18 Aug Getting to Know AMPAM Plumbing Design Engineer Jonathan Poblete
I sat down with Design Engineer Jonathan Poblete to learn more about what he does for AMPAM Parks Mechanical during the work week, and what he does for fun on his free time outside of work.
Jonathan was born and raised in Carson, California, right around the corner from AMPAM’s corporate offices. He’s a local kid who got a local job in his own hometown. And a typical guy who on his off-hours, likes to do normal guy stuff like hanging out, golf, fishing and basketball.
I dug a little deeper and learned that Jonathan also hangs out regularly with his former engineering classmates from UNLV, where he got his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering a few years ago. “We do nerdy stuff,” he explained, “like playing with the Rasberry Pi micro-computer, which is great when your server is limited and something less powerful is fine.”
He says his former classmates have a healthy rivalry and they are very competitive with all things “senior design.” This healthy competition keeps him on his toes with his engineering job and on the side with his design hobbies. To boost the competition a notch, he recently started building a new website called “thesocialexperiment.com.” The site will encourage social interaction and discussion on another one of his fascinating interests, experiments in creative behavior.
Life is What You Do on Your Day Off
Though he grew up in California, Jonathan’s favorite city is Chicago, and in the summer. There’s tons to do, and the city is bustling, lively, festive and clean. He likes the outdoors as well, and just returned from a trip to Alaska, where he went deep-sea fishing and caught a 40-pound halibut.
While in Anchorage Jonathan also rented a car and drove around the area to explore. This was a great way to spend his trip, and the ultimate birthday present to himself.
Engineering at AMPAM
Working at AMPAM as a design engineer has been a great and challenging experience for him. It’s much harder, and almost as fun, or so he says, as his job as a Parab Operator for ESPN, or “holder of the mic” for the film crew at live sporting events.
Jonathan started working for AMPAM right out of college. He saw the company while driving by, and paid particular attention to the sign as it’s so similar to his middle name AMPIL. AMPAM intrigued him because he had enjoyed working on Revit plumbing designs in college, and here was AMPAM, a major plumbing subcontractor, right in his own back yard.
Plumbing Design with CAD, BIM and Revit
Jonathan has always been fascinated with Revit and BIM, and building things. He likes his job because it’s different every day. He uses both CAD and Revit depending on whether the design needed is 3-D modeling or a 2-D line-work layout.
He likes that AMPAM likes its engineers to work on projects from “cradle to grave,” and finds nothing is typical. He may be working on design, construction or even PRs, which are purchase requests for placing orders for items needed during construction.
He’s found his job is essentially like building a large and detailed construction manual. On any given day, he might find himself talking with architects on plumbing design updates, electrical engineers on mechanical electrical plumbing details, project managers, construction managers, fire protection engineers, janitors and AMPAM’s CEO, Buddy Parks. Sometimes he gets to go out on job sites to see his designs in action, and this gives him a great feeling of accomplishment.
Challenges on the Plumbing Design Job
Challenges come up all the time, but it’s just part of the job. He’s learned that people working in construction and design do a lot of negotiation and when needed, make concessions. He can look at a ceiling with exposed pipes, and determine whether the fire guy or the water guy pushed for primary pipe or vent position, and who had to work around. He also looks at floors differently now, and notices details most people gloss over, like where the floor sink is, which is typically covered up neatly with a shower-like drain cover that blends in with the finished environment.
Jonathan’s favorite project so far was “Movietown” because he was thrown into it right when he started. He found he learned his biggest lessons from entering a project that was already 90% underway and nearing completion. Though it’s much easier to work on a project from the start, this enabled him to learn to think on his toes and problem-solve when things were already well underway.
The Future with AMPAM
AMPAM has been a great place for Jonathan to hone his skills as a design engineer. When pressed for his thoughts on leadership, he pulls from his favorite book, The Art of War, and feels people should “lead by example.” When asked what the only thing is that he can’t live without, he says it’s the ability to constantly learn more. And the biggest lesson he’s learned in the past five years is to work hard. But his mantra is to stay tuned because there is more to come. When asked about his proudest moment at AMPAM, he said without hesitation, “I haven’t had it yet – I’m still hungry and learning!”