CENG Staff Spotlight: Eric Pulse

Eric Pulse in the Mustang '60 Machine Shop
Eric Pulse — Technical Support (Laboratory).

Mustang ’60 Machine Shop Manager

Hometown: Menlo Park, California

What brought you to Cal Poly College of Engineering?

I always was building and fixing things in high school, long before the FIRST Robotics Competition was a thing. Cal Poly was the best opportunity to completely dive into Learn by Doing headfirst.

How did you start working at Mustang ’60?

Well, I built the place! I graduated from the Mechanical Engineering Department in 2005, and in 2008 I sent George Leone, the Aero Hangar manager, an invite to my oldest son’s 1st birthday party. When he replied, George and I got to talking and he mentioned that Cal Poly had an empty building and a donation from John and Connie Nielsen to turn it into a machine shop to supplement the Hangar. Being a shop tech alum myself, I jumped at the opportunity to outfit and operate Mustang ’60 from its inception. I feel like it’s one of my own kids! 

What is your favorite part of your job?

Seeing what students are capable of thinking up and helping them create it!

How do you like to spend your free time?

I’m a grease monkey and a gearhead, so I really love vehicles. Cars, trucks, dirt bikes, quads, side-by-sides — you name it. 

What is the most helpful advice you’ve received? 

Once you get a job, you don’t have to stay there. We are a desired breed here at Cal Poly, and if your first job isn’t fulfilling your dreams, reach out. You’ve made it through an engineering program that makes you the best candidate, so embrace it!

What is something you can’t live without? 

An exceptional pocketknife (Benchmade, all the way) and an indestructible multitool; I’ve never had a Leatherman Wave or Surge let me down. 

How does engineering apply to your daily life? 

It’s all day, every day! From Legos to fixing trailers to building barns, I use engineering every day at home. Here at work, I maintain the shop, teach students how to use the machinery and consult on manufacturing plans to hopefully allow the students to be successful.  

How do you encourage engineering students to make an impact on the community? 

Better yourself. Learn as much as you can when you can and share it with the world!