By Mike Sullivan, Senior Associate

FSi recently promoted Mike Sullivan to the position of Senior Associate. We asked him to share some of his thoughts about his work and the company. Here’s what he said.

FSi founder Rob Danforth, who recently retired, always used to say that engineering isn’t rocket science, that it’s really about the people. I think he’s right. There are a lot of firms out there who will provide competent engineering design. At FSi, we certainly do that, and we take it several steps further with communication and relationships. Our communication efforts start in our own office. We work in a huge variety of market sectors, from education to industrial manufacturing. When we come together in our regular tech meetings, we talk about the things we’ve learned, and how to apply those lessons in other projects. So you’re getting best practices from specialists, and also from MEP engineering at large. It’s the best of both worlds for our clients.

Which leads to our next area of building relationships. When we start a new project, the first thing we do is listen and clarify. It’s really important to use to understand client goals so that we can have a collaborative process that balances stakeholder needs, which sometimes compete with each other. By making sure we understand all positions, we can recognize where areas of conflict arise and present potential solutions clearly, in ways that are understandable to all disciplines and stakeholders. We talk about how technology choices will impact the building’s functions, and we can put it all in layman’s terms. I think interdisciplinary communication is one of the things that set us apart and allow us to find areas of alignment. That crucial to the success of large projects. Whether we’re the Prime or subconsultant, we’re always solution-oriented and focused on the success of the whole project. We call this having an ownership mindset, and it’s at the core of who we are at FSi. Every person on our staff is committed to our clients’ success from accounting to engineering and CAD.

The impact of our designs lasts for decades after we complete them, and they effect a wide variety of people. To make sure those impacts are positive, we focus on understanding, communication, and building relationships with our clients and end users.

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