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!

Name – Patrick Rohrer

Location – Harrisonburg

Title – Drafting Technician

Years with Engineering Solutions – 1 year

When did you know you wanted to be a drafter?

My interest in drafting was sparked from watching my cousin produce various parts and mechanisms on a CNC machine. After seeing the behind-the-scenes of manufacturing and production, I knew I wanted to be part of that process.

What is your typical day at work?

I draft up a fair amount of smaller residential projects like garage slabs, foundation plans, and retaining walls. I also assist the engineers with measurements on site visits, pick up prints at the print shop, and various other odd jobs.

What is the best part about your job?

The finished product! Seeing all the numbers and calculations come to completion on a sheet of paper, ready to hand to a contractor.

What are some of the challenges in your job?

As a drafter, my job is to put the idea that a client has in his or her mind, on paper. If you’re not on the same page as the client, this can prove to be more difficult than it sounds, which is why communication is key.

Tell us about one of the coolest projects you’ve worked on so far.

Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College contacted ES to design a porous-pave patio that would mimic the mountain scape that you can view from the college. I was given the privilege of designing the layout of the patio, including different color shades of pavement to depict the mountains in the distance. This project was special because it allowed me to get creative with the layout, as there was little to no structural constraints on the shape of the patio.

What is your favorite Core Value and how do you live it out?

Innovation. There is almost always a better way to do something other than the way you are doing it currently. Communicating and idea sharing will often give us new perspective, allowing a more effective approach to a problem.

If you had to give one piece of advice for working with a drafter, what would it be?

Communication. An open and honest flow of communication goes a long way toward us being able to provide an accurate depiction of the idea that the client is visualizing.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

If it’s outside, I’m in. I really enjoy being in the woods, so backpacking, bikepacking, and just driving mountain roads in search of a new vista is always down my alley. I recently bought a motorcycle, so that has been a fun new venture to dip my toes into.

Tell us about your family.

My family consists of my parents and three boys, me being the youngest. The other two are married with kids, and I just started dating in May of 2019! We all still live in the Valley.

Fun fact about yourself?

In September of 2018, I completed the Shenandoah Mountain 100, a one-hundred mile mountain bike race in the mountains southwest of the ‘Burg. I straggled in 13 hours and 5 minutes after starting out! This race took months of training and preparation, and is by far the biggest goal I have ever completed physically.

What is your favorite food and what is the last movie you watched?

Pasta. I love my pasta. Pizza fits in there as well so Benny Sorentino’s is high on my list of favorite restaurants. The last movie I watched was The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, which is also my favorite movie.

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