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Parental pride ensures credit for engineering ingenuity

An exchange of letters between an enthusiastic father and IMM’s By Design columnist and plastic part design expert Glenn Beall puts credit where it belongs.


Read your article in Plastics Today’s "By Design: Issues facing medical products designers." Credit was given to tool shop and molder. But the real credit should go to the person who conceived the idea, designed the product, convinced management, selected the suppliers, and meticulously "made it happen"!

That person was Robert Oshgan from Hospira. Yes, he is my son, and I am proud of it. I started him in plastics when he was eight years old and it stuck. My other son is a mechanical engineer as well, and also has a strong background with plastics.

Another Hospira engineer, John Domkowski, also worked with my son Robert on this and other projects.

Your article is correct in many ways and I agree that wisdom comes from knowledge learned and passed on. I spent many years in the plastics field, doing product design and various manufacturing practices in thermoplastics and thermosets. Yet here I am today, unemployed for 13 months now, and can't find a job unless I want to move to another country.

Sorry to bother you about the personal pride, but I just thought that your article could have covered the design and concept a little better. The tool shop and molder would not have been recognized if the product had not been conceived by a brilliant Hospira engineer with a lot of pride and passion for his job.

Thank you for your time.

Thomas Oshgan

Dear Mr. Oshgan,

I am embarrassed to admit that I did not mention Robert Oshgan in my February 2010 Injection Molding magazine article. He certainly deserves credit for designing and developing the Hospira iSecure Syringe.

I just reread the article and there are two places where I could have acknowledged Robert's work. I really don't know why I didn't do that, as I am proud of what the plastic product design community has achieved. I normally go out of my way to give designers credit for their contributions.

For your information, the iSecure Syringe was the lead part of my “NPE 2009 Observations" article in September. Robert was named in that article. Another indication of how impressed I was with the iSecure Syringe is that I introduced myself and complimented Robert on his design during the Society of Plastics Engineers golf outing in Milwaukee this past July.

No need to apologize. Your letter is not a bother. I appreciate the feedback. You have every right to be proud of your son's achievements. If you started him in plastics when he was eight years old, he is not one of the inexperienced, novice designers I described in my article. I have to conclude that you have been a good mentor in the ensuing years.

Please give Robert my apologies for the oversight in not mentioning him in my February By Design article.


Glenn Beall

[email protected]

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