I have always been curious about how things work. I broke my first vacuum tube by taking apart a cabinet television before I was in kindergarten. When new sewers were laid, I would go after school and watch for hours as they excavated, prepped joints, and set pipe. A friend gave me a set of Audels Carpenters and Builders Guide from 1923, and I studied everything in it from drawing and wood selection to framing and cabinet making. I started woodworking, bought tools, and learned the importance of sharp blades, practice, and skill to get optimal results. My dad taught me car repair, bought my first chain saw, and got me a job scaffolding and painting commercial buildings. These early experiences taught me to appreciate watching, listening, and learning from others and the importance of teamwork to accomplish something big.
I did a working retreat with Glenmary Home Missioners while in high school and have worked in construction ever since. I studied civil engineering at the University of Cincinnati and had great co-op experience as a field engineer doing construction layout and as a drafter/designer on road and sewer projects. I was a framing carpenter on a nursing home project, then worked at Purdue University and earned a master’s degree in structural engineering. I really enjoyed teaching a structures lab and being a Teacher’s Assistant for concrete design classes.
After returning to Cincinnati, marriage, and kids, I have served as a Science Olympics coach, soccer dad, and band booster. My kids collaborated with me as I led house building projects with Habitat for Humanity. We are active with our church building, grounds, and festival. I learned a lot about human nature while visiting the Alzheimer’s home over several years as my mother aged. Nowadays, I work in my kids’ houses and repair their appliances. My wife keeps us busy with her charity work.
Professionally, I have been structural group chairperson for ASCE in Cincinnati, a director and a leader that helped shape the Structural Engineers Association of Ohio, collaborated on AISC design guides, the NCEES exam, and made presentations on special inspections.
As a structural engineer at THP, projects have evolved with the industry from many new and straightforward commercial, retail, and motel buildings during the boom years, to hospitals, schools, church, and government buildings in multi-year, phased projects as funding sources and demand changed. I am experienced with designing a wide range of construction materials, pre-engineered structures, building elements and many diverse types of foundations. I like the challenge of creating constructable and economical solutions for complex conditions. It is rewarding to work with design teams, owners, facility managers and construction contractors to assess a project’s needs, develop, and create the most appropriate design.
I enjoy working on older structures with hand-drawn designs and studying the history and evolution of construction techniques. My renovation work includes several buildings over 100 years old, and a few pre-Civil War buildings from 1860. My smallest project involved hanging a large painting in a historic ballroom. I apply my knowledge to developing and maintaining THP’s structural design guides and technical specifications.