Alumnus keeps NBC's equipment functioning at 2018 Olympics
As athletes whooshed down hills, sped around tracks, flitted over ice and soared above ski jumps during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the eyes of the world were watching.
NBCUniversal captured more than 2.17 billion total streamed minutes of coverage and 1.85 billion minutes of live-stream coverage online.
Keeping those cameras rolling was a job for Andrei Enache ’12, a senior field service engineer for Sony Corp., who put his Cal U bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering technology to work on a very big stage.
He was the only camera specialist for NBC, in charge of preparing and maintaining more than 200 cameras at the International Broadcast Center and at various competition venues.
“The cameras were still in the boxes” when he arrived in South Korea in advance of the games, Enache says.
“We went to all the venues to set up the equipment. In many ways, the easiest part for us was once the games began.”
Except for the day when high winds delayed the start of the skiing competitions — and toppled cameras. They were sent to Enache, in the repair center.
“Every day is something different,” he says of being a technical problem-solver. “It’s the part of the job I really like.”
It was Enache’s second Olympic experience. He was in Brazil for the 2016 Summer Olympics, where he received an award for the first broadcast in 4K HDR, a technology that boosts a picture’s brightness, contrast and color.
Enache, who earned a mechanical engineering degree in his native Romania, attended Cal U in 2010 as part of a retraining program after Sony eliminated his job repairing consumer electronics such as VCRs and camcorders.
Today, he uses his electrical engineering technology degree to set up, maintain and repair Sony cameras, monitors and projectors.
“I chose Cal U because the EET program was ABET-accredited,” he says, referring to the organization that assures that college engineering programs meet quality standards.
“And the labs were like being in a candy store!”
Students in Cal U’s electrical engineering technology program conduct experiments in four on-campus labs — complete with oscilloscopes, function generators and more — and apply classroom theories to the real world.
“It’s easier to remember when (learning) is hands-on,” Enache says. “I can read about a new product in a manual, but if I get to touch it and see how it works, I learn much better.”
By Wendy Mackall, communications director at Cal U