5 Questions With An Expert: Arthur Aranda

February 14, 2024

1.  Starting with some background about yourself, can you share how you got started in this field and what inspires you most in your work? 
During my first semester of college, I got a part-time job as a lab technician with a CMT firm on a special project in Fort Bliss. I spoke with several engineers at the firm who encouraged me to pursue a degree in Civil Engineering. The ability to work in the industry while pursuing my bachelor’s degree gave me insight into the geotechnical engineering field and helped me decide to pursue it as a career.   

2.  What is your role at HVJ, and what is your favorite type of project/work?
I am a project manager for the professional services department and senior materials engineer for the CoMET department at the HVJ West Texas branch. I oversee the West Texas branch engineering operations, and I’m in charge of training and developing the staff. Large projects, either the construction or design phases, are probably my favorite because of the challenges.  

3.  What are the common types of problems that your customers are trying to solve? What do you think draws them specifically to HVJ?  
Meeting the project schedule is a recurring issue that our clients have brought up as a concern. I believe we do an excellent job meeting this need because of the hands-on involvement of our project team and their approach to proactively solving problems that would have likely impacted the project schedule later as things progressed. We have many repeat customers, and I am proud to say they keep coming back because we understand and meet their needs. 

4.  Can you briefly describe one of your recent projects and what you found most interesting or rewarding? 
I recently worked on a project where we provided geotechnical recommendations for a proposed bridge in West Texas. It was interesting to see the type of soils encountered at the site and the engineering properties we could determine through our laboratory testing. West Texas has unique and interesting geology, and it was the first time I worked with the type of soil I encountered on the project. It’s rewarding to work with something new and see the project through to success.

5.  One of HVJ’s promises is a commitment to ongoing learning. What resources or training opportunities have you found to be most helpful? What tips do you have for keeping up to date with ongoing education?  
I think the best resources come from within HVJ. We have technical staff with many years of experience and extensive educational backgrounds that have been a great resource to me. HVJ’s culture is that our collective success relies on our people and that we are more powerful by helping one another. A few examples of people who have been very helpful to me are HVJ’s Principal Engineer Mike Hasen, Professional Services Department Manager Anil Raavi, and Austin Branch Manager Frank Carmichael. They have been open and willing to pass on their knowledge.

One recommendation for keeping current with ongoing education is to stay updated with organizations such as ASCE and ACEC. They provide many opportunities for continuing education. 
 Arthur Aranda


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