It's #Engineer Week! Founded by NSPE in 1951, EWeek (February 21–27, 2016) is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers. Learn more here.
All week LaBella will be highlighting our diverse group of engineering disciplines. Today we're in our office in 70 degree comfort, talking to mechanical engineer Brett Driscoll.
Name: Brett Driscoll, PE, CPD, LEED AP
Alma Mater: Alfred State College
What kind of engineer are you (discipline) and what does that mean in laymans terms? Mechanical Engineer for an Architectural / Engineering firm – In my case, I design HVAC, Plumbing and Fire Protection systems for commercial buildings.
What do you like most about being an engineer? Solving problems, working with and understanding new technology and implementing it into a built environment. Engineering in general is about utilizing science, technology and math to create something that affects the way people live their life. Not too many professions can offer that.
What do you like least about being an engineer? The long work hours, stress of looming deadlines and the fact that you can’t just leave work at work sometimes.
Tell us about a project that you’re proud of. Gates Chili Central School District – Transportation Center – It was one of the first projects I started and completed at LaBella. This was a brand new building to house the facilities and transportation groups for the district. The building is essentially split into two garage areas, one for facilities and one for transportation with a center office area component that contains admin areas, bus driver break/locker rooms and a conference center. The garage spaces feature many different mechanical systems including radiant in floor heat, waste oil heaters, vehicle exhaust systems, a paint booth as well as ventilation systems utilizing energy recovery devices. The design was challenging and featured a complex mechanical system that we do not always get the opportunity to design.
What advice would you give someone thinking of becoming an engineer? What does the future hold for engineering? I would recommend interning with various types of engineering fields that would allow you to get firsthand experience of the various avenues of engineering you could pursue. The architectural / engineering field is very challenging as every job is different and presents new challenges. Building codes are constantly changing and energy consumption / savings is a popular issue. As engineers we are forever learning and changing with the introductions of new technology.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work? Anything related to the guitar; I have been playing guitar for 22 years, and lately have been building effects pedals, tube amps or fixing gear for my friends. I also enjoy working on anything with wheels, motocross and working on our house. (Still engineering) :)
What do you like about working at LaBella? Working at LaBella has really allowed me to grow as a professional and pushed me to excel in my career. LaBella does a great job at showing appreciation for hard work and rewarding the effort made to complete successful projects - the culture here is really unlike any other firm I have worked for.