Crafting a Career in Mechanical Design (and Brewing) with David Gilmour of Phillips Brewing

David Gilmour is a maintenance engineer at Phillips Brewing and Malting Co., a small-batch craft brewery in Victoria, British Columbia. Previously, Gilmour shared how Phillips uses engineering and technology to ensure its delicious brews get to the mouths of its loyal and thirsty customers. If you’re interested in beer and engineering, definitely give it a read. This post will cover Gilmour’s start in engineering, including a brewing project he completed while in school. Side note: I clearly went to the wrong school.

Like many engineers, Gilmour’s interest in building and inventing came at a young age. “As a kid I would spend hours building gizmos and gadgets out of Legos and Construx, as a teenager I built BMX bikes to ride and race, and while working as an arborist in my 20s, I would take apart and rebuild chainsaws and other power equipment,” Gilmore said. “I decided to capitalize on this interest and returned to school in my thirties, receiving a diploma in mechanical engineering technology two and a half years ago. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that my love for engineering design and tasty libations would be a possible career option!”

Gilmour was introduced to the basics of 2D and 3D modeling in CAD classes in tech school. After he graduated, he honed his SOLIDWORKS skills on a number of projects including a large project where he helped develop sport simulators for Olympic museums.

While Gilmour went back to school to pursue his mechanical engineering degree, Phillips actually sponsored his capstone project, which was designed entirely in SOLIDWORKS. “My classmates and I designed and built a Growler-filling vending machine dubbed the “Growlermatic.” Customers use a specially made tokens to have their growler filled by an automated machine that pressurizes the growler using CO2 before filling it with beer, which reduces the amount of O2 in the beer, lengthening shelf life and improving the flavor profile.” Now if I can just get one of these in the office…

Of course the next question has to be, which beer should we fill our growler with? “I find my tastes for different styles changes with the season, and right now I am enjoying Phillips Shortwave, a hoppy, west coast-style pale ale,” Gilmour stated. “One of my all-time favorites is our Electric Unicorn white IPA. I think a perfect beer is made with the best ingredients, a perfect blend of hops, precisely malted barley, fresh clean water, and perfectly cultivated yeast. Many beer styles have different elements that make them stand out, but these basic ingredients are required to make the perfect beer.”

Thanks to the work of smart engineers like David Gilmour, we can all enjoy our beer of choice and explore new offerings is easier than ever before! The next time you have a beer, be sure to raise a glass to the people behind the brews. Not all heroes wear capes! Check out Phillips Brewing cool beers and gear here. Read more about how Phillips Brewing engineers its equipment in CAD in this blog post.

Mike Fearon

Mike Fearon

Senior Manager Brand Offer Marketing, Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS. Video game world champion and whisky advocate. I like turtles.