On Wednesday, April 7th we welcomed, Adam Artz from Pinnacle Engineering, Jim Hansen from Graef and Travis Peterson with Kapur. Each panelist represents a different part of the engineering world and provided great insight for our Next Gens. Adam considers himself more of a development consultant that helps develop strategy to get things approved and develop a critical path. Jim is the Leader of Site Development, Project Manager and Group Leader that mentors a lot of their young engineers. Travis is the environmentalists working with contaminated properties and figuring out how to move forward.
Key takeaways include:
- It’s most beneficial to bring in an engineer very early when doing a deal. They can help with permitting, upfront research, etc. This can be done be searching easily obtainable databases, site visits, historical records and interviews. May not require a full report and it will help with budgeting. If an environmental condition is identified they can move onto a phase 2 to confirm the presence or absence of concerns.
- There is no such thing as two projects that work the same. It is ideal to draw on past experiences to solve tomorrows problems, but they are all different. Always has to be an ideal of drawing on past experiences to solve tomorrows problems, but they are always different.
- Gov regulations change all the times, communities interpret code in different ways.
- Remote work has allowed them to expand their reach for talent.
- Sometimes the environmental part of engineering can look like the red-headed step-child. Environmental issues are hard because you often don’t see it. Often the environmental issues are often out of sight, out of mind.
- Costs associated with environmental reports often scare people away.
- About 10-15 years ago DNR prominence started being more of an issue.
- Much easier to work remotely now.
- Recent changes include the investment model driving deals. Industrial investors driving a lot of new projects that often have strict deadlines.
- Vapor mitigation systems are one project that has adapted to meet the current needs of the project.
- There is only so much you can do to control costs certain specs are a requirement. Steel is up 40%, lumber up 100%, people are often times relooking at the feasibility of a project.
- A lot of grants are available for green infrastructure.
- All people have different expertise, having a team environment is great. You bring own expertise to potential deal.
- Takes a community to make a deal happen, banker, broker, engineer etc. Relationships are super important they drive everything.
- Understand the future use of a project. May eliminate unnecessary work.
- Important Traits: Being very open minded and willing to adapt, everything is different… you need to understand that. Be a good listener and learn from others. Be a good compromiser and have a level of skepticism. Often times if it seems too good to be true, you need to confirm it yourself. Everything changes, you need to adapt and have humility. Meet new people, learn new things. Be humble.