Tim Cornelius, Sr., Technical Specialist and troubleshooting lifeline for many of our customers
July 17, 2019
In his 25 years with Solomon Corporation, Tim Cornelius, Sr. likes to say he’s only had one title: Technical Specialist. “We only got carried away with titles the past few years,” he joked.
These days, it’s unusual for people to stay at a job for more than a few years. Tim attributes his longevity at Solomon to the environment here. “This is a good place to work,” he said. “It’s family oriented. Even the owners know you by name.”
In his time at Solomon, Tim has specialized in voltage regulator and OCR repair and technical support. Currently part of our Engineering department, he focuses on transformer testing and design and provides training and customer technical support across the country. In his role, he wears many hats; in any day, he can be found performing DGA analysis, doing test equipment calibration, supporting the testers in the shops, and or performing failure analysis.
His fascination with science drove his education and his career. Tim served four years in the United States Navy as a Fire Control Technician 2nd Class, working with Sea Sparrow and Harpoon missile systems aboard a destroyer. He graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in avionics engineering. He also earned a degree in fire science from Hutchinson Community College.
“I enjoy the engineering side of the job the most… failure analysis and such, Tim said. “Three-phase power is pretty interesting. The physics behind it, I suppose. Don’t get me wrong, radar and radio are neat, but there is just something about three-phase.”
When asked about what customer service means to him, Tim replied with his typical dry sense of humor, while still summing up what Solomon Corp focuses on. “We do what it takes to help the customer keep the lights on,” he said.
Tim told about a customer in Northern Utah who called one afternoon, saying that one of his critical transmission substation transformers tripped offline due to a differential relay. “He asked if we could come up and test the transformer before putting it back in service,” Tim said. “I told him I would get him a quote, along with a lead time on getting there. He said, ‘You don’t understand… see you in the morning.’”
Tim chartered a plane out of Salina, loaded up a bunch of test equipment, and another tech and Tim flew out early the next morning to a small town near the substation. A lineman from the utility picked them up at the airport.
“We drove to the site, performed all testing, which was acceptable,” Tim said. “The other tech was looking at the control wiring and didn’t like what he saw. We found the schematics, and found a couple wires on a CT block had been reversed during some previous maintenance. We repaired the wires, placed the transformer in service, went to the airport for lunch, and flew home.”
When he’s not working, Tim has a small hotrod shop. “It’s fun and a stress relief,” he said. “I grew up in a garage. I work on stuff older than me. No restorations, all hotrod,” he said.
Part side gig and part passion project, Tim is a member of a local group called Idlescrews Car Cub who all help each other out. He takes on commission work also. His current projects are a 1954 Pontiac mild custom, a 1951 Chevy pickup rat rod, and a Model A with a straight 8 engine.
Solomon Corporation buys, sells and repairs transformers, regulators and reclosers. We also have experienced technicians and environmental specialists on hand to help you with any questions you my have. Contact us at 800-234-2867 or www.solomoncorp.com