attributed to Mark Twain, but that sentiment always resonated with me.

I wasn’t much of an athlete, so I spent a lot of time in nature, since we had plenty of it, and enjoyed camping, hiking, sailing, hunting.. I was quite active in Boy Scouts, earning my Eagle Scout, which went hand in hand with all the resources available to me in Pennsylvania. My summers were spent in the woods or on the lakes, and it was always something to look forward to once school was out.

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