A company continually trying to innovate
What do you do at Schnabel?
I am responsible for getting all of the projects in Group North completed. A major part of that involves training and developing project managers and foremen and another part of it involves helping respond to problems and issues that come up on jobs. I also try to standardize a lot of our operations and procedures so that we can consistently provide a high level of quality in our projects. In essence, my To-Do List is based on what comes up on any given day, so in some regards what I do is to lead, but also respond to all of our Operations.
What does an average day look like for you?
As with anyone, there is likely no “typical” day for me. On any given day, I field phone calls to help sort out potential problems that come up on projects that are running, I spend a lot of time working with the project managers and foremen to prepare for upcoming projects, and I make sure we have a plan A as well as a plan B. Also, a few times a month, I am typically traveling a few days at a time to be out on job sites as the territory covered by Group North is fairly large.
What is your favorite part about working for Schnabel?
Getting to figure out and solve problems with the people we have are what give me the most enjoyment and satisfaction. I love troubleshooting and figuring out new ways to do things, but especially refining new operations or techniques. I am also a numbers guy and like collecting data to either prove or disprove how efficient something is, to summarize historical data on certain operations to help bidding/budgeting in the future or to do our own little research on some small part of a project. All of those things I enjoy, but what makes it fun is that I get to do it with other people who work at Schnabel – to share that sense of accomplishment or satisfaction with those who are curious and brave enough to try new things and always strive for something better. It took me quite a few years to realize it didn’t matter what I did at Schnabel, as long as I got to do it with people who shared the same curiosity and drive to accomplish things.
What attracted you to Schnabel?
What attracted me to Schnabel was the possibilities – and by that, I mean the vast amount of unknowns in the industry. The fact that the design we do is based on semi-empirical, observational-method based data was intriguing. It is not straight forward and there are multiple ways to get to an answer. I tend to drift toward the uncommon and unpopular, and the Geotech industry was definitely that when I graduated. I saw so many opportunities and still do today, to learn something that very few other people know. Also, the fact that we get to actually be involved in building the project was attractive.
How is Schnabel different from other companies?
Having interned at a consultant previously, I was familiar with typing up recommendations and reports, but not getting to see things get built or feel like I had a part of it. Schnabel provides the opportunities to be involved in many different aspects of a project in addition to the infinite knowledge of underground construction and engineering that still has to be discovered or developed.