Welcome to our series, Getting to Know the Team! If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a structural engineer or simply wanted to learn more about the people behind Engineering Solutions, this series is for you. We’ll feature a new team member every month, so be sure to check back regularly and enjoy our next installment below! This time, we’re talking to Ben Zook, who interned with us last year before coming on board full time this summer. Check out his last post here, and read below for updates on his life as a full-time structural engineer.
Name – Ben Zook
Location – Harrisonburg
Title – Structural Engineer
Years with Engineering Solutions – 1 year
When did you know you wanted to be a structural engineer?
My dad is a professional finish carpenter and started his career as a residential framer. The combination of working beside him and excelling in applied mathematics during high school guided me toward choosing structural engineering just prior to attending college.
What is your typical day at work?
Most of the engineering that I do is in small residential projects. I also do drafting for larger projects that pop up from time to time.
What is the best part about your job?
One of the best parts of my job is going on preliminary site visits because I get to interact with customers, get out of the office for a bit, and start thinking about a new project.
What are some of the challenges in your job?
The most challenging aspect of my job is being stuck on a problem in a project.
Tell us about one of the coolest projects you’ve worked on so far.
I helped inspect steel framing members for a large airplane hangar. One day I’d like to help design a structure like that, but just having the chance to work around it was exciting for me.
What is your favorite Core Value and how do you live it out?
Helping others through the knowledge that I have obtained is a life goal of mine, so our focus on “Community” as a Core Value resonates with me. Working as an engineer allows me to live this out everyday.
If you had to give one piece of advice for working with a drafter, what would it be?
I would say be flexible with your design expectations prior to working with a structural engineer because often structures will need to change in order to make them as safe as possible.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Watching sports with close friends is at the top of my list. I also enjoy playing sports, socializing with friends, spending time outside, and relaxing on the beach.
Tell us about your family.
I have two brothers and one sister that I grew up with in Canton, Ohio. My younger brother is about to start college at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg so I’m looking forward to seeing him more often. My older brother is a celebrity YouTuber that covers a video game called “Rocket League,” and my sister is a full-time digital print artist living in Pittsburgh. Both of my parents still live in Ohio.
Fun fact about yourself?
One time I pitched a no-hitter for my high school baseball team.
What is your favorite restaurant?
I love eating at Taste of India in Harrisonburg.