We are wrapping up our multi-part interview series for Engineers Week with Nick LaRocca. Nick is a licensed civil engineer with more than 10 years of experience in the high voltage power industry.
Q: In a sentence or two, how would you describe what you enjoy about your job?
Nick LaRocca: Problem solving and collaboration. I like that my projects essentially present me with a “puzzle” that needs to be solved, and enjoy the collaboration required with other agencies and departments which adds to the constraints and leads to unique solutions.
Q: What advice would you share with someone wanting to become an engineer, or what is a piece of advice that you received and found helpful?
NL: When school is over the learning doubles, but with that you constantly gain experience. Projects that are challenging in the beginning become straightforward and become tools to be used for your next challenging project.
Q: What was the most valuable non-engineering class you took in college, and why?
NL: An art elective. An art class (surprisingly) helped me think in an abstract way that was different then the rigorous “problem-solution” way of engineering. It helped me take a step back, picture how I wanted the finished product to be and work toward that, rather than work problems at hand individually and see what I end up with. It was a very different way than I was used to thinking, and has helped me design better solutions.
Q: What phrase or word has never been the same since you became an engineer?
NL: “Problem solved." Each solution always affects another part of the design that I need to consider and the longer I look at a design, the more I can think to change to make it better.
What Is Engineers Week?
Engineers Week is an annual event that the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) established in 1951 to promote interest in STEM careers and encourage the growth of a diverse, well-educated engineering workforce.