Describe your typical day: What do you do as soon as you get to the office? What takes up most of your time? What’s your favorite part of the workday?
I usually start the day around 7 because I deal with construction projects that are usually starting around that time, so I need to be in the office if any questions come up. Most of my time is spent reviewing and designing projects. My team deals mainly with pipeline permitting, so there isn’t too much engineering, but there is a lot of drafting and revisions and reporting involved with acquiring pipeline permits. My favorite part of the day is anytime we get a project approval letter in the mail from the DEP.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up, and when did you realize you wanted to become an engineer?
As a kid, my first dream was to be a professional baseball player. In 8th grade, I knew I wanted to go to Lafayette College and get an engineering degree just like my dad, but it wasn’t until junior year in high school that I narrowed it down to civil engineering. I was always interested in large construction projects and I knew with civil engineering I would get to be a part of them. Plus, it’s not your typical 9-5 office job; I spend about 25% of my time out of the office on construction sites, which is always a plus.
What has been one of your favorite projects to work on?
One of my favorite projects was a pipeline gathering network we permitted in eastern Bradford County for an oil and gas operator. It was on a very tight schedule so we had to work very closely with all the agency reviewers to get permits in hand in time to build. During construction, Google Earth updated their images, so now you can see the project when it was under construction. Pretty cool.
What is one of the most underrated skills for an engineer to have?
Communication skills. It isn’t something that’s really taught in college. You get all the math and science you can handle, but in the real world there is a lot of dealing with people.
What advice would you give to young people who want to be engineers?
I would absolutely encourage it. You look at any poll out there about employability with certain degrees, and engineering is always near the top of the list. Every summer in college, apply for internships; there is nothing better when applying for a job out of college than real-world experience.