As a Senior Associate and mechanical design engineer for GHT’s OES Studio, Laura provides project management and detailed mechanical engineering design solutions for commercial building projects in the Washington, DC metro area. Her expertise in Revit® MEP, a Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology, coupled with her meticulous work ethic, has contributed to an outstanding project portfolio of government facilities, commercial kitchens, law firms, building repositioning, equipment replacements, and controls specifications. With nearly a decade of experience, Laura’s ingenuity has shaped countless commercial interiors projects, central plant designs, as well as building compliance and acoustic studies.
How long have you been at GHT? 10 years
What inspired you to pursue a career in the AEC industry? My parents built their own home when I was a middle school student and that exposed me to the construction industry. During high school, I joined our theatre department’s stage crew group and worked on lighting design, lighting scene programming, and stage management for several musical productions. At the same time, I was involved with the pit orchestra and string quartet performances. All of this spiked my interest in learning how things worked and being able to create systems that functioned behind the scenes in the theatre while having an outlet for creativity and design. Once I got to college, I found an architectural engineering program at Penn State University that applied those interests to a technical program, and it felt like a perfect fit. I got technical engineering education while also taking studio design and drafting courses and it was an easy transition for me to come into the building industry out of college. A summer internship with a mechanical contractor in Pittsburgh spiked my interest in the mechanical discipline and I haven’t looked back since.
What’s your favorite part of your role at GHT? I get to wear a lot of “hats.” I’m not just an engineer; I get the opportunity to develop business opportunities with senior leadership, network with colleagues through industry organizations, guide project teams and be part of the evolution of our city.
What do you recommend for individuals looking to pursue a career in the AEC industry? Find a college program that is tailored to the industry. This gives you more direct exposure to AEC related internships, co-ops and study abroad experiences as well as college coursework that relates to the building industry rather than general mechanical or electrical engineering coursework.
Get a few mentors to give advice on their path. Not everyone has the same background and experiences that have led us to the same place in life. It’s valuable to hear how different people became successful and what makes this career path worthwhile from different perspectives. Those mentors can also become your “goalies” to help push you to achieve your goals.