Growing up in the 90s, Wastewater Project Manager Andrew Conard was surrounded by the rapid changes and growth in technology. At a young age, he became fascinated with technology and how it worked. This interest eventually led him to a career as a civil engineer.
“I love just how, being in engineering, things are always different technology wise, new stuff is always coming out,” Andrew said.
Technology is constantly evolving in the field of engineering. An engineer can see an entire site from their computer in the office. However, there are still many benefits of visiting a site in person. It makes the site easier to visualize and points out landscaping issues, such as trees, that do not appear on a map.
When conducting a site visit, our engineers use technology, such as 360-degree cameras, to gather data and information of a proposed site. Occasionally, on site visits, Andrew will go out and look at existing manholes. He and his team will lower a 360 camera into the manhole, which gives them a visual of the complete circumference of the structure. The data gathered on a site visit is then used to make decisions going forward in the design process.
“It’s fun to trying to come up with and brainstorm alternative solutions that would be the most cost-effective for the project,” Andrew said.
Andrew explained that one of the benefits of Lamp Rynearson is that it is located locally to most of our projects. This allows for easier site visits, and a more efficient project overall. Andrew said he enjoys when he is driving around Kansas City, he can often drive by a project in construction that he has helped design.
“I like to see what I am working on all day and see something tangible come out of it,” Andrew said.
Thanks to advancements in technology, Andrew has helped design an elevated tank in Africa that has provided clean water to thousands of people, all from our office in Kansas City. Andrew is part of a group at Lamp Rynearson that helps with Aqua-Africa, a non-profit that drills wells and constructs water towers in communities that need water in South Sudan. Our team is available to help answer engineering questions, run hydraulic models, or meet other needs of the organization.
“Fortunately, now we have a lot of good technology, like with smartphones, they can take a video of a potential project site, and they can walk pathways that a waterline might go down. You can see firsthand through that, what the terrain looks like. You can’t collect a whole lot of data, but you can at least get some information by watching that,” Andrew said.
Andrew’s passion for working with water started in college, when he developed an interest in working with developing countries. He realized there were so many people in these places without clean water. After college, he went to work for a non-profit in Colorado Springs, where he worked on small projects overseas. That is when he got to visit Africa, where he conducted site visits and saw firsthand the kinds of issues that existed.
Andrew moved back to Kansas City, got married, and worked at an engineering firm. Not long after that, they decided to move to Cambodia, where he did engineering work for a faith-based organization. Andrew worked on a lot of water access projects, putting in wells and rainwater tanks. He then saw a need to switch to the sanitation side of things.
“Once you have clean water, that’s great. But if you don’t try to keep your waste out of it, it doesn’t really help,” Andrew said.
3 and a half years later, Andrew and his wife moved back to Kansas City, where he found a job at Lamp Rynearson. He has now been at Lamp Rynearson for over 8 years.
If you are looking for an exciting opportunity where you can combine your passions with engineering, check out our career page! We’d love to have you on our team.
“If you’ve got running water and a toilet to flush, thank an engineer,” Andrew said.