Meet Danny Adams, Thermal-Vac’s Co-Op Coordinator

Thermal-Vac’s Danny Adams didn’t grow up dreaming about vacuum brazing.

(Not many kids do. If you know one, we’d like to hear about it.)

That didn’t stop Danny from taking a leap when Thermal-Vac’s founder, Steve Driscol, suggested he give brazing a shot. We sat down with Danny to learn something about what makes him tick.

Do-it-all Danny

As Thermal-Vac’s Co-Ops Coordinator, Danny tends to jump around a lot. Not in the House of Pain sense, though we do a little of that sometimes, but in the jump-to-it sense. “Around here we have each other’s backs,” Danny says. As something of a jack-of-all-trades, he’ll hop into the nitty gritty wherever he’s needed. Which is good because we have our fair share of nitty (and occasional gritty) around here.

Over his first three years at Thermal-Vac, Danny has worked in quality control, customer relations, certification, and planning. “I usually don’t pay much attention to the long-term arc of a project,” he says. “I’m focused on the day-to-day details.” In one shift, he might touch one project just as it first comes through the door, another as its making its way out of a furnace, and still another when it’s being packed for shipping. 

Tackling complicated challenges with the crew is the name of the game for Danny. “We had an order come in recently with some improperly dimensioned subcomponents,” he recalls. 

“We had to rally to find answers. Those are always exciting days, getting to overcome problems working with people here and on the customer’s team. There’s no choice but collaboration to get a project like that done.” 

Danny doesn’t exactly brag about it, but you can tell talking to him that he’s proud of being able to quickly find solutions as he moves around the floor. He’s learned a lot on the job: how to interpret the language of engineers (a mix of Klingon and pure mathematics) and how to recognize his limitations.

The strength to overcome

Danny is skilled at what he does, but the road to get here wasn’t always a breeze. In his first pass through college, Danny had to hit pause during junior year to address some obstacles head on–a decision that doesn’t always come easily to college students.

But Danny’s decision took a serendipitous turn when he met Steve Driscol through a connection in his recovery program.

“A lot of people are given second chances here,” he says. “Thermal-Vac strongly believes in making sure that people’s mistakes aren’t hindrances to moving forward with careers.”

His decision to focus on himself for a season was the catalyst for finding a home at Thermal-Vac. Now that he’s learned the practical side of what we do, he’s got a hankering to finish his degree at UC Santa Cruz. “There’s no doubt that the people I work with have been a huge influence in shaping my goals,” he says. 

Can we get a little sappy for a second? 

Finding a path in life isn’t always easy. Some people plan to be doctors. Radioactive lizards want to become lawyers. Others go straight as an arrow into engineering. For Danny, the path opened up through connections, vulnerability, and the willingness to say “yes” when offered an opportunity to find out what really goes into building rockets. 

Danny’s career path offers a good example of how Thermal-Vac has built a great team. Interested in joining us? Give us a call at (714) 997-2601 to learn more about why we are rated one of the top places to work and tell us more about where you’d like to go in the industry.


Thermal-Vac has received certified recognition by these top accreditation programs.

  • Heat Treating