Our success is due to the combined efforts of each and every team member
Due to our unprecedented growth, in the past 3 years we’ve grown by 40% and more than half our people have been at Qk4 for fewer than 10 years. As we grow, we are becoming increasingly diverse and that diversity will make us even better. Below, you can read about some of our rising stars.
For me, one of the best parts of being a transportation engineer is the pride I feel when driving on, over, by, or through something I’ve helped get built.
After beginning my career in coastal Virginia, I moved back to Kentucky to be closer to family, while continuing to work on projects in Virginia. My desire to experience the results of the projects I work on day in and day out led me to a transition in my career; a move that brought me to Qk4. Here I am now proud to see and drive the projects I work on every day as I travel Kentucky’s roadways.
Unless you’re an engineer, you may be unaware of the utilities you drive over every day, how the traffic signal knows to turn from red to green, or how water safely flows off and under the road when it rains. When something works as it should, you don’t have to think about it – it’s a job well done. The details are invisible to most folks, but as a civil engineer I enjoy organizing and coordinating all those details.
Working at a mid-sized firm like Qk4 is terrific because, rather than being typecast into a narrow technical role, I get to play many roles and learn new things. Becoming a more versatile engineer is important and fun for me. It enables me to feel the pride that comes from knowing the invisible details of the infrastructure I use in my daily life.
When on vacation, I tend to get eye rolls and sighs when I tell the family that we’re going out of our way just to drive over an interesting bridge. Not just famous bridges like the Golden Gate — some are little-known. You might say I’m a little bridge crazy.
I take immense pride in keeping Indiana and Kentucky bridges safe for the traveling public. In my role as project manager for the structures group, I design highway structures and perform routine and fracture critical bridge inspections. I’m also a leader in developing Qk4’s tools and methods for structures asset management to help clients make better informed decisions about how to prioritize bridge projects to get the most bang for their buck.
One thing I wish I could do is to help dispel fears that bridges are in worse shape than they are. Despite some legitimate news coverage about bridges being functionally obsolete, most bridges are not on the verge of collapse—many are just in need of minor repairs and routine maintenance. If you’re responsible for structures at your organization, I can help you figure that out.
When it comes to getting highway transportation projects done, nothing happens without a plan. My role at Qk4 is to help produce planning reports that help KYTC take the first steps toward improving Kentucky’s highways, project by project.
It is my job to help present the information in the report in a clear and compelling way, and the tools of my trade are Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite. I love it when my teammates come to me and tell me they can’t figure out how to make a document look or behave the way they want it to. Even if I initially don’t know how to make it do what we want, I wrestle with it until I figure it out.
I was proud to hear one of our transportation planners refer to me as a “wizard” who works magic with Microsoft and Adobe. I’m not ready to call it magic, though. It’s not as if I can wave a wand – it’s more like detective work and problem solving. And that’s one of the most satisfying parts of my job.
If you need something done quickly and accurately, I welcome the challenge because that’s when I’m at my best. And it’s fun for me. As a civil engineer, what I do for my transportation clients is to solve tricky problems. My tool of choice is CAD and the newest software toys. I’m always looking for ways to find new applications for cutting edge technology — to do something that others may not have thought of yet. That started when I learned CAD in college. It just made sense to me and I picked it up quickly. There was nothing better than when my classmates would say, “Go get Cody to draw it up for us.”
Part of the power of CAD is that – if a client needs something changed quickly and accurately — it’s never a point of frustration for me. Some engineers don’t like last minute changes because of the rework needed when you thought something was nearly finished. But at Qk4, I see it as a challenge to use technology to just make it happen, quickly and accurately, for our clients.
If you’ve driven over a bridge on one of Kentucky’s highways, there’s a chance I’ve done something, even if only something small, to keep you safe as you cross it. As a bridge safety engineer, I manage teams that perform inspections to make sure they that meet national safety standards.
One thing my clients appreciate about my work is that, because I’ve been on the owner side while at KYTC, I understand how bridge maintenance operates and collects data throughout the state. Data is important because the source and interpretation of data affects how you prioritize bridge projects. By applying inspection data to asset management, we can take a data driven approach that makes the decision process fair and objective.
The best part of my job is the balance between being out in the field and being in the office. I don’t want to do the same thing day in and day out and being out in the field helps make every day a fresh challenge.