An Engineer in the Making
SGH Technical Intern Emily Urbanski discusses her experience at SGH, her favorite types of projects, and her hobbies outside of work.
When did you first want to become an engineer?
I was initially interested in architecture in high school. I attended an architecture camp and shadowed at a firm in my hometown, but it wasn’t for me. I wanted to understand what went into the design and why the building stood up. I’ve always been curious about why things work and how they’re built. So, going into college, I applied as an engineer instead, which I really enjoy so far.
What is a new skill you would like to learn?
There is still so much I have to learn and so many classes I have to take. But I am interested in wood design. One of the projects I enjoyed working on at SGH was a brownstone with a wood masonry structure. It was interesting since I hadn’t had much exposure to those materials before. Also, the industry is starting to use a lot of sustainable wood materials, which is really exciting to me.
What is a goal you are currently working toward?
The easy answer is graduating and getting my master’s degree, which I will most likely get in structural engineering. It’s hard to think of many more–school is such a big thing on my mind right now. I’ve also made it one of my goals to start traveling more. I have a few trips planned this summer, but I want to continue traveling as much as possible. I would love to go somewhere far away, like New Zealand or Australia. I’ve gone to Europe, and I am going again soon, but it would be cool to discover and learn about somewhere so unknown to me.
What would be your dream project to work on at SGH?
That is a tough question, but I definitely like the rehabilitation projects that I have been working on. One of the most interesting aspects of a building to me is its past, so I think my dream project would be a structural restoration of a famous historic building in Boston.
What is something you are passionate about outside of SGH?
I really love art. I took lessons as a kid and some classes in high school, and I still use it as an outlet for relaxation. I mostly paint, sketch, and do watercolor. Using the other part of my brain is a nice contrast to all the math and data at work. I actually started painting shoes recently, which has been really fun. I paint them for myself and my friends, and I’ve also sold a few pairs. I get a lot of requests for floral patterns. I recently did a pair for myself with sunflowers, and I think those are my favorite.
Facts + Stats
My favorite quote: “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill
What I would tell my younger self: High school English class is still relevant and useful!
My hidden talent: I can name every country in the world.
My favorite thing about engineering: Walking around the city, seeing buildings I’ve worked on, and being able to tell people, “I helped fix that place!”