A brief introduction to STV and some of its employees
Last Thursday, WHSAD SYEP students visited the offices of STV INC. to investigate potential career options in the architecture and engineering fields. After settling in and eating the breakfast provided by STV, we were able to hear 6 presentations from employees at the firm. The presentations varied, from the interior of a building, plumbing issues, and preventing disasters that can occur inside or outside the building/site.
Below are the employees names and their positions/roles:
Lauren Alger: Sustainability/Civil Engineer – Works on how to use materials in the best way possible and works on how public places are maintained and looking at potential hazards.
Breanna Gribble: Resilience – Working on measures in case a building is struck by a natural disaster.
Frank Greene: Architect (Justice) – Focusing on the designs of places like jail/courtrooms to make them less intimidating.
Matt Sangen: Structural Engineer – Works on the interior of buildings, the “bones” and “muscles” of buildings.
James Perise: Plumbing/Fire Protection Engineer – Focuses on trying to prevent plumbing/fire issues in a building.
Dejana Harris: Civil and Environmental Engineer – Goes hand and hand with environmental engineering, but trying to resolve health concerns on a global scale.
Rob Fields: Environmental Engineer – Works on improving public health
Many of the workers expressed their passion for what they do their concern for public health when it comes to designing structures. While presenting, environmental engineer Rob Fields brought up a client who was facing plumbing issues. There was an issue which water would turn into a very bright color, which was caused by copper pipes. The client was told by a other company that they couldn’t do much to decontaminate the water. Their only solution was to initially tear the pipe system down and build a new one. So the client reached out to STV, which they assessed the contaminated pipes and came up with a less costly solution, which is a filter that cleans the water.
The staff were very attentive to questions and answered them very thoroughly.
Students thoughts on the trip to STV INC.
Today I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit another architecture firm. This firm was founded more that 100 years ago. While at this firm, I was able to experience first hand the diverse niches of the employees’ work. There were many fields that this firm took into consideration when building structures like a plumbing and fire department that specializes in fire proofing the structures as well as being responsible for overseeing the plumbing systems. One interesting topic was touched on was “resilience”. Using this method allows their buildings to be safe for the community as well as stand against the unpredictable weather. One outstanding fact I learned was that copper is used for fountains because of this the pipe can corrode causing water to appear blue. This was one of the most problematic issues presented because it corrodes and spreads with a large radius. While listening to the presentation I also learned that before copper pipes we used hollow wooden logs and used them with the power of gravity to direct water. While listening, I also learned about tunnel systems beneath our feet as well as realizing that “ it’s not only the surface we need to consider but what’s beneath the surface as well”. This was an interesting experience because I learned how engineering, mathematics, and logic all play a massive role in creating something that people will be in on an everyday basis.
On Thursday we went to STV Inc, after we got our temporary ID’s we were brought to the office and sat down. The first PowerPoint was just the rundown of the company and its mission. They pitched for resilience. They explained that instead of making buildings that negate natural causes, they make buildings that are resilient for the long term.
The first presenter talked about his work in fire prevention and plumbing work. He explained the importance of making sure a building has sprinklers in rooms to prevent fire spreads, and how the plumbing and utility work together to make sure while coexisting, they don’t cancel each other out. He also mentioned that he makes the plans for his job but doesn’t actually install anything; that’s a different field. One of the things that caught my attention was when he said that the sprinklers are not triggered all at once when a fire in one room starts. He explained that if that were the case, all important stuff in the building would be destroyed as if there was a real fire. Also based on my own knowledge, water damage is one of the most irreversible things that can happen to a building.
The second presentation was led by a field I cannot recall, however he mentioned that his goal was to make spaces that everyone could feel comfortable in, such as law buildings, courthouses or jails, spaces that are often filled with stressful situations.
The third presentation was led by a man who does the structure of the building. He explained that in some cases, like Newark airport, one project he worked on, you need to change the beam sizes and direction to ensure a stable building. He also added that his work ties in with fire safety and utilities to make sure he leaves enough room for all the building’s needs on the inside.
The fourth presentation was a woman that ran utilities; this consisted of streets and buildings. I found it interesting that she wanted to pursue a career in chemistry because most of the people there started as engineers, which coexist with architecture already. She explained that her job is to make sure the buildings and roads are working properly. Sometimes she is fixing a poorly done job or making a new layout from scratch. She said some of her challenges were that sometimes things can be done incorrectly and hard to fix by just taking it down, so she has to reverse the damage without making it worse but also doing it efficiently.
The last presenter I think was my favorite; he specializes in water systems. My favorite part was learning about blue water which is water that sits for so long, the copper has a chemical reaction that is triggered by turning the water back on. I also asked how the lead outbreak a few years back occurred. He said that lead and blue water normally occur from water sitting for too long without being flushed out. One such example of water standing for a long period of time is breaks from school. He said the tests for lead poisoning were done so late in the year that when they found it was too high, they shut down the fountains.
Overall I really enjoyed the little facts from this trip that I would’ve never thought of if we hadn’t gone.
Last Thursday we went to an architecture firm at STV. We were very well greeted and also got to here from several workers. They were clear and I learned a lot of stuff like under the ground there are several pipes. There are pipe maps to help others be able to find a specific pipe faster. I also learned about blue water which basically includes copper. They gave us a tip before drinking out of a fountain to let the water run for a couple of seconds so that all the water that was sitting would leave and the new water would flow. I also heard that there was once an experience where a 30 story floor had to be ended because it wasn’t safe. I learned some of the workers weren’t really expecting what they do now until they tried out new things. So that is what I plan to do in the future.
Edwin Villanueva Martinez
When the term engineer was ever presented to me, the most I thought of was someone simply building, someone creating something. However, this trip certainly changed my views on what it takes to be an engineer. Last Thursday, we ventured out to speak with several members of the STV Architecture Firm, as well as about what it takes to work in their shoes. After the last two trips, I first thought, “I can’t wait to see what I am going to learn today,” and I was certainly not disappointed. I learned a lot, and I realized that there are many different types of engineers out there. There are engineers for everything, and these are the people who along with other fields, work together to create magnificent structures. I learned that engineers can not only build, but design as well, meaning that in every field of engineering out there, some design, and those who put the designs to life. I also learned that these creations can take anywhere from several years to several decades, which is just mind-boggling. Overall I’d say that this was the trip where I learned the most about the different fields out there, especially in engineering.
STV was everything I expected. During their presentations I got to hear from various workers about what they do. Each of them plays an important role and I love that. There’s so much that goes into building a building. While these projects, as we see, are being constructed we have no idea of what’s going on behind the scenes. You have to keep in mind the location, where it faces, who needs what and so much more. It made me overwhelmed at first, but it’s teamwork that makes it possible. STV made us feel welcomed with their politeness and passion.
This experience was very interesting. STV works in helping the environment and finding problems that need solutions. There are many opportunities if you are invested to be in an architecture or environmental career. They are all about collaboration, transformation, and resilience. I found that the blue water was interesting due to the pipes being old and rusty. The water that was once clear turns into a blue color. Over the years pipes will eventually start aging causing water problems such as lead and, therefore, the water is not safe to drink. STV solves the problem by finding chemical solutions to place into these pipes.
Special thanks to the STV staff!
This thank you note is dedicated to the STV workers who took the time to present us information and potential job opportunities in the architecture and engineering fields!