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When Did You Know You Wanted to be an Engineer?

Wayne Schmidt set out on his own and started our firm July 4th, 1976. More than four decades later, we are proud that we are different in all the regards that matter to us, to our clients, and to our community. While we are celebrating our 42nd anniversary, we are also celebrating another big milestone: 25 years of having engineering in-house!

We thought it would be interesting to ask our engineers when they first realized they wanted to pursue a career in Engineering. Here is what a group of them had to say:

 

Andrew Eckrich - graduate engineer

Andrew Eckrich – Graduate Engineer

My grandpa was a woodworker (by hobby, not by trade), and mom gave me a hammer and nails before my fourth birthday. A real hammer and real nails. So I picked up woodworking as a hobby at age 10 with just a couple power saws and hand tools. Many of the skills required for woodworking are the same in engineering – practice, patience, determination, attention to detail, and understanding that each piece is a little bit different – so it seemed like a good fit. I knew the hobby that I love could remain a hobby, and an Engineering career would allow for challenge and creativity while paying a bit more.

In college at the University of Dayton, taking courses called Energy Efficient Buildings and Energy Efficient Manufacturing sealed the deal for my career, or at least the beginning of it, in mechanical building systems engineering. After a couple internships in this industry and an extra year studying renewable energy engineering, I landed here at Schmidt Associates. I have very much been enjoying this first year of full-time gainful employment!

Phil Medley - graduate engineer / energy designer

Phil Medley – Engineering Graduate / Energy Designer

I wanted to be an engineer since the first semester of architecture school. I was fascinated by the concept of the Master Builder (which is what architects were before all the advances in industry, technology, etc.). This one person oversaw every aspect of the building design. Modern building design is too much logistically to be able do everything alone successfully and consistently. At this same time, I was learning about Building Information Modeling (BIM). I was of the belief that if I could leverage a tool like that, then I could do both. I just needed to understand the art and science of creating buildings and the programming could perform the logistical analysis. Its working out so far.

Steve Olinger - mechanical designerSteve Olinger (Slo) – Mechanical Designer

I believe I was a freshman in High School on a day trip with my parents to St. Mary of the Woods for mass and lunch at the convent. As we were leaving, we passed the boiler plant. The door was open, so I stuck my head in and saw enormous machinery and an endless number of tangled pipes. An older gentleman saw me in the plant and gave me a quick tour of their operation. It looked overwhelmingly complicated, I couldn’t believe that one man could know how all this stuff works, but some day I’d like to be that guy.

Andres Montes - BIM techAndres Montes – BIM Technician

I’m not an engineer yet, but I went back to school last fall to get my bachelors in mechanical engineering. I knew I wanted to pursue this path after taking a couple of engineering classes in high school, plus math was my favorite subject. I’ve always wanted to know how things worked, from small to big objects. While I was an intern here at Schmidt Associates, I realized how much I liked the atmosphere. I didn’t think twice when they asked me if I wanted to work here full time.

 

Click here to check out what the first group said while you’re at it!

A Word from Our Owners – Marian University & The Children’s Museum

Audra Blasdel

Audra Blasdel graduated from DePauw University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Computer Science and received her Masters of Business Administration with a focus in global supply chain management from the University of Indianapolis in 2009. Prior to starting her own company–Blasdel Solutions, a WBE Certified Project Management and Business Analysis company–she served as Marian University’s Executive Director of Facilities, Construction, and Purchasing.

In her current role as Director of Facility and Campus Operations at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Audra is responsible for the day-to-day campus operations for maintenance, grounds, and custodial; strategic campus planning, and construction and renovations projects. She lives in Speedway, Indiana, with her husband and son.

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Structures and systems will require maintenance and periodic repair and rehabilitation (R&R) at some point. By keeping campus buildings running smoothly and efficiently, we are able to prolong a building’s lifetime while saving on overall future costs for our Owners. These seemingly “small projects” have a large impact for Owners and the end users. While our designers and engineers are obviously well-equipped to do the large-scale projects, we also are ready to help our Owners through R&R projects. Let’s hear from Audra on her experiences throughout the years.

How did a comprehensive understanding of your facility conditions impact R&R expenditures?

In general terms, it allows us to better plan for our expenditures and gives us a broader understanding of our needs. At Marian University, we brought Schmidt Associates in to do facilities strategic planning and a larger campus master plan, all derived from a 2025 strategic plan. We then needed to build the campus master plan and a facilities strategic plan so that we could take large capital needs and compare it to daily facility needs. This results in a coordinated and well-thought out investment plan.

For example, this helped make sure we didn’t do large system replacement when we would be doing an addition to that building in a few years. It helped build a knowledge base in a centralized place rather than in various individuals’ heads. This work with Schmidt Associates helped us be smarter and more responsible.

What role has Schmidt Associates played in helping you maintain facilities at both Marian University and The Children’s Museum?

Schmidt Associates has provided a baseline assessment of facilities with an investment/expenditure plan as well as some Owner-friendly tools that allow us to manage the plan going forward. Those plans are developed in a way that allows us to manipulate and adjust the plan as we go through implementation, ensuring that the plan stays relevant and usable.  Plans are often developed in a stagnant manner, and they quickly become stale and end up on the shelf.  Steve Schaecher, an architect at Schmidt Associates, even drew a comic at some point to joke about the master plan ‘graveyard’.

masterplan graveyard

That’s been the biggest benefit to working with Schmidt Associates on these plans: keeping the plan workable, usable, and modifiable so it plan doesn’t end up in that graveyard. The focus in working with Schmidt Associates has always been how we make it an owner-friendly plan that maintains its life.

What type of R&R projects has Schmidt Associates worked with you for?

R&R strategic planning projects have included the Marian University Campus Master Plan and Facilities Strategic Plan. We’re currently working on a strategic investment plan for the parking garage structure at The Children’s Museum. Schmidt Associates has also provided scopes of work, estimate checks, and preliminary assessments on a variety of large scale R&R projects, such as boiler replacements, electrical upgrades, plumbing retrofits, and accessibility upgrades.

Describe the process of working with Schmidt Associates.

For me, a lot of it has revolved around our long-lasting relationship over the past 7 years. This has included large- and small-scale projects and strategic planning. This opens the door for candid communication, something that is harder to have when everyone is new to the table. The consistency of who I work with and the way we work has allowed us to learn from each other and have an end product I can use going forward, which is really important. When I get a PDF that I have to regenerate documents out of, it’s not appealing. Facility priorities change every day and having a working document, not a stagnant document, is important for me on a strategic planning and R&R side.

Q&A Session with Shane Cox

They say, “it’s always the quiet ones that are the most dangerous.” Sitting down with the quiet Shane Cox, Controls/Systems Engineer, was definitely not a dangerous experience—quite the opposite, I would say.

 

 

Tell me about your background.
I grew up in a small town so it only made sense to me that I attend a small university. I went to Rose-Hulman and studied Mechanical Engineering while also playing baseball there. When I graduated, the Persian Gulf War had just started and the job market was very tight. I took a position in the industrial gas business, but didn’t care for it. After a few years, I returned to Indiana and eventually landed here at Schmidt Associates.

What, exactly, do you do here?
I have always been able to look at something and understand how it works, and I also enjoy helping people. Whether it is fixing someone’s thermostat or helping change a tire, I like to help make people’s lives easier. So that is what I do at Schmidt Associates, but on a bigger scale. I help to make Owners’ HVAC systems work properly. In the design of a facility, I create the drawings to explain how to control the system to work properly. Once a system is installed, I can also evaluate it to find more efficiencies for the Owner. At times, I might even receive a text late at night from a school administrator at a basketball game saying the gymnasium is too hot. I can jump on my computer from home and normally make that problem go away for them.

How do you spend your free time?
I enjoy coaching youth sports and have done so for more than 20 years. Currently, I am coaching freshman basketball at Pendleton Heights, but most of my experience is in baseball. In fact, there are 70 kids currently playing college baseball, six at Indiana University, that have been on at least one of my teams along the way.

My wife and I enjoy going to Bonges Tavern in Perkinsville. Though it is a high-end restaurant, it is very small and usually has a long wait. Once our name is on the list, we join the crowd of people in the parking lot tailgating before dinner. It is always such a unique and fun way to spend an evening.

What’s one thing not everyone knows about you?
I played quarters at center court of Cameron Indoor Stadium at Duke University in the middle of the night with Coach K’s son-in-law. No one was arrested and we didn’t break any laws. We were there legitimately, we just “extended our stay”.

Do you watch any movies?
I am a sucker for the nostalgia sports stuff. In fact, I proposed to my wife at the “Field of Dreams” movie site in Dyersville, Iowa. Now, every time we see the movie, it serves as a reminder. And, of course, I love the movie “Hoosiers”.

Speaking of your wife, tell me about your family.
My wife Sheridan and I have been married for almost 10 years. I have three kids, Melanie (21), Corbin (19), and Sloan (1). And who can forget my dog, Roxy, and cat Ru? Ru is short for RuPaul. When we got him, we thought he was a she. We were quite wrong.

Shane Cox_family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So next time you have a problem and need some help, don’t hesitate to contact Shane!

Also learn about Sarah HempsteadDavid LoganTricia SmithCharlie WilsonTom NeffSteve SirokyJoe RedarDave JonesPatricia BrantPhil MedleyLiam KeeslingSayo AdesiyakanBen BainAsia CoffeeEric BroemelMatt DurbinKevin ShelleyEddie LaytonAnna Marie Burrell, Kyle Miller, Steve Schaecher, and Myrisha Colston

Electrical Engineer: An Important Role in Design

Electrical Engineer Graphic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the title electrical engineer covers a broad spectrum of roles and responsibilities, there is an easy-to-guess common denominator: electricity. A profession that began not surprisingly in the late nineteenth century (the same time electricity itself was harnessed in Edison’s light bulb), the numerous branches of electrical engineering are as diverse as electricity’s uses.

In broad terms, an electrical engineer is capable of designing, developing, testing, and supervising electrical equipment. From GPS systems to motors and power generation, electrical engineers are always in demand because of their specialized, and vital, skill sets. One of the most practical careers in the world of STEM positions, electrical engineers really do have a hand in everything that uses, creates, or harnesses electricity.

To look specifically at electrical building system engineering, one begins to realize just how critical this role is as it’s truly an essential part to any architect’s design. The most visible design aspect – lighting and controls – is definitely important to the overall building appeal, but there’s more to an electrical engineer’s role when it comes to all of the building’s systems. From general receptacles, fire alarm systems, power for mechanical/plumbing/telecommunication equipment, site lighting, to entire power distribution, electrical engineers ensure that every part of a building functions properly, acting like the blood in the veins of a building. Electrical engineers are needed at every stage of a design project, from conception and drafting to building and final inspections.

And, as more and more older buildings are being renovated and restored, the role of electrical engineers is becoming even more critical. To bring outdated buildings back to life, they need to be able to function in today’s world – and electricity plays a huge role in that.

In order to succeed as an electrical engineer in the realm of architecture, several critical skills are necessary, including physics, electronic theory, mathematics, and a sound understanding of materials. To keep up with the changing landscape of design, many electrical engineers are turning to building information modeling (BIM) systems to better demonstrate concepts, including where devices will be laid out and how their power flows together. These simulations can be as small as a single circuit or as expansive as the power needed for an entire skyscraper – even an entire city. Because of the method of design, electrical engineers using BIM programs can easily modify plans and projections on the fly, making them even more useful to have on project sites and in client meetings.

When architects truly care about the result of a project, as well as the budget and timeline, electrical engineers become an integral part of the team. Able to take care of many of the technical details, electrical engineers ensure that projects go smoothly. This peace of mind allows clients to rest in knowing that even the smallest details are covered, no matter how individually tailored their project turns out to be. From overall functionality to the cost of maintenance, electrical engineers keep architects on track, ensuring there aren’t any unfortunate surprises as the design and build progresses.

Highly specialized, there is no replacing an electrical engineer on a design project, no matter the scope or size. Without a savvy electrical engineer, the overall architectural sense of a project is skewed, which is why it’s wise to bring in an engineer right from the beginning, not just at the end. When leveraged at every stage of a project, the absolute best outcomes are possible – both for the client and the overall function of the building.

Chilled Beam Retrofit in the Rotary Building

Big Ten & Friends Mechanical and Energy Conference – Hosted by IUPUI

Eric Broemel, PE, CEM with co-presenter Holly Thomas, PE, IUPUI Energy Engineer

October 1, 2018

The presentation focused on the design and construction of the Rotary Building on the IUPUI campus. The building was recently renovated to accommodate the IU School of Medicine. Achieving LEED Silver certification, the renovation included the extensive reprogramming of the space, the addition of a central communicating stair, the improvement of the building envelope, as well as entirely new mechanical and electrical systems throughout the building.

Schmidt Associates received an ASHRAE Design Technology Award for this project. Through the submission process for the award, the actual energy usage of the building was recorded after construction was complete. It was discovered that the usage was significantly larger than predicted by the LEED energy model. Through follow up and further adjustment of the of the HVAC systems, Schmidt mechanical engineers worked alongside IUPUI staff.  Together they were able to correct the issues and bring the usage in line with expectations. The presentation highlighted the issues that were uncovered and the actions that were taken to resolve them.

A Word from our Owners – Greenwood Community Schools

Mike Hildebrand

Mike Hildebrand is a retired Indiana State Police Detective with over 23 years of service. He began his career in education with the Pike County School Corporation in Petersburg, Indiana in 2003. Mike was hired by Greenwood Community Schools in 2014 as the Director of Operations. He is the Administrator over the facilities, grounds, maintenance, transportation, and School Safety. Mike enjoys everything about the Greenwood Community Schools System because it is a great place to work and a great place for an education. He says it is a corporation where everyone feels like family. Mike and his wife Ruthann reside in Greenwood, and they have four grown children and 10 grandchildren. Of course, he is also a huge Alabama Football fan. Roll Tide!

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When you walk through the new Greenwood Middle School, you can easily forget that you are even in a K-12 facility. The school is designed around a STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math) curriculum that engages students and staff in project-based learning opportunities. All 160,000 square feet, each of the three floors, every single educational space was built with the student in mind. We wanted to talk with Mike Hildebrand to see how the engineering systems bring everything together, creating an efficient learning environment for all.

Greenwood Middle School

Tell us a little about the why Greenwood needed a new Middle School.

I can say the new Middle School was an absolute necessity, not just for our students and staff, but for the community. If you hadn’t seen the old school, just imagine décor from the 60’s to the 90’s, old restrooms, dark hallways, outdated cabinets in the classrooms, poor lighting, and few windows. The HVAC system was as old as the student’s parents and some grandparents. This new middle school is a better setting for our students. The better the learning atmosphere, the more desire there is to attend school. This gets teachers more excited to teach. Even the food tastes better in the new cafeteria!

The entire school is now welcoming, has easy lines of sight, and the aesthetics are wonderful. Just enough to make it appealing without the cost of fancy features.

Have you seen an increased level of occupant comfort in the new building?

Comfort is a must in every classroom setting. The Siemens control system is wonderful. The features are easy to understand, and changing a room or area’s temperature is a breeze. The ability to go to a night or unoccupied set back has saved us a considerable amount on utilities as well. Our custodial and maintenance staff dove in head first and are continuing to learn new tricks every day. The air quality is also a vast improvement from our old middle school, which had some sections starting from 1960’s.

The design of the facility itself makes the visual observation of students during the passing periods simple. One faculty member can stand at the junction of the two wings and see both halls from one vantage point. The design and features of today’s school has changed so much since I was in school, back in the 60’s and 70’s. The newest technology is used in every classroom, students are learning robotics at a much younger age, and every aspect of this facility was discussed to determine if this was going to benefit our students for the better. This facility was designed just to do that very thing. It was done the Greenwood way.

How has the learning environment improved daily life here at Greenwood Middle School – for the students, teachers, and those maintaining the new systems?

As you know, lighting is an important feature in any educational facility. Having gone from our old school’s lighting to new LED is absolutely a huge improvement, both for the students and staff. The automatic light features that turn on/off upon entry was a huge success with our staff. The dimmer capabilities are used almost daily by all of our staff while instruction is taking place with the overhead units onto the whiteboard marker walls. Each classroom has outdoor light access as well, offering the inviting ray of sunshine in for our students.

The HVAC units are definitely a well-received item and the biggest change from old univent systems to the new buildings system. No more high fan speed noise disrupting instruction, and no more too cold or too hot depending on where you sit in the room. The capability to change the temp + or – 3 degrees at the thermostat is awesome. Students learn better when they are comfortable in their environment.

In the old school, each classroom had a univent system. When there was a failure you could count on at least a 4-hour repair as you had to pull the unit from the wall, make the repairs, and then put it back in place. What a difference the vertical unit ventilation systems have made. Easy access, easier repairs, and less time consuming for our maintenance staff. Even the filter change is simpler and can take only a couple of minutes.

In general, what have you heard from staff, teachers, parents, and students about the new school?

Superintendent Dr. Kent DeKoninck and Asst. Superintendent Mr. Todd Pritchett were an integral part of the success of the construction and completion of our new school. All of the physical aspects–the aesthetics, flooring, cafeteria area, media center and classrooms–have been praised by students, staff, and community. Our easy access points for the office area during the school day or the secondary entrance for our indoor athletic events are very welcoming without going over the top in costs.

The pride of Greenwood Community Schools has once again peaked to the point of happiness. Even our residential neighbors have had nothing but good things to say about what once used to be a farm field to now becoming a modern and beautiful school facility. In short, no one is more pleased than our students, our parents, our staff and our school leaders. We could not have hoped for more than what we’ve received in our new Greenwood Middle School.

How would you describe the process of working with Schmidt Associates, specifically the engineering team?

My experience of working with Schmidt Associates has been wonderful, from the design portion all the way through to completion. Even with minor punch list items remaining a year in now, the cooperative effort has been amazing.

As issues would arise during the construction, the Schmidt team would provide detailed alternatives to the issues, have quick remedies as a solution, and implement the changes into the plan. Our relationship with Schmidt Associates has become one of trust, and their team of experts have addressed our needs and concerns in a timely manner.

Greenwood Community Schools has also used Schmidt Associates on other projects, and we are in the process of beginning yet another project at our High School.

 

If you think we can help with your next project, reach out to us!

 

Case Study: St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church

HVAC & Accessibility Renovation – St. Joan of Arc Sanctuary Project

In preparation for the Centennial Celebration in 2021, the Schmidt Associates team kicked off the first phase of the St. Joan of Arc Sanctuary Restoration Project in 2017. This phase included:

  • Updating/adding HVAC and electrical components
  • Making the sanctuary more ADA accessible
  • Adding a new bride room/cry room and a reconciliation room
  • Improving overall functionality of sanctuary spaces

As with many historic structures, this project came with it’s own unique set of challenges and solutions. But by the end of phase one, the church’s parish has been able to attend services comfortably year-round.

Learn more about this unique project:

 

A Word from our Owners – Marian University

Russ Kershaw

Dr. Russ Kershaw has been the Dean of the Byrum School of Business at Marian University since 2010. Previously, he was the Dean of the School of Business Administration at Philadelphia University and also has held various positions at Butler University. Before entering the academic world, Russ spent 13 years in corporate America. During this time he held a variety of financial management positions at both Digital Equipment Corporation and General Electric. Russ holds a B.S. degree in accounting from Bentley College, an MBA from Babson College, and a Ph.D. in accounting from the University of South Carolina. He is also a graduate of General Electric’s Financial Management Program.

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With growing enrollment in the Byrum School of Business, Marian University needed a facility that supported the school’s unique, experiential approach to learning. Breathing new life into this early 1900 facility, the addition and renovation of this facility has given the business school prominence on campus. Hear from Dr. Kershaw about how this new facility caters to Marian University students, professors, and the surrounding community.

Marian COB front

Addition to Historic Building

Tell us a little about the College of Business project and how the building is benefiting campus:

It was a significant addition to the Marian University academic facilities. In six short months, it has become a very popular facility across campus. Not only the classrooms, but the presentation room and the board room. The spaces are popular across campus and outside of campus with companies holding meetings in the board room and presentation room, which are being used as we speak by an outside organization. They are very flexible in design and can be set up in different formats to accommodate a five-person or 90-person meeting. The technology is there to support the needs of each group.

This is the coolest academic building on campus right now, other than the medical school. During the school year, med students are coming here to use the team rooms to study in. It helps that we have a Subway restaurant inside our building so people can get food. It’s become a very popular place, and all the spaces are being widely used across campus in its entirety.

We’ve only been in the business school for one semester, but the way to describe it is ‘that it was designed precisely for our program.’ We do a lot of project work, team-based teaching, experiential learning. This facility was designed for that, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the classroom layouts and the use of the presentation and board room. It’s designed perfectly for the way we teach business at Marian University.

How important is the student to student, student to faculty, and faculty to faculty interaction? Where did this occur in your old spaces? Where is it now?

It’s critical to our program. We have shifted from the traditional read a text book, come to class, listen to a lecture, and take a test while sitting in nice neat rows facing the professor and taking notes. We now have shifted to a project based learning mode where we are teaching accounting, economic, finance, marketing, etc. all while doing projects for real clients with key concepts. The students are constantly working in teams collaborating, so our classrooms are modular. If you looked at our classrooms right now, most are set up in pods of 5-6 students because that’s how we teach.

The communication among students and faculty is a different ball game in our program than a traditional one-way professor to student interaction.  The space is designed to make that happen, encourage it, and make it easy to do. It’s two-way, and the faculty is a facilitator instead of a professor. They roam the classroom answering questions and asking questions. They meet with individual groups to help or listen to the students present in the presentation hall. Sometimes it’s a practice presentation before the ‘grand finale’ at the end of the semester. It’s not a final exam anymore, it’s a presentation to the client they were doing the project for.

In our old facility, we were in old style classrooms with fixed seating or the chairs with their own folding desk. In some classrooms it was virtually impossible to teach our curriculum with the space we have. This new space is critical to the program we have built.

Pod-Style Classroom

As you walk through the building each day, how much of the ‘accidental interaction’ spaces are being used?

When students are here, it’s constant. Outside of the main classroom area, the soft seating area is constantly filled with students and faculty. It’s like a Starbucks with many impromptu meetings, waiting before or after class, etc. This open area is great to have in addition to the extensively used, more private team rooms.

The presentation room, when it’s not in use for a presentation with the glass door closed, the door is purposely left open. Students meet on the stairs, eat lunch in there, maybe even take a nap! (I just ask them to use a low stair if they are going nap so they don’t roll all the way down). It gets used quite a bit when it is open because it is a cool space with all the light, windows, and high ceilings. It has become the center piece and show off point for the building. People say ‘wow’ when they see it, and they like to be in it. There’s also plenty of outlets for them to charge their devices in the spaces, which is critical.

COB Spaces

Student Lounge Space and Presentation Room

How would you describe the process of working with Schmidt Associates?

I was mostly involved in the design phase as opposed to construction phase, so I can’t speak to the construction details. From a design stand point, it couldn’t have been better. It probably helped that Sarah Hempstead is a member of the Business School Advisory Board. It worked well because she was very aware of the curriculum and intimately involved with understanding how we teach. This really helped with the design process. If I had a thought or idea, Sarah could finish my sentence because she knew what I was thinking. I didn’t have to explain anything. From my perspective, it was awesome to work with someone who knew what we wanted to accomplish.

Anything else?

We are over the moon and ecstatic about the facility. When we opened last January, which was our second semester, the students were shocked when they came and saw the space designed for them. They were excited to be in such a cool facility. It’s great to see that reaction and know they are grateful and proud of the school.

 

If you think we can help with your next project, reach out to us!

 

BIM in Dispute Resolution – KGR

I had the opportunity to read a great blog post by my friend Greg Cafouros at Kroger Gardis & Regas (KGR). At Schmidt Associates, using Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a standard practice for all of our projects. We see the direct benefits it has on reducing errors and saving costs for our Owners. It is reaffirming to see those BIM benefits stretched to cover potential legal issues as well.

Click the image below to read the KGR blog post:

BIM Attorneys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have any questions about how BIM can benefit your project, reach out!

When Did You Know You Wanted to be an Engineer?

Wayne Schmidt set out on his own and started our firm July 4th, 1976. More than four decades later, we are proud that we are different in all the regards that matter to us, to our clients, and to our community. While we are celebrating our 42nd anniversary this July, we are also celebrating another big milestone: 25 years of having engineering in-house!

We thought it would be interesting to ask our engineers when they first realized they wanted to pursue a career in Engineering. This is what our first group said:

 

Brad Wallace – Mechanical Designer

“Ever since I was a little kid, I was always interested in how “mechanical” things work. I had a love for motorcycles and cars, and I always enjoyed the time I spent with my dad working on them as I was growing up. After college, my first job was with a large national mechanical contractor. I enjoyed my first four years of my career working in the field, learning how mechanical systems were installed and operated. My next career move was working 10 years for a local Engineering firm where I learned how to do mechanical design. I made my final move 14 years ago, to Schmidt Associates!”

 

John HarrisonJohn Harrison – Plumbing Designer

“I entered the engineering field because of my love of drawing and my obvious passion for working out challenging designs with great detail. Once I began down the path of a plumbing designer and learned how challenging it could be, I was hooked. Designing for special conditions like animal and fish research facilities, laboratories, hospitals and Green LEED designs has made for a very rewarding career decision.”

 

Dave Jones – Electrical Engineer

“I started off my college career as an undecided major for two years. I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do, and I used to be jealous of people who seemed to know exactly what they wanted to do after high school. I took the general classes, hoping something would spark my interest… but nothing. I even tried accounting because my uncle owned his own accounting firm in Florida. I thought I could move down there, enjoy the beach, and work for him. However, I found accounting to be just as exciting as watching paint dry. Since I was good at math, I figured why not pursue Engineering? I didn’t know what engineering really was or what all it entailed, but I had to choose something. After 9 years of school, I finally received my degree at age 27. I could have been a brain surgeon with that much school time, but Engineering turned out to be a good decision!”

 

Jim Heinzelman – Electrical Engineer

“The first time I started thinking about designing electrical systems was in high school where I was taking basic electrical introductory classes. The technology really intrigued me, so I interviewed for a position at a Consulting Engineering firm here in town after graduating high school. I was accepted for a position within the firm, made a transition to work at Schmidt Associates, and I’ve taken higher education classes to advance my career. I’ve never looked back!”

 

Keep an eye out for more of these as the year goes on!