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EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT

Don Brown  

DONALD W. BROWN, PE

What inspired you to choose your career path?
I was inspired to pursue engineering because math and science were the subjects I found most interesting while in school.  I also have a love of the ocean and originally set myself up on a path to be an oceanographic engineer which was a master’s program at University of Florida.  Civil engineering was the best undergraduate degree on that path.  During my final year of undergraduate, I realized that oceanographic engineering didn’t hold a lot of opportunity at the time and I was running out of money anyway.   The appeal of transportation design at that time was decent pay and steady work in field that would always be needed.  I ended up in drainage design due to the original focus on hydraulics.  I also wanted to stay local as I have a large family and wanted to be close once I started having my own children.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy the problem solving aspects of engineering.  I like it when the cookie cutter approach or standards do not work and we need to develop a solution to make a project work. 

What are you most passionate about?
I am most passionate about my family.  I really enjoy raising my young children and spending time with my wife.  UF football is a really close second though.

What is your greatest challenge?
I think my greatest challenge at this time is finding a balance between family and work.  There is always guilt no matter how much I do with my children - that it is not enough.  I also know that my family requires me to be successful at my job and the resources it provides are very important for their future.  This profession can become consuming at times so finding that perfect balance is a challenge.

Name an important “lessons learned” moment you have experienced.
I recently had issues on a project where there was not enough detail between the cross sections and the plan view to keep the contractor on track.  The contractor’s interpretation resulted in problems during the construction phase.  The “lessons learned” from this is to make sure that the plans include enough detail that the contractor doesn’t have to make any assumptions on your intent as the engineer. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
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