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Edmonton Valve & Fitting Blog

Weekly posts for northern and central Alberta engineers, plant operators, and buyers.

Meet Don Yahn: Custom Solutions Field Engineering Support

by Katie Reid, on Tue, Dec 11, 2018 @ 14:12 PM

With a lifetime of field experience to draw on, he's a hit with our customers


Don.Yahn closeup

"In this field, the training is never ending as the technology is constantly evolving," says Don Yahn, one of the newest members on Edmonton Valve's Custom Solutions Field Engineer team. 


Don Yahn, one of our newest team members in Custom Solutions Field Engineering Support, carries a lot of credibility when he talks to customers. For 34 years he worked at Shell Canada's Scotford Refinery, so he knows firsthand the complexity of dealing with fluid systems in the field.

Since the spring of 2018 he's been using that vast store of knowledge to support our Custom Solutions team and provide field engineering to our customers. Frequently that means traveling to customer sites with our sales associates to see where Custom Solutions might help customers with issues they may be having. It's not unusual for Yahn to suggest solutions that the customer never realized we could provide.

Listening to our customers

Yahn puts a lot of emphasis on listening to customers and then thinking back to when he may have dealt with a similar issue.

One recent visit started out with a discussion on issues the customer was having with pressure regulation on gas streams. It quickly evolved into a discussion regarding filtration and the frequency with which they were changing filters on multiple sample streams.

"I asked some basic questions, took that information away and did some research, and found they had been using the wrong filters all along," Yahn says. "They were just doing what the site had always been doing and hadn’t really questioned why they were changing filters so often."

Yahn's recommendation should reduce their maintenance workload significantly so the customer can focus on other priorities.

"Many of the issues I’ve seen thus far have been one’s I’m familiar with, so I’m comfortable having those discussions," he says. But he also has a wealth of industry research to draw on.

"In this field the training is never ending as the technology is constantly changing to keep up with the evolution of computing and processing of data," he says.

Industry experience

Yahn also has provided some basic design overviews for customers that aren't sure about certain issues or where to turn for support.

"Sometimes just a quick discussion or some email exchanges can help them move forward with making the changes, knowing that the issue was looked at and re-affirms their own thoughts," he says.

The deep knowledge Yahn possesses is hard to come by. He graduated from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology back when there were less than 20 graduates from The Instrumentation Engineering Technology department. When he left Shell, he was Senior Instrument Technologist Major Projects.

He takes pride in always trying to "do the right thing" and having his contributions valued. He also takes pride in the acknowledgement that others have given him for passing along his experiences and helping their careers.

"In my career at Shell I was used to people coming to me with a problem and looking to me to come up with a solution," Yahn says. He sees his role at Edmonton Valve as an extension of that mentoring. "I make myself available to everyone at Edmonton Valve & Fitting if there’s an area where I can contribute to their success."

Interested in getting Don Yahn and our Field Engineering team out to your site? Contact us by clicking the "Message Us" below to get it set -up!

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Topics:Value Added ServicesCustom SolutionsPeople

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