Engineers Week 2019: Invent Amazing

Posted by Admin on Feb 17, 2019 4:13:35 PM

Engineers Week 2018 Field Trip

For Engineers Week, we are getting to know some of Haskell's engineers across the globe. With varying disciplines and years of practice, our engineers describe what inspired them to join the industry and what keeps them motivated day in and day out.  We are thankful for our engineers at Haskell, and engineers everywhere, who make our world a better place. Check back tomorrow to get to know more of

our team! Happy Engineers Week!

 

 


 

Daniel Benjumea 2_CroppedDaniel Benjumea

Electrical Engineer

Jacksonville, Florida

1.5 years of practice

 

 

What inspired you to become an engineer?

Growing up in Colombia, I was always curious about the world around me. I can distinctly remember taking apart my toy cars to figure out how they were constructed and what allowed them to move. When I daydreamed about my future as a kid, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to create something and watch my design turn into reality. My curious nature and desire to turn designs into creations lead to me attend college for engineering. I began my college education in Colombia but stopped about half way through to move to United States with my family. When I first came to United States as a 20 year old, I knew no English and had no money. Sadly, my dreams for college were put on hold. In the meantime, I made it my mission to learn a trade, and as a result I became an electrician. I remember one day, after about 10 years of working as an electrician, I was looking over prints while on a construction site. It dawned on me that one day I wanted to create these prints. I no longer wanted to be on the construction side, I wanted to be on the design side. Right then and there, I decided I would enroll in college here in United States to finish up the dream I had begun many years before. This dream would not have been possible without the help and support of my family, especially my wife who always offered her unconditional support.

 

What was your inspiration for choosing the engineering discipline you currently practice?

I cannot tell you a time in my life when I was not fascinated with lights and power. As a kid, I would always look up at lights and wonder how they worked or where power came from. I guess you can say that I was a power engineer in the making. Although I had a genuine interest in engineering, I would not have gone on to pursue my degree in engineering if it were not for my dad. When I was younger, I idolized my dad. He went to school in Colombia and graduated with a degree in agricultural engineering. He would talk to me about engineering and explain the opportunities out there for engineers. He helped me understand that I could turn my passion into a career. He gave me direction.

 

What amazing outcomes have you seen in projects at Haskell?

An amazing outcome that results from every project is that I gain more experience. I am able to take this experience and apply it to future projects, allowing me to constantly grow as an engineer. Another amazing outcome is pleasing our customers. Nothing is more gratifying than when your customer is happy with your hard work. Seeing how much I’ve grown and exceeding the expectations of customers helps to reinforce what made me want to become an engineer in the first place.

 


 

npalacherla picture_croppedNavya Palacherla

Controls Engineer

Atlanta, Georgia

1 year of practice

 

 

What inspired you to become an engineer?

My dad is an engineer and was a part of a few start-ups when I was younger. He was always fixing things around the house and I found it interesting.

 

What was your inspiration for choosing the engineering discipline you currently practice?

I am a mechanical engineer by degree, but I co-oped as a controls engineer through school and liked it a lot. The ability to work on diverse projects for a range of customers gives me the opportunity to see how a lot of different things are made.

 

What project are you the proudest of working on?

I am still relatively new, so the only project I worked on through completion so far was for an almond milk packaging plant. I had the opportunity to design and startup the project, so it was exciting to see all the hard work the team put in in the office in person and watch the plant run successfully in the end. It is a nerdy guilty pleasure within the project team to look for almond milk bottles with the plant code in the store. I like seeing something that I worked on in the real world.

 

What amazing outcomes have you seen in projects at Haskell?

It's amazing to work with people from various disciplines and backgrounds to achieve a single goal.

 


 

Elizabeth Ball Headshot_CroppedElizabeth Ball

Industrial Engineer

Atlanta, Georgia

7 months of practice

 

 

What inspired you to become an engineer?

When I was a kid, my dad would always work on projects around the house and I would help him out. He would quiz my problem-solving skills as we were working. In high school, he introduced me and let me shadow engineers that he worked with. It was always something I was interested in.

 

What was your inspiration for choosing the engineering discipline you currently practice?

Industrial Engineering combines technical skills with business acumen. You can always find an industry that best suits you. With a wide range of skills, industrial engineers can go into a technical or a managerial role. Having these options is the reason I wanted to become an Industrial Engineer.

 

What project are you the proudest of working on?

The project I’m most proud of is the 3D Simulation I made. I optimized and simulated the changes that were made for a bottling line. This included adding controls to the line and moving the Bottom Coder upstream to add accumulation. These changes increased throughput by 28%.

 


 

Dave Coulter_croppedDave Coulter

Structural Engineer

Tulsa, Oklahoma

10 years of practice

 

 

What inspired you to become an engineer?

I went back to school to get a degree in Civil Engineering in my late twenties. I had earned a degree in music previously and spent a few years teaching, playing gigs, and trying to earn a living as a professional musician. Honestly, going into the Civil Engineering degree program at the University of Tennessee, I was not very passionate about engineering as a profession. I only saw it as a path to obtaining more financial stability than what I currently had. But ten years into my career, I see choosing a career in engineering as one of the best decisions I have ever made, both professionally and personally. I really enjoy my work. I get to work on a large variety of projects. I've learned a lot in ten years and I'm still trying to increase my knowledge and skills so I can be the best structural engineer I can be.

 

What was your inspiration for choosing the engineering discipline you currently practice?

I had initially considered environmental engineering when I started studying engineering at the University of Tennessee. Early on in my degree program, however, I took a structural analysis course with a great professor, Dr. Edwin Burdette. Dr. Burdette really had a passion for teaching structural engineering, and he helped me to see that out of all the disciplines we have to study to complete a Civil Engineering degree at UT, structural was the discipline that I was strongest at and enjoyed the most.

 

What amazing outcomes have you seen in projects at Haskell?

I worked on an equipment support and access structure for a winery a few years ago. A year after the project was complete and constructed, we received an email from the client letting us know that he thought that the platform was a good design and that the project was very successful.

 


 

Steven Cole_croppedSteven Cole

Civil Engineer-in-Training

Jacksonville, Florida

 

 

 

What inspired you to become an engineer?

My father is a nuclear engineer and growing up, I always admired the critical thinking skills required by the profession. In high school, whenever I asked my dad a question about physics or math homework, he would give me one of his old textbooks from Purdue instead of helping me work through the problem himself. It was frustrating at times, but the higher-level course books used real world type of problems which fueled my interest.

 

What was your inspiration for choosing the engineering discipline you currently practice?

My godfather is a civil engineer. He introduced me to the work he was doing in land development and roadway design around the Chicago area. After job shadowing him early on in high school, I decided I wanted to pursue it as a career.

 

What project are you the proudest of working on?

The project I am the proudest to have worked on was my first start-to-finish project. This project had many challenges including bad soils, shallow bedrock, high rainfall intensity and difficult permitting. It was great to see the finished product after working on it for so long.

 


 

Jon Boyum_CroppedJon Boyum

Structural Engineer

21 years of practice

St. Paul, Minnesota

 

 

What inspired you to become an engineer?

Creativity, problem solving and contributing value to a cause have always been motivators for me. Engineering is very nice blend of all these things.

 

What was your inspiration for choosing the engineering discipline you currently practice?

My father was a high school shop teacher and is a gifted woodworker. Building things and practicality have always been part of life, engineering was a natural progression. When I started college, I soon realized I did not understand what this nebulous major of “engineering” was. As I continued in school, I learned there were different disciplines and heard of an area of study that dealt with concrete, steel, building and bridges. I related to structural engineering, it was something I could understand.

 

What project are you the proudest of working on?

My family and I had the opportunity to live in Hawaii while I worked for the Hawaiian Electric Company. While I was there, I was assigned a project to evaluate and refurbish an old electric substation. This substation was fed directly from a power station that was located on Pearl Harbor. As I began the work, I realized the original shop drawings were dated June of 1942, six months after the attack. The structure had been part of the reconstruction effort. A very sobering thought to be connected with such a time in history and certainly a great privilege to contribute in the way I could.

 


 

Jen Finta _CroppedJennifer Finta

Process Engineer

1.5 years of practice

Beloit, Wisconsin

 

 

What inspired you to become an engineer?

My high school encouraged cross-discipline thinking in the STEM fields. There were many projects and extracurricular activities I participated in which allowed me to develop an engineering mindset. One activity in particular was Science Olympiad, where I competed in various engineering events.

 

What was your inspiration for choosing the engineering discipline you currently practice?

I was interested in learning about how things were made while growing up, but I did not realize I could make a career out of it. In college, I got a job at the dairy plant on campus. This further grew my interest in the food industry, and specifically the dairy industry. I then got an internship with Leprino Foods, where I was in their plant every day watching milk trucks come in one side of the plant and cheese come out the other. This further confirmed that I loved learning about the manufacturing process and wanted to be a process engineer.

 

What amazing outcomes have you seen in projects at Haskell?

When issues inevitably arise, everyone is very willing to help and put in the extra effort to resolve it. However, this issue is not forgotten. It is used as a learning opportunity moving forward.

 


 

Richie Sajan_CroppedRichie Sajan

Mechanical Engineer

8 years of practice

Tulsa, Oklahoma

 

 

What inspired you to become an engineer?

I always enjoyed math and science in school. The possibility of solving real world problems using these as tools made me look towards engineering as a career.

 

What was your inspiration for choosing the engineering discipline you currently practice?

Mechanical engineering is a broad discipline and you can see examples of ingenuity in mechanical design almost anywhere you turn.

 

What project are you the proudest of working on?

Every project has its own quirks that make it special. It is a very satisfying feeling when something that initially looks difficult can be dissected and a solution is found.

 

What amazing outcomes have you seen in projects at Haskell?

I've seen many difficult problems tackled by the group efforts of some extremely smart people here at Haskell. It's great to see multiple disciplines work together seamlessly to create a product that solves problems for the client.

 


 

Ramsey, Denise_croppedDenise Ramsey

Mechanical Engineer

35 years of practice

Registered Professional Engineer in 45 states

Jacksonville, Florida

 

What inspired you to become an engineer?

I was good at math and science in school. During my junior year in high school, a guidance counselor suggested a summer program at Notre Dame for girls who might want to consider engineering. I liked what the professors told me about engineering and decided to be a mechanical engineer that summer.

 

What was your inspiration for choosing the engineering discipline you currently practice?

My senior year design elective in HVAC was taught by a professor who was not only an academic but a practitioner. He inspired me to pursue a career in the design of HVAC systems.

 

What project are you the proudest of working on?

I can't name just one. I am just as proud of my first strip shopping center to the much more complex proton therapy center and everything in between.

 

What amazing outcomes have you seen in projects at Haskell?

I have seen integrated teams of architects, engineers and contractors come together with Owners to engineer solutions to problems, not simply respond to RFPs. By asking the right questions we get at the real problem and that is the heart of engineering - problem solving! We have amazing outcomes every day.

 


 

Minich, Devon_croppedDevon Minich

Structural Engineer

2 years of practice

Jacksonville, Florida

 

 

What inspired you to become an engineer?

My family has been involved in construction for generations and I was always amazed by how buildings were built and designed. I had visions of building something that would be enjoyed by generations to come.

 

What was your inspiration for choosing the engineering discipline you currently practice?

I was obsessed with building structures with Legos as a child. I would spend hours designing and building the largest and coolest structure my imagination could concoct. When choosing my degree upon entering college, it was very apparent that structural engineering fit me best. Traveling to big cities, I would see skyscrapers touching the clouds and bridges that spanned vast bodies of water, and I was so intrigued by how to manipulate concrete and steel to accomplish these feats.

 

What amazing outcomes have you seen in projects at Haskell?

I have seen collaboration between trades like I have never seen before in a traditional engineering consulting environment. Problems arise in the field or conflicts occur between trades in design, and the team works together to find the best outcome for the client and for Haskell.

 

I love the diversity of projects that working for Haskell provides. In my short time here, I have already worked on projects from the East Coast to West Coast, and from the Northeast to the Southwest. I have gained experience with a variety of wind, seismic, and snow loading conditions. I have worked on greenfield, brownfield, and renovation projects. Haskell lays the framework to become a well-rounded engineer.

 


 

Doyle MagnusDoyle Magnus

ELECTRICAL ENGINEER

34 years of practice

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

 

 

What inspired you to become an engineer?

The old black and white movie "Fountainhead" inspired me to become an engineer. Although the movie is about an architect, it led me to an architectural engineering degree that covered systems for buildings. Engineering is a positive profession, always seeking to make the world a better place by fixing problems and improving infrastructure and environment.

 

What was your inspiration for choosing the engineering discipline you currently practice?

The opportunity to have both an aesthetic (lighting) and practical (power) influence on the design of buildings.

 

What project are you the proudest of working on?

Hard question. The projects I am perhaps most proud of tend to be the ones that go smoothly with few construction issues, but those are the projects that I tend to forget about. Large and complicated projects, like operation centers, take years to design and construct and are very challenging, requiring much coordination and detailed effort. Projects like these make me proud as they are important to our military and defense.

 


 

Zac JonesZac Jones

Mechanical Engineer

8 months of practice

Tulsa, Oklahoma

 

 

What inspired you to become an engineer?

I grew up fascinated by how things work. From disassembling ballpoint pens to competing in a catapult contest for my high school engineering club (We built a trebuchet. We won.), I've always been more interested in the "How?" than the "Why?"

 

What was your inspiration for choosing the engineering discipline you currently practice?

 I went into college not knowing which discipline to choose. I initially chose mechanical engineering, figuring it was the broadest choice, and I could decide later what I wanted to specify in. I ended up really enjoying the professors in my department and thought the myriad of opportunities in mechanical engineering would serve me well for the length of my career.

 

What amazing outcomes have you seen in projects at Haskell?

Having just joined Haskell’s team, two favorable outcomes stand out to me the most. The first was a project that I worked on from both the mechanical side and process side. This project was so successful and well-received by the customer that they asked us to perform more work for other units of their company.

 

The second was the hard work my team and I recently put into winning a large project. We worked tirelessly with the customer on the price and scope. It was so satisfying when they gave us the go-ahead to begin the work!

Topics: Expert Interviews