Maker Monday: DuraEdge Products

Kurt Mershimer
Kurt Mershimer
Occupation: Project Engineer/Operations Manager
Employer: DuraEdge Products

DuraEdge specializes in the production of top-quality engineered soil products for the baseball and softball field industry. They provide long-term soil solutions — not just seasonal quick fixes — to clients at every level of play, from community parks to professional stadiums.

How did you get into your career in manufacturing?

I have a degree in mechanical engineering which led me to work in various manufacturing environments, including the tool and die industry and building material testing machines. However, what brought me to DuraEdge was a friendship with the owner, Grant McKnight. He needed engineering help and was extremely busy. I was working in construction management at the time, and in 2008 the construction industry was very slow, so it was a no-brainer to transition to work with his company and try to help his business succeed.

What do you love most about your job?

Sometimes when you think of engineers you envision the comic strip character Dilbert with his pocket protector working in a cubicle all day. Often that is true, but in my job I am also able to get my hands dirty and be a part of making what is on paper become a reality. Since we are a small but rapidly growing company, I’m able to wear many engineering hats, such as designing, repairing, and retro-fitting. That variety is refreshing, albeit challenging. Ultimately, I am torn between both the variety and the “hands on” nature of my job, which I love the most.

What is one thing you want people to know about DuraEdge?

Many companies say they are or that they strive to be the best at what they do. I believe that our products/solutions really are the best available, and the proof is that our materials are on over 70 percent of Major League ballfields and ever-growing.

What makes you proud to be a Pennsylvania maker?

I see the resilient and hardworking nature of Pennsylvania workers shine through in our company as we overcome many very difficult challenges to keep up with ever-growing demand while maintaining high quality. I am proud of what our team of men and women has accomplished to make our little company from Western Pennsylvania grow nationwide and have our materials become the most sought-after product for baseball fields around the country.

Meet the Maker is a monthly blog series featuring Pennsylvania manufacturing employees discussing their work, what it’s like to be in the industry, and why they love what they do.

To learn more about the manufacturing industry in Pennsylvania, visit the DCED website.

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