How did you begin working at TRA? Who was your first client?
TRA Vice President Dan Hauber was paying a visit to one of my co-workers at my previous employer, and that co-worker knew that I was looking for a new position. Dan mentioned that TRA was looking for a new engineer, and my co-worker called me into the conference room and I had my first interview right there.
My first client was the Florida Department of Transportation, for whom TRA provides state safety oversight technical support. We did a triennial audit on Tampa TECO, when I was still learning what a triennial audit was. Thanks to TRA Project Manager Jenny Kane for pulling me through that one.
What do you like most about your job?
It has been fun learning some of the engineering involved with transit systems. I had never really dealt with power systems and structures in the same manner before, and I certainly never worked with trolleys and autonomous people movers. It has also been a drastic change to be in an office that is not all engineers. The priorities and conversations are different, even the non-work-related conversations.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
In my previous position, my work took me on some remarkable trips to a number of out-of-the-way locations. First was a coal mine in Colombia, where I was the only native English speaker in the camp most of my time there. I made 6 or 7 trips there over the course of a couple years. I also had multiple trips both Kazakhstan and Romania, nearly 3 months in each of these. These are not normally on most bucket lists, and each was a real experience. Food, accommodations, languages, and travel are all challenges when you don’t travel to the tourist locations.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?
Well, most everyone that knows me already knows that I enjoy bike riding and traveling. Most of the travel is not just sightseeing. We take active vacations: biking, hiking, skiing, etc. Our most recent trip was tandem bike riding around Scotland.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
So, you want to know what’s on my bucket list? I have four states left to visit: Oregon, New Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska. When I do finally get to Alaska, I would like to make it an extended trip and take a trip into the back woods for a couple of weeks. I don’t know if that will happen or not.