US Handiss Spotlight - Mohamad Tassabehji

Handiss Spotlight: Mohamad Tassabehji – Project Engineer

Mohamad is a Civil Engineer with a background in Structures and Transportation. His experience includes work in the design, procurement and construction side of civil engineering. Design experiences have included large civil infrastructure projects including airports, bus networks, rail systems, and industrial city services. Procurement experiences have included purchasing, contracts, traffic and logistics, and finance (in particular work with export credit agencies such as EXIM). His current work includes all aspects of construction from scheduling, budget management, change management, and field coordination issues.

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Q: You’ve earned your bachelor’s degree in Architectural Engineering. How does that differ from an Architectural Design degree?

A: That is a very good question, there are very few colleges that offer the Architectural Engineering Degree. It is offered as a speciality within the Civil Engineering Department. The program requires students to take some classes from the Architecture program including several design studio classes. However, ultimately it is a Civil Engineering degree with a focus on structures and building as opposed to roads, bridges, water, waste water structures that are within the field of civil engineering. Students take classes on HVAC design, Facade Engineering, and Architectural Design. I would say most of my classmates were engineers who had an interest in architecture, and after graduation about half the class would pursue a masters in architecture, and the other half a masters in Structural Engineering.

Q: How do you typically spend your day on the job as a Project Engineer?

A: A typical day as a Project Engineer would involve walking the project site to see what the construction progress looks like, and if there any issues that have come up that need to be addressed with the design team. The project engineer will check with the superintendent to check and make sure he has all the materials he needs. Then back in the field office, the engineer will check the status of material deliveries, and will check on any submittals or RFIs that are pending with the design team of the owner. In addition, the engineer needs to check to see if there are any new submittals or shop drawings that have been submitted by the subcontractors, review them and send them along for review by the design architect and engineer. Other tasks include internal reporting, and reviewing changes received from the architect, making sure they are distributed to the subcontractors and following up on any change pricing from the subs and the vendors.

Q: Please name one challenging project you’ve worked on, and tell us a bit about it.

A: A challenging project that I worked on was the TopGolf Project. It was my first project as a Project Engineer. On top of that it was a fast paced project with a schedule of 9 months. I had a lot of responsibility and lots of trades to manage. I had to learn quickly how to manage timely delivery of materials as well as dealing with field issues that could have delayed the project.

Q: Do you seek freelance projects aside from your main job? Have you ever been involved in any?

A: The only freelance projects that I have worked on aside from my main job has been to paint canvases, which is a side hobby away from my engineering job.

Q: What licenses and certificates would you consider for career growth?

A: I am a licensed civil engineer and I would encourage everyone to pursue a PE in their field. I would consider the PMP Certification and the LEED certifications that would allow me to grow my career in both those spaces.

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