For SFPUC Engineering Associate Ted Standers, a typical day includes creating and maintaining CAD drawings that support engineering designs related to the Hetch Hetchy Water and Power System. But some days, Standers gets to mentor young people and expose them to careers in STEM.
“STEM is important because our society is so dependent on the Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics,” said Standers. “Every aspect of what happens all around us every day used one or more of these terms in some way. Either to design it, build it or to keep it functioning. This will not change.”
During a regular work day, Standers typically spends about 85% of his time at a computer using CAD software to make computer models of the engineering design. From those computer models he makes detailed drawings describing those models. Detailed drawings are made up of various views of the design with dimensional information, types of materials, instructions and much more. Standers spends a fair amount of his remaining time working closely with the engineers in the office as well as out in the field or at the job site taking measurements and documenting site conditions.
“The designs start out as ideas and those ideas are communicated through sketches and written documents,” said Standers. “My main responsibility is to supervise the Maintenance Engineering Drafting Department, which includes a team of drafters. They create technical engineering drawings from the sketches. Those technical engineering drawings will be used to further communicate the engineering design to contractors and fabricators.”
What interested Standers in participating in the Dinner with a Scientist event was the opportunity to interact with young students who are interested in these types of fields.
“For a person to be interested in engineering and the sciences at such a young age is inspirational,” he shared. “Hopefully by seeing and hearing what adults do in these types of professions will continue to motivate the students to learn more and keep the cycle moving.”
Standers advises students with an interest in working in the utilities industry to continue to be curious. He believes that water is and will continue to be a very important resource in the future.
“Engineers and Scientist play an important role in this industry. Water systems that currently exist will need to be maintained. New water systems will need to be built and maintained to continue to sustain growing populations,” he said. “All of this is made possible by people involved with engineering and sciences. It is rewarding to know that what you can contribute to this industry will benefit every person in the community.”