Equally comfortable under the sea or under the hood of a classic car, Tim Royer is always up for a challenge. And that includes the diverse challenges he encounters as Lab Manager for IIA’s Florida lab.
Every day, manufacturers from around the world put his problem-solving skills to the test. And that’s just fine for a guy who considers idle time the enemy.
“I find it hard to sit still. When I’m not working, I’m at home building something or working on some kind of project,” says Tim, whose current passion project is a classic 1971 Chevelle. “In college, I never had an interest in design. I always liked taking things apart and fixing them or solving problems.”
And he has built a career doing just that.
An Illinois native, Tim’s journey began in the Windy City, where he earned electrical engineering and business degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He hit his stride working at a Chicago electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) testing lab for 15 years.
“We worked on cars, trucks, farm equipment, everything – and there were a lot of systems involved in that,” says Tim. “I got to test them and figure out what was causing any failures and then help the customer fix the issue.”
His downtime was spent outdoors, with hard-core hobbies such as dirt bike racing and skydiving. In search of perennial sunshine to indulge his many interests, Tim moved to Florida and joined Timco Engineering in 2015 (promptly adding scuba diving to his long list of hobbies). The company was acquired by Industrial Inspection & Analysis (IIA) in 2018.
A global leader in testing and certification, much of the lab’s work centers on wireless technologies. Testing performed by IIA helps ensure that electronic products meet safety standards and do not inadvertently interfere with other devices, such as a cell phone interfering with a police radio or a wireless controller for a crane.
“The thing I like best about my job is that every day brings a new challenge,” says Tim, who serves on industry committees that help write testing standards. “We have to figure out what testing has to be done for different products going into different global markets, so we have to stay on top of regulatory changes around the world. If issues arise during testing, we offer services to help our customers fix the problem so they can get to market.”
One of his more memorable work accomplishments occurred when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued new rules for wireless microphones back in 2018. Tim’s efforts resulted in IIA becoming the first company in the world to test to the new requirement and certify this product.
On another occasion, the FCC issued new rules affecting antenna on countless devices, along with a jaw-dropping deadline for compliance.
“The FCC gave manufacturers 7 days to test to the new standards, but provided no guidance on the testing. The pressure was on all manufacturers to fulfill this requirement or take their product off the market,” recalls Tim. “By thinking outside the box, I was able to use a fairly simple mathematical method to fulfill their new requirement.”
This passion for problem solving is just one of the reasons clients around the world choose IIA. Personal service and fast turnaround times also set IIA apart from larger testing labs.
“At IIA, people call us and we fit them into our schedule quickly and we get them what they need,” says Tim. “If they have any questions, they can talk to the people actually doing the testing. Customer service is very important to us.”