A Day in the Life of Designer

A Day in the Life of Designer

**Note: Responses are from Joe Pawlowski (JP) and Shawn Klein (SK).

Where did you attend school and what did you major in?

JP: I attended University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture.

SK: I attended school at Olympic College, in Bremerton, WA. My major was Technical Design with certificates in Mechanical, Architectural and Civil design.

 What do you enjoy most about designing?

JP: It’s exciting to be able to figure out how a building should be constructed in the most efficient and most economical way for the client and provide them with a high quality facility. It is very rewarding to be able to take a client’s thoughts and dreams and to be able to turn it into reality for them and when the project is completed, the owner says, “that’s exactly what I envisioned it would be”.

SK: I enjoy the fact that every job I work on is different.

What kind of designs are most difficult? 

JP: I believe the most difficult designs are when you have a facility that is of mixed use occupancy. Mixed use occupancy is when you have a facility that requires a different level of fire rating and codes for each occupancy group. For example a business occupancy group combined with a high hazard occupancy group. Each occupancy group will have different levels of fire rating that the building codes will require and the designer will need to comply with.

SK: I would say any airport related project is the most difficult due to their unique set of rules.

When and how did you discover an interest in drafting/designing?

JP: I think it was when I was a teenager on the family farm. We would build a lot of our own equipment we used on the farm, whether it would be welding iron together to build a piece of equipment or building two homes. Plus, I liked to draw and sketch. That really got me interested in how things are constructed and the attention to detail that is required, so I thought that Architecture would be the right career path for me. It has wood and metal construction, steel beam and columns and you have to design and draw the plans. It’s exciting to design a building and convey that idea and vision to the builder or contractor through construction documents.

SK: My grandpa and dad both worked and retired from MNDOT, so I was always interested in working in the Civil field. When I was in 11th grade I took a hand drafting class and enjoyed it, so after that I began looking into places I could get a drafting degree.

Karvakko Engineering and RRA have officially merged into one firm--Karvakko. We’re more than just engineering.