National Engineers Week is celebrated in February every year. The goal is to educate the public through classroom contact, media and visible public service. Today, we get to know Engineer Andy Reeter.
What made you choose Engineering as your career path?
I was raised on my family's dairy farm and had no exposure to engineering through my friends and family. In junior high and high school, I was introduced to drafting and AutoCAD, which opened the door for me to the engineering world. I found the field to be very interesting and challenging at the same time. I was curious about the way things worked and I enjoyed investigating to learn more. The engineering field was a natural fit for me.
What project are you most proud of?
I am proud of so many projects I have helped with, but I think the project I am most proud of is the Krape Park Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) Improvements project for the Freeport Park District. This project involved design and construction of Americans with Disabilities (ADA)-compliant recreational paths through some very difficult terrain and bringing improved access to an area of the park that did not have it before. The project also involved the construction of an accessible restroom building and utility services. The utility services were designed and constructed with the goal of avoiding and protecting numerous mature hardwood trees in the park. We avoided damaging the trees and completed the project on time and budget, while adding some nice amenities to the park and community.
Fehr Graham strives to be innovative. What aspects of engineering are innovative or are becoming innovative?
Innovation can be found in nearly every area of engineering - automated robots, self-driving cars, constantly changing software, automatic home controls and advances in bioengineering. One aspect of civil engineering I see becoming more innovative is in modeling and 3D modeling, including geographic information system platforms, allowing for inventory and asset mapping of infrastructure. These systems can help monitor systems and identify areas that need attention and maintenance in real time, and help public works and maintenance departments prioritize projects.
Why do you think engineers are important?
Engineers have likely had some sort of impact on almost everything the average person interacts with daily. Engineers help design the cars we drive to work, the roads we drive them on, the infrastructure that brings gas, water and electricity to our homes; the computers and software we use; and the factories that build the things we use. Engineering impacts are everywhere! If we want to continue to advance and innovate, engineers will be there leading the way.
What do you wish more people knew about engineers?
Engineers are problem solvers. We learn how things work and use our knowledge to develop solutions. To be effective at this, engineers must continually grow and learn new technologies and skills. Staying ahead of the curve allows an engineer to provide the best solutions and push the boundaries of what we are capable of doing.