What’s Your Why with Project Engineer, Kyle Houston

By Kyle Houston, Project Engineer

Nearly three years ago, I joined the Firmatek team.  I actually started out as a field technician, roaming  the lower 48 with a laser scanner and drone, scanning hundreds of sites over a years’ time.  Aggregate sites in downtown Las Vegas.  Abandoned quarries in the Ozarks.  Landfills in Colorado.  Million-cubic-yard piles of road base in Milford, Utah.  (Don’t get me started on Milford… middle of nowhere, zero cell phone service… very “Hills Have Eyes” vibe).  It was an adventure and I loved every second of it.  Ok, maybe not EVERY second of it, but that year was an experience I’ll never forget and it shaped how I operate at my current job as a data processer for our Engineering department.

My previous job was with a big Geotechnical consulting company and it was a dream job quite frankly.  Especially straight out of college.  I mean, how many people get a degree in something and go work DIRECTLY in that field right out of college?  I don’t know the percentages, but I can tell you it didn’t happen for a lot of my friends.  I felt truly blessed.  The work was a little monotonous and quite frankly grueling at times (you do a hundred, 5’ hand augers into Georgia clay during the summer and come talk to me), but I was LIVING THE DREAM.

I had a job straight out of college working in my field!  But as time went on, I realized that this job I appreciated so much was fulfilling a “what” and a “how” for me.  WHAT would I do out of college?  HOW would I make money to support myself? (I was NOT going back to live with my parents…that much I knew) But what was my “why” …   WHY do I want to work?  I thought about it and came to a conclusion.  If I could, I wanted to:

  1. Have fun working
  2. Constantly be able to learn new things and improve myself

These were my two requirements.  So, while I’ll always cherish my time at that company, when I got an opportunity to join the Firmatek family and fulfill those two things with work, I had to jump.  Even though that jump meant leaving friends and family and nearly everyone that I knew on Earth behind and moving halfway across the country. I had to do it.

My nearly three years at Firmatek have been the most fulfilling in my life.  I work with a couple of incredible people in the engineering department and I’m surrounded by a great team of processers, field technicians, and managers that are exceedingly talented at their jobs and are somehow even better people.  The adventure of that first year in the field, traveling the country… learning how our equipment works (and doesn’t work) … flat tires in the middle of Nebraska… hail storms in Oklahoma… conversation with testy plant managers.  It’s all given me the knowledge and (maybe more importantly) the perspective on how we gather data and deliver that data to our clients.  It’s allowed me to define my nearly two years as a Project Engineer with Firmatek as a success.  I’ve learned so much along the way and I’ve had a blast doing it.  I feel so profoundly lucky to have found my Why at Firmatek.