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A Day in the Life: Infrastructure

Meet Jonathan Griffin, Project Manager in Infrastructure. The son of an engineer, Jonathan followed his dad's footsteps into engineering. To him, the best parts of his job are seeing a project through from beginning to end and getting to make lifelong friends.

26 May 2022 | 6 min read

North America

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Q&A

What is it like to work as a Project Manager?

It's busy, chaotic, and there is a lot to juggle. But there are lots of fun aspects- I get to have ownership of projects and see them through to a successful finish.

What led you to choose this as a career?

In high school, I learned about civil engineering through our guidance counselor because I was strong in math. My father is also an engineer so it was a natural field for me to go into. 

What is the most exciting part of your job?

The unknown! Everyday I am not quite sure what is going to happen. You never know what questions might arise.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Seeing a project through to its finish, working with clients, working with teams to collaborate.

Describe a typical workday?

I work on emails, calls, get with younger engineers, plan for completing the tasks for the rest of the day. I review plans and maybe do some design work. Most of my day is managing people and client work.

What is the best part of working for RPS?

Interacting with people! I have lifelong friends I have met here- it's fun!

How has RPS helped your career grow?

RPS has helped me grow by allowing me to start in structural engineering which I did not have experience in. As I grew with the company, I switched to Transportation. I have grown exponentially because of that.

What do you enjoy?

I spend a lot of time with my girlfriend going to restaurants and movies. And I also enjoy golf.

 

Don Nash, Senior Project Engineer

Meet Don Nash. Senior Project Engineer in Infrastructure, his focus is on water and drainage. His advice to those seeking a similar career? "Be flexible and open-minded. Take in good advice from your higher-ups. Be personable when talking to clients and really learn your craft. This will help clients feel confident with you."

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Q&A

How did you hear about RPS?

I won an award in college and at the banquet, ended up sitting by the RPS contact who offered me a job right away!

What is it like to work as a Senior Project Engineer?

It's pretty awesome- fast-paced, challenging yet rewarding. It's cool to pass on what you learn and working in management is rewarding.

What led you to choose this as a career?

I knew where I wanted to go to school but didn’t know what I wanted to do. My friend was a counselor for the Engineering Summer School and introduced me to civil engineering which piqued my interest.

What types of clients are you helping and what do you do for them?

TxDOT, Harris County, City of Oakridge North, working with cities you have to move at a different pace and guide them. Roadway draining- water flows downhill- but it is not as simple as it seems. There is a lot that goes into it.

What is the most exciting part of your job?

Working with the people in this office! They are helpful and answer questions and we all embrace new ideas. We are a group of good friends.

What advice would you give someone who wants to be a Senior Project Engineer?

Be flexible and open-minded. Take in good advice from your higher-ups. Be personable when talking to clients and really learn your craft. This will help clients feel confident with you.

How do you see RPS' goals of sustainability and resiliency in your job?

I see it in lots of things- making roads that are porous so water can drain into the road. Also, instead of using metal manhole plates, moving towards more recyclable materials.

How has RPS helped your career grow?

RPS has been really helpful as they have allowed me to grow into different parts of the field. I started off in roadway and then moved into drainage to broaden my knowledge and skills.

What do you enjoy?

Love going to Texans games, watching tv, reading, and learning from new programs within my field.

 

Andrea Gonzales, Associate Engineer

Meet Andrea Gonzales. Daughter of a civil engineer, Andrea is proud to continue her mom's legacy in her current career. She joined RPS as an Intern and has moved up to Associate Engineer. 

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Q&A

What is it like to be an Associate Engineer?

It's rewarding! I get to work on cool projects and help our community. 

What led you to choose this as a career?

My mom is a civil engineer so I had known about the field for a really long time. But once I got to college I learned more about it and decided to go with it.

What is the most exciting part of your job?

Knowing my projects will come to life! 

Describe a typical workday?

In the mornings, I typically have meetings, continue working on my projects and learn from contractors. At the end of the day, I'm usually wrapping up tasks and connecting with my team.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to do what you do?

Get involved with organizations! That will help you make connections and gain mentors. My mom is my mentor and I can ask her questions free of judgment. Also, get plugged in! Try your best in school. A lot of your schoolwork will be your real work later.

How do you see RPS' goals of sustainability and resiliency in your job?

Right now our team is looking into smart cities, which is looking to put utilities into cities managed by AI.

What is the best part of working for RPS?

The people and the knowledge! My manager gives me great projects. As an Intern, I was working on a project, doing my own research and he gave me the opportunity to fully immerse myself. 

How has RPS helped your career grow?

RPS has helped me grow professionally and personally. My team helps get me out of my comfort zone and I've gotten to connect with great people.

What do you enjoy?

Hiking, drawing and Netflix!

 

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