Day in the Life of an Onsite Project Engineer

Loren Horan DITLHave you ever wondered what our engineers actually do all day? This year, we’re continuing our “Day in the Life” series started in 2014. Each quarter, we will feature someone within the firm who will provide insight into their typical day. This quarter showcases one of Applied’s owners, Project Engineer Loren Horan, PE, RCDD, LEED AP.

As a project engineer, my day is typically laid out in one of the following three ways. The first option is a day in the office where I work on designs, specifications, review shop drawings, collaborate with team members, and perform engineering calculations. The second option is a day where I am in the field to attend construction meetings, observe construction in progress, perform a site survey for a new project, meet with clients to determine their needs and requirements, and collaborate with architects, structural engineers, and civil engineers at their offices. The third option is somewhere in between the first two. I chose to write about a day where I was onsite.

7:00 am – My day starts as I leave home directly for Purdue University.

8:30 am – Arrive at Purdue University and head over to Lynn Hall to start our observation of the sprinkler system hydrostatic pressure test. I meet the contractor and owner at the site and we watch each sprinkler zone get pumped up to 200 psi of hydrostatic pressure and confirm that there aren’t any leaks.

9:00 am – The pressure gauges on the sprinkler zones have been initially recorded.  I now walk around the building to perform my construction observation.

9:30 am – Stop in at a student commons area to get a cup of coffee and open up my computer to respond to emails. I am able to remotely connect into the office, so I am also able to perform some lighting design and calculations for an industrial client.

11:00 am – Meet up with the contractor and owner to review the pressure gauges and confirm that the sprinkler lines are still holding the same pressure.

11:30 am – I have a few minutes before my lunch meeting, so I work on some specifications for an industrial client that is creating a new headquarters within Indianapolis.

12:00 pm – Have lunch with an architect that we are working with on some classroom renovations. We catch up and review the submittals that have been issued to date on the first classroom project. We also discuss a recent change request by the owner to add some art to the second classroom project.

1:30 pm – Attend a pre-construction meeting for the second classroom project. I see familiar faces, such as the Purdue University project manager and building deputies. During this meeting, the owner describes their construction and safety requirements. The design team and contractor coordinate on how submittals will be issued.

2:30 pm – The pre-construction meeting ends and I head to a planning committee meeting for the new Innovation Design Center building. During these collaborative meetings, the clients and design team review the block layout of the proposed spaces. The design team accepts feedback from the clients and interviews the users to better understand their needs and the intended practices of the space.

5:00 pm – The planning committee meeting concludes and the architect and I have a quick 5 minute recap to ensure that we are on the same page. I check my email to determine if there are any high priority items that must be addressed prior to heading back to Indianapolis.

5:15 pm – I get into my car and leave Purdue University, ending my work day.

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