From the Air National Guard to the oilfield, Adam Nixon found his niche in electrical engineering. Adam first became interested in aircraft because his father pursued a career in aviation with degrees in aviation technology and electrical engineering technology. Adam said he enjoyed aircraft and wanted to pursue a career in that realm. He enlisted in the Air National Guard on May 25, 2001, the day he graduated high school.
“I went to my enlistment ceremony then to my high school graduation ceremony,” Adam said. “I’ve always liked aircraft. I knew I wanted to get a college education but didn’t have a way to pay for it. It made sense to me to go a route that suited both needs.”
The Air National Guard was established in 1947. The difference between the Air National Guard and the Army National Guard is the same fundamental differences between the Army and Air Force with their responsibilities, he said. While in the Air National Guard, he attended the University of Houston and majored in electrical engineering technology.
“I was halfway through my junior year of college before the formal education caught up to the training I was receiving in the National Guard,” he said. “I still rely on my Air National Guard training today. The only difference is that I’m working on rigs instead of F-16 fighter jets.”
After serving 12 years in the Air National Guard, he decided to leave for civilian life. He started at H&P in 2009 as a field electrician based in the South district out of the Alice, Texas office.
“That district had so many different types of rigs during that time,” Adam said. “There were Flex 2, Vicis Flex3 and Omron Flex3s in the South district which allowed me to learn a lot of H&P’s fleet. Today, it’s the South district out of Seguin, but they still have a diverse rig fleet down there.”
A lot of his experience in the military translated well to H&P’s electrical engineering department. After a year of working in the South district, DeWayne Speer, senior manager of electrical engineering, called Adam to ask if he wanted to work as an engineering field technician.
“I was in the engineering group, but instead of being in the office, I was out in the field installing and implementing projects,” he said.
For ten years, Adam enjoyed working outdoors while tackling critical thinking challenges and visiting each district at H&P. Adam was promoted to senior electrical specialist where he designs, modifies and implements new rig equipment and software features.
“While the title of my position stayed relatively the same, my duties within that role continuously changed,” he said. “I feel very fortunate that my talents and potential were recognized so early, which allowed me the opportunity to become a member of the engineering department. I have enjoyed the nature of the work as well as the people within the group throughout the years. Feeling valued and appreciated while experiencing a high degree of job satisfaction is important to me while striving to perfect my craft. Programming and troubleshooting both hardware and software issues are a large part of his day-to-day. Adam enjoys solving problems that arise while designing and testing equipment for rigs that have not been previously available, such as new architecture driller cabins.
Adam would encourage any veteran to apply at H&P, no matter what their special skills are.
“Due to their service and training, veterans are already accustomed to H&P’s values,” he added. “The team dynamic creates a special workforce that isn’t found at other companies. I think any veteran could find their niche here.”