In this episode, I talk to Walfrido Pevida, P.E., the Founder and Chief Engineer at Pevida Highway Designers, LLC about growing a civil engineering firm, the importance of a company’s vision and mission, and the roles people play when building a business.
Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Walfrido:
- How important is a company mission/vision to growing a civil engineering firm?
- What is the importance of the people in your firm, and how do you find, develop, and retain the right people for your firm?
- Do you have a process to ensure you are consistently developing your people?
- In building a civil engineering firm, like many businesses, you inevitably encounter problems along the way. How do you, or your company, identify and deal with the problems that arise?
- What are some typical problems that you see arise in civil engineering firms, specifically when they are trying to grow or scale?
Here Are Some Key Points Discussed in This Episode About Growing a Civil Engineering Firm:
- When starting a civil engineering firm, the company culture might be unclear at first, but will become clearer as you begin growing the firm. It takes many people to change the culture of a large company, but small companies can change their culture easily, and this can have a dramatic impact. Once you have established the basis of your civil engineering firm’s culture, you can start to refine it even further to suit the plan you have for your firm. Remember to do all things in your firm with a people-first approach.
- Giving tasks to more junior engineers can be difficult to do in the earlier stages of your firm. Delegating work is one of the most important things that you must learn to do. People will see that your firm gives its people the opportunity to do things that other firms will not allow, which can be an attractant to some of the best talents in your area. When people want to work in your company, ask what they enjoy doing and what drives them. If you like what that person has to offer, you can create that position in your company where they can thrive and succeed. Your firm must create space for engineering excellence to thrive.
- Training and development are important to the people who work for you and your firm. Exposure to other parts of the firm is a great way for people to get experience in other fields. Have strategic meetings where everyone in your firm takes part. Have open conversations so that everyone can hear what is happening and what needs to be done in all the different parts of the firm. As your firm grows, you will start to need leaders to take over some of the tasks you have been doing. Send them and yourself for leadership training to better your firm’s leadership skills.
- You will face many problems as you grow your civil engineering firm. You will begin to attract many different people with different backgrounds that you have not worked with before. They could resist doing things in your firm that they never had to do before. You must then find common ground and decide how to best move forward with them. When opening new offices in different areas, it can be challenging to let the people there feel like they are part of the corporate office.
- Finding and recruiting the right people for your firm can be challenging. It is difficult to find people who fit your culture and help you grow your firm. It can be difficult to have the resources to deliver on your upcoming work program.
More Details in This Episode…
About Walfrido Pevida, P.E.
Walfrido has nearly 30 years of experience and has served as project director, project manager, and Engineer of Record on various projects. His highway design experience involves projects that range from limited access highways, including multi-level interchanges, to major arterial capacity projects to resurfacing, rehabilitation, and restoration projects. He has directed design services on Complex Design-Build Projects, including the $802 million I-395/SR 836 /I-95 improvements between NW 17th Ave. and Biscayne Bay and the $560 million SR 826 /SR 836 four-level interchange in Miami-Dade County. He was the Engineer of Record on the 95 Express Lanes project in Miami-Dade County between SR 836 and the Golden Glades Interchange, where he earned the FES Individual Technical Achievement Award. The project was the first Express Lanes project to become operational in Florida, the sixth in the United States, and earned AASHTO’s America Transportation Awards for Innovation.
Books Mentioned in This Episode:
This Episode Is Brought to You by Colliers Engineering & Design
Colliers Engineering & Design is a multidiscipline engineering firm with over 1,800 employees in 63 offices nationwide — and growing fast! Colliers Engineering & Design maintains an internal culture that is nurtured through the promotion of integrity, collaboration, and socialization. Their employees enjoy hybrid work environments, continuous career advancement, health and wellness offerings, and programs and projects that have a positive impact on society. Colliers Engineering & Design stays on the cutting-edge of technology, and their entrepreneurial approach to expansion provides personal and professional development opportunities across the firm. Leadership’s dedication to the well-being of their employees and their families is demonstrated throughout the wide range of benefits and programs available to them. For more information, visit the career page on their website at colliersengineering.com.
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you can share on growing a civil engineering firm.
Please leave your comments, feedback, or questions in the section below.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, P.E., LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success