This year’s theme for Engineers Week is “Imagining Tomorrow, “as we imagine tomorrow, engineers will be at the heart of the solutions to combat climate change, develop vaccines, and make the world a better place for all of us.”
At Schnabel, our engineers use innovative solutions to provide clients the best experience and help improve lives. We caught up with a few of our engineers to hear how they “Engineer4Tomorrow”, and what it is like to be an engineer at Schnabel.
“When you listen to the ‘rocks’, they will you tell you a story”, says Senior Associate, Dr. Wen Lee. With over 35 years of experience and a doctorate in Geological Engineering, Dr. Lee has extensive experience in the design of underground structures including rail tunnels, highway tunnels, and water and wastewater tunnels. His primary expertise is in the area of geology mapping, rock mass classification, rock mechanics and ground support of all types of tunnels. In the first picture from the left, he was performing field mapping for a structural geology evaluation project. When asked what he enjoys most about his extensive career and working at Schnabel he stated, “I enjoy working with talented people, working in a collaborative environment with variety of projects, having flexibility, and being in positive workplace culture.”
Senior Staff Engineer, Andrew Nezelek was inspired to be an engineer through observing the extraordinary things that great teams of engineers have been able to accomplish and wanting to partake in the action. Prior to his role Andrew was an intern with Schnabel while pursuing his degree in civil engineering. In the second photo from the left, Andrew was observing the pile driving at a bridge project at the Virginia/Maryland border and observing 66-inch concrete cylinder test pile installation. When asked what he enjoys most about being an engineer he said, “I enjoy the opportunity to work on unique projects with challenging geotechnical aspects.” When it comes to providing advice to the next generation about pursuing a career in engineering, Andrew believes passion will help future engineers succeed. “My advice for the next generation of engineers would be to take a broad view of the present and the future world problems and ask yourself, “What do I care about and how could I use engineering to help?”. Engineering backed by passion for a better world is what the world needs out of the next generation of engineers.”
For Associate Kortney Brown, the inspiration to become an engineer started at a young age. “I grew up playing in creeks with a strong fascination for how things worked; consequently, I took a lot of things apart and put some of them back together”, said Kortney, “I am still following my dreams with these innate drivers, only, on a more professional scale.” In the third photo from the left, Kortney is taking survey monument measurements on the downstream slope of a high hazard dam during an annual inspection. “Our inspection teams frequently leverage gps enabled survey and photography equipment to generate single and cloud arranged points for geometric comparisons between visits.” When asked what he enjoys most about being an engineer, he stated, “I like the freedom and variety in design, management, and marketing responsibilities a career at Schnabel offers. It is very fulfilling to work alongside my colleagues and clients to solve complex infrastructure challenges using innovative visualization and analysis tools.” As he continues to inspire the next generation of leaders through his work and initiatives, he leaves this piece of advice for the engineers of tomorrow, “There will be no grades, spring breaks, or graduation ceremonies in your career and milestones are fewer and farther between. As such, satisfaction must be found through less measurable factors including learning, problem solving, collaboration, and educating.”
Senior Associate, Rob Indri is a dam engineering specialist with expertise in the analysis, design, inspection, and construction of hydraulic structures. Prior to becoming an engineer, Rob worked in the heavy construction industry for 10 years, making his experience and methods invaluable to Schnabel’s engineering work. In the last photo, Rob is characterizing the rock and rock fractures in the area, using SPRAT training in the difficult-to-access areas. The data collected was used to generate a 3D model and will be used in rehab design for grouting, anchors, etc.