I need to interview an engineer

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dubh3

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Hi, everyone! I am a high school student interested in engineering, and I have to do a project where I interview someone in my chosen career field. Would anyone mind answering these questions about their job:
  • What is your discipline and job title?
  • What type of education and training prepared you for this career field?
  • What types of skills are necessary for succeeding in this career?
  • How did you get your current job?
  • Can you describe a typical day at your job?
  • How has this career field changed since the time you started in it?
  • How did you know this was the right career for you?
  • What do you like most and least about your job?
  • What advice do you have for someone considering this career?
Thank you all for your consideration!
 

Roarbark

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Welcome Dubh3! Are you looking for replies from a certain type/discipline of engineer? You'll find all sorts here, from Electrical to Nuclear to Civil/Environmental to Structural to Transportation to Mechanical, etc.
 

dubh3

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Welcome Dubh3! Are you looking for replies from a certain type/discipline of engineer? You'll find all sorts here, from Electrical to Nuclear to Civil/Environmental to Structural to Transportation to Mechanical, etc.
Hi, Roarbark! For my project, any discipline or occupation will do since I am not sure of my own career path yet.
 

Roarbark

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  • What is your discipline and job title?
    • I am a Civil/Environmental "Project Engineer" for a small-medium engineering company in HI.
  • What type of education and training prepared you for this career field?
    • I have B.S. in Civil Engineering with and Environmental Specialty,
    • I took the E.I.T. (Engineer in Training) Exam during college (Senior Year),
    • I took the P.E. (Professional Engineer) Exam after getting the required 4 years of work experience. (Requirement varies based on education).
  • What types of skills are necessary for succeeding in this career?
    • Curiosity/Desire to learn how things work.
    • Attention to detail.
    • Computer skills/AutoCAD are big plusses.
    • Strong common sense.
    • Math/science. (Honestly in my actual work I don't use too much complex math, but I could. It's just a tool to help you find "answers")
    • Communication/People skills help you in ANY career. Communication is a big part of my job.
  • How did you get your current job?
    • Connection/informal interview.
  • Can you describe a typical day at your job? (Pre-COVID, or post? :eek:)
    • Go to office ~8:30. Coordinate with team, prepare materials for meetings with and/or client or contractor. Review submitted materials from contractor (for example, they might submit their plan for how they will set up a sewer bypass in a construction zone near a stream. I would review to make sure the bypass can do the required job effectively and safely for environment, contractor, and public). Meeting with Contractor or Client. Lunch. Drive to job-site to check-in on progress/keep tabs/discuss with construction inspectors. Observe construction/note any issues to discuss with contractor's engineers. Back at office work on design projects, mostly in AutoCAD. [Let me know if you have any other questions about this!]
    • COVID has shifted me more towards remote work, although I still go in to job-sites for inspection/keeping tabs on projects.
    • How has this career field changed since the time you started in it?
      • I've been working for 6 years, so not THAT long, and not long enough for any major paradigm shifts, (Except COVID...), but I'm definitely seeing technology shifts.
      • Other relatively recent shifts include
        • Shift from viewing Wastewater and Stormwater as problems to be dealt with to viewing them as resources. (For example, water in wastewater can be treated and re-used onsite for various water use requirements, reducing the amount of potable water needed. The treatment process can also produce a significant amount of renewable electricity).
        • (Related) shift towards using "Low Impact Development" (LID) and various "Best Management Practices" (BMPs) (Think things like raingardens, permeable pavement, and reducing impermeable area in general) to help stormwater (typ. from rain) percolate into the ground, instead of being conveyed offsite, as in the "classic" stormwater system.
        • Shift in viewing potential affects of sea level rise on low-lying coastal infrastructure. Early stage studies/some early retrofits are starting to be done to help these issues, but I'd say this problem/solution is still in early stages.
    • How did you know this was the right career for you?
      • Tough question for me, honestly. I have very broad interests, so I wasn't sure that this was the career for me. I could probably do okay in many different careers. One positive thing is that Civil/Environmental is a pretty flexible field, and there are many different things you can do (Water and Wastewater, Geotechnical, Green Energy, Hazardous Waste Mangement, Chemical Environmental Remediation, Air Pollution, Transportation, Structural Engineering, and Groundwater/Flooding/Coastal management issues (AND MANY MORE I MISSED, I'M SURE) are all related/interconnected to the Civil/Environmental field.
    • What do you like most and least about your job?
      • Most: Flexibility (mostly due to employer).
      • Least: Can be stressful, since there are a lot of different people depending on the work.
    • What advice do you have for someone considering this career?
      • Go talk to some local engineers (Mechanical, Electrical, Environmental, Aviation) and ask if you can buy them lunch and shadow them for a day during a break/summer! Worst they can say is no. Best case is you get some real life insight into their jobs.


@dubh3 Hope this helps!
 
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