SGS Govmark Stories - The People Behind the Fire and Flammability Tests
Meet Mike Magee, Fire Engineering Manager/FAA DER
November 29, 2017
While SGS Govmark is known for its leadership in fire and flammability testing, it’s our people who make us great. In this month’s profile, we take a look at the intense duties of Mike Magee. Mike serves as SGS Govmark’s FAA Designated Engineering Representative. As the DER and Fire Engineering Manager, Magee operates wire and cable fire & flammability testing services for a wide range of aerospace, rail and transportation clients.
Check out the interview below to find out what happens when a bird gets in your chimney during a flammability test or what he wishes every client knew.
What’s your story? What did you go to school for and how did you wind up working at SGS Govmark?
I went to school at Farmingdale State University for Engineering/Architecture. I originally started working at SGS Govmark building the test equipment and assisting with the blueprint drawings (CAD). I later got more involved in testing and am now a manager for all of the large-scale technicians.
See Mike in Action As He Conducts an Insulation Burn Through Test
What’s something interesting about your job that no one would know about?
Every day is different! Yes, we do many of the same tests but we are very diverse and each product is set up and burns differently. It keeps us on our toes and makes every day exciting.
What fires you about working in flammability testing?
The failures. Everyone wants a passing product for the industry, but when companies send us R&D work which they have no idea how it will react and they are very bad failures, this is when your easy day at the office becomes intense very quickly.
What’s the strangest thing that’s happened on the job?
We once had a seagull fly into one of our stack chimneys. Needless to say, when we fired up our burn room that day we had flaming feathers scattered throughout the parking lot.
What’s the one thing you wish your clients knew about flammability testing?
You should witness it first-hand. We have clients come and witness testing daily. Every single client that comes to see the tests for the first time always tell us that it is a world of difference coming to see it live versus watching a video or just looking at data on a paper. You feel the heat, and see the small details we cannot report on or a video can’t capture. Much of these little things go a long way for a client when they bring that visualization back to their companies to better their products.
If someone wanted to work in fire testing, what advice would you give them?
Don’t pass up the opportunity to try it. It may not be for everyone, many of our technicians are also Firefighters outside of the office and are comfortable in this kind of environment. It’s not the easiest or cleanest of jobs but we all love it and look forward to a days worth of new testing.
Stay tuned for more SGS Govmark profiles coming soon!