EWeek—Engineers Make a World of Difference

“I have always been interested in promoting the welfare of humanity and the environment, and I think that this can best be accomplished through engineering.”

Christina Urbanczyk, EIT, GAI Consultants

2016_Engineers_Week_Logo_HorizontalFebruary 21–27, 2016 marks National Engineers Week, or “EWeek,” as it’s more commonly known. This year’s EWeek theme is Engineers Make a World of Difference. In the spirit of the EWeek celebration, GAI Consultants sat down with a few of our engineers to hear their thoughts on three simple questions—see what they had to say below.

Joshua Jarmul, EIT | Senior Engineer-in-Training

Jarmul_JoshuaWhy did you decide to become an engineer?
Joshua: I liked math and science when I was growing up. I took an evaluation in high school to determine what types of careers and fields I might fit well into, and civil engineering was one of the top choices. At the time, I thought civil engineers just designed bridges, and I was intrigued by that because of the intricate way steel and concrete could be used in those structures. Once I went to college and took my first structures class, I quickly realized that structural engineering was not for me. I found my niche, though, in transportation and hydrology and hydraulics. I really like how my work can impact society as a whole, even when most people don’t realize it. Only when the roads and bridges start to crumble do people realize the importance of civil engineers.

How do you feel you make a difference in the world around you as an engineer?
Joshua:
I like knowing that the projects I have worked on have helped improve safety and travel efficiency on the transportation system. I’ve helped to upgrade major transportation corridors from I-70 in New Stanton to the Pennsylvania Turnpike and smaller projects all over the state of Pennsylvania.

What is your favorite engineering marvel from around the world and why?
Joshua: The Hoover Dam is a civil engineering feat because of the time in which it was built and the unique engineering challenges it faced. Engineers learned a lot about cavitation within the emergency spillways and how to properly account for the large amounts of heat generated when pouring large amounts of concrete. The sheer size and scope of the project was another reason why the project is one of the world’s engineering marvels.

Read more about the Hoover Dam:

Hoover Dam Bridge: Top 10 Engineering Facts

The Hoover Dam Bypass: A Modern Engineering Marvel


Aimee Shields, PE | Manager, Engineering

shields_aimeeWhy did you decide to become an engineer?
Aimee: In Junior High, my shop class had a segment on drafting—old school drafting using pencils, paper, and a straight edge. I loved working on plans and making things work. I was hooked!

How do you feel you make a difference in the world around you as an engineer?
Aimee:
For me, it is the little things all around us that we may barely notice, like clean water coming from the faucet and accessible and friendly walkways. These things make our lives easier because an engineer like me was able to determine the best way to make it work.

What is your favorite engineering marvel from around the world and why?
Aimee:
I am fascinated by skyscrapers! Engineers continue to outdo themselves with bigger and higher buildings. The sky IS the limit!

Read more about skyscrapers:

21 Tallest Buildings in the World

Top 9 Tallest Skyscrapers Completing in 2016


Bill McGrew, PE | National Aviation Services Director

Bill_McGrewWhy did you decide to become an engineer?
Bill: My grandfather was an engineer, and he was one of the greatest influences on my life.

How do you feel you make a difference in the world around you as an engineer?
Bill:
Specializing in airport design, I believe we make our airports safer and more convenient for the traveling public.

What is your favorite engineering marvel from around the world and why?
Bill: The Channel Tunnel—31 miles of tunnel between Great Britain and France, almost entirely underwater. I am just as impressed with the engineering skills required as I am with the ability to complete this project logistically. The Channel Tunnel is the largest privately funded project in history requiring the cooperation of two nations. Fun fact: During the boring operations, 7 million tons of material was excavated!

Read more about the Channel Tunnel:

How the Channel Tunnel was Built

The Channel Tunnel: 20 Fascinating Facts


 

More About EWeek:

Founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1951, EWeek is an official partnership of over 70 engineering, education, and cultural societies, and more than 50 corporations and governmental agencies. EWeek reaches thousands of businesses, schools, and community groups across the U.S. every year and is dedicated to the following goals:

  • Raising public awareness of engineers’ positive contributions to quality of life.
  • Stressing the importance of high levels of literacy in science, technology, and math.
  • Increasing youth understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers.
  • Ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce.

Programs planned throughout the week include Global Day of the Engineer (2.24.16), Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day (2.25.16), Discover Engineering Family Day (2.27.16), and more. To learn more about EWeek and how to get involved, visit the program’s official website.

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