One of our core service lines at ECS is geotechnical engineering. In honor of Engineering Week (February 19 – 25), we asked a few of our staff: Why did you want to be an engineer?
Matt Amonette, EIT (Geotechnical Staff Project Manager): “I was good at math and science in high school, and I liked those classes. I went to Virginia Tech, majoring in the Civil Engineering program. I started out with a focus on bridge structural engineering, but then I took my first geotechnical class. Structural engineering is cut and dry, whereas with geotechnical engineering, every project is different and dynamic. I like dirt, what can I say?”
Sam Consolvo, EIT (Geotechnical Staff Project Manager): “I started out as a geophysics major in my freshman year at Virginia Tech. The summer after my freshman year, I transferred to civil engineering to focus more on my interest in math and architecture. My focus was driven by what interested me. Engineering is a great fit for me, because my days are all about solving real-world math problems.”
Kathy Freiberger, P.E. (Principal Engineer): I knew from a young age that I wanted to be an engineer. My dad was a civil engineer, a hydrologist who worked for the Water Resources Group for the U. S. Geological Survey. When I was in high school, I always loved math and science courses: geology, earth science, calculus. The geotechnical coursework I took at Virginia Tech made me realize that was what I wanted to do.”
Michael Rayl, P.E. (Senior Project Engineer): “I came to engineering in kind of a sideways fashion. I started out in the Air Force, with no idea at 17 what I really wanted to do. In the military, I worked on electronics, calibrations, and repairs related to aircraft maintenance for 6 years, but found out later it wasn’t a marketable skill beyond the military. When I finished, I used the GI bill and took some general engineering courses. I knew I wanted to do something that wouldn’t involve sitting behind a desk all day every day, so when I transferred to Virginia Tech, I selected civil engineering. I initially looked to water and wastewater engineering, but I took an introductory course in geotechnical engineering in my last year of undergraduate work. I was hooked from there.”
Don Seserko, P.E. (Geotechnical Project Engineer): “I liked science in high school. I leaned toward civil because of my interest in construction, and I still really like being out on a construction site. When I was in college, geotechnical coursework was really appealing to me. I spent a summer internship with a geotechnical firm, and I knew right then it was the job for me.”
The paths our employees took to become engineers – the how – aren’t the same. But the why seems pretty consistent. They share a common interest in the work – the excitement of solving a real world math problem, the joy of discovering new science, technologies, and engineering methods. By following the path of learning about subjects they were truly interested in, they also found a career that was a good fit for their interests and skills.