Countryman Associates Expands Its Engineering Department

Countryman Associates, a manufacturer of miniature microphones and direct boxes, has announced the recent Design Engineer appointments of Brian Hillenbrand and Benjamin Lacasse. The company says it's expanding its engineering team to accommodate increased demand while also presenting opportunities for talented newcomers looking for a creative opportunity in the field of professional audio. Both Hillenbrand and Lacasse are stationed at company headquarters in Menlo Park, CA.

Hillenbrand started with Countryman Associates in April 2019 and Lacasse started in July. In each case, key responsibilities of their appointments include mechanical and acoustic design, customer research and support, as well as production support.

Hillenbrand graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, with a degree in Manufacturing Engineering. While there, his involvement with the student chapter of the Audio Engineering Society included acoustic and loudspeaker project advisory and club leadership. He was also a key initiator and core manager of AudioCon 2018, and during his last two quarters of 2019, served as a Student Lab Technician, focusing on Computer Aided Manufacturing. Additionally, he worked as a Product Design and Acoustics Test Intern for RPS Industries, Precision Sheet Metal Fabricators of Tualatin, OR.

Lacasse is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA, where he earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. During his time there, he studied Machine System Design, Thermal System Design, Solidworks, Thermodynamics, and Fluid Dynamics. For his Senior Project, he designed a UAV Launcher for Cal Poly’s Aero Department. Lacasse also attended KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden as an exchange student. While there, he took Masters level courses in the institute’s Vehicle Engineering program and also studied Combustion Theory, Internal Combustion Engines, Jet Propulsion Engines, and the Swedish Language.

“I have always loved music and sound,” Hillenbrand says, “so the opportunity to contribute to a leading manufacturer like Countryman feels like a perfect fit. The process of designing and implementing transducers is a key ingredient in any microphone or loudspeaker system, so being directly involved in the creation of the company’s products is very rewarding to me."

Lacasse adds, “During my college years, I held intern positions in sales operations, corporate engineering, and supply chain operations. These experiences afforded me a unique perspective into the areas that have significant impact on the development, design, and manufacturing process. I’ve always loved music and have been intrigued by the technology that many of these products employ, so the opportunity to join Countryman Associates’ engineering team is very rewarding.”

Chris Countryman, president of Countryman Associates, comments on the company’s new hires, “Finding talented people who have the ability, the right attitude, and the passion to excel are significant challenges for any company. In both Hillenbrand and Lacasse, I feel we have expanded our team with two exceptional people whose personality, interests, and skillset uniquely match that of our organization. Not only are these two gentlemen an important addition to our company now, they represent a commitment to the future of professional audio, and for that I am grateful. I have every confidence that Brian and Ben will make significant contributions to our company. All of us on the Countryman team welcome them aboard and wish them the best as we aim to take the company to the next level.”

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Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief at Canadian Musician, Canadian Music Trade, Professional Sound, and Professional Lighting & Production magazines. He also hosts the Canadian Musician Podcast.
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