Allan Lynn Schroeder
Allan Schroeder was born on December 18, 1955 in Taylor Texas to Elton William (1920-2003) and Ruth Helen Samuelson (1921-2007) Schroeder. Elton and Ruth both grew up on family farms, Elton in the Coupland community and Ruth in the Type community. Elton, who after the eighth-grade, quit school to work on the family farm. On February 26, 1952, Elton and Ruth married, and in February of 1957 they moved to Elgin where Elton started his own farming and ranching operation. Allan had identical twin brothers Bruce (1954- ) and Brian (1954-1973). Brian was killed in a car accident in June of 1973.
Allan has two adult sons James (1983-) and Jim (1995-).
Following graduation from Elgin High School in 1974, Allan attended Capital City Trade and Technical School in Austin where he completed the program as a certified welder. Allan’s Dad encouraged him to learn the trade, which would be helpful on the farm repairing equipment. Instead of following his family’s history in farming, Allan pursued the welding trade going to work for Elgin Craftsman, who manufactured patio furniture. It didn’t take long to realize that production work was not what he wanted to pursue. So, in 1977, Allan went to work for Balderson Berger Equipment Company who fabricated equipment for Alcoa Aluminum. This was very interesting work building large pieces of equipment and learning the machining trade at the same time. In 1987, work at Balderson Berger had slowed down and the future did not look good.
In 1987, Allan heard of a job opening in the Physics Machine Shop at The University of Texas at Austin. Because of the future not looking good at Balderson Berger, Allan decided to apply for the Scientific Instrument Maker I position in Physics. In May of 1987, Allan contacted Les Deavers for an interview. That evening, following the interview, Les contacted a mutual friend that lived in Elgin and asked him to contact Allan. Les felt that after the interview process, Allan knew more about machining than was listed on his resume. After updating his resume, Allan contacted Les for a second interview. Shortly after that, Les offered Allan the position and he started working in the Physics Shop on July 1, 1987.
In 1998, Les announced that he was going to retire as Supervisor of the Machine Shop. The department decided that they would give current Instrument Makers the opportunity to apply for Les’s position. There were four faculty members on the hiring committee, Ken Gentle, who at that time was Chairman, Jim Erskine, Jerry Hoffmann and John Keto. After the interview process was completed, Allan was selected as the next Supervisor of the Physics Machine Shop. Allan took over these duties on August 1, 1998.
The Physics Machine Shop for decades has been known as being one of the best for providing technical support to faculty and students. The Physics Shop has always provided very high-quality instruments for the department. This reputation was not going to be compromised, as Allan soon found out after taking over the supervisory position.
The shop had machined parts for Dr. Mark Raizen’s group and after these pieces were completed and taken to Dr. Raizen’s lab, Dr. Raizen returned to the shop because he was not satisfied with the quality. During his discussion with Allan, Dr. Raizen stated “My students could do a better job.”. Allan immediately called Les about what had just happened. Les reminded Allan that the faculty were used to receiving very high-quality machined pieces and that was his [Dr. Raizen’s] way of saying that he expected that to continue. After this incident, if there was ever a question about the quality of a machined piece, Allan would always respond “Make it as if it were for Dr. Raizen. If we do that, we will never be wrong.”. During Allan’s time as Supervisor, this was a reminder about what was established decades ago and what was expected in the future. Allan retired on December 31, 2019 after 32 and ½ years at UT.
Allan Lynn Schroeder Photo Album