Feeling Welcomed: Q&A with Structural Engineer Chris Bryant
A company as large as Gray could easily make a team member feel distant. With hundreds of employees working across a number of different projects all at once, it would be easy to feel like you are just a number. But here at Gray, we are a family. And we go out of our way to make sure every person knows that they are valued for not just the work they do but also the person they are. We spoke with Chris Bryant, structural engineer at Willett Engineering, a Gray company, about his time with Gray, how he has felt welcomed into the family, and what he enjoys most about his work.
Can you tell us what your normal workday or “day in the life” is like?
“My days are split between doing engineering work, communicating with customers, and site visits. I usually have maybe 4-5 jobs I’m actively working on at various points in the design process. This makes my day-to-day vary quite widely based on what job I’m working on that day and where it is in the process. One day, I may spend most of my time working on the lateral system of a three-story school. Then, the next day, I may spend hours checking shop drawings for a speculative warehouse. It helps keep the work fresh and interesting.”
What do you enjoy most about your work?
“I enjoy two main things about my work: As far as the actual job, I love the problem-solving aspects. The process of solving a problem to make it safer, more cost-effective, or quicker to build is an enjoyable challenge for me. It’s great both as an intellectual pursuit as well as that good feeling when you know you’ve improved something for the customer. I also love the people I work with. You don’t work somewhere for 10 years if you don’t thoroughly enjoy the people you work with.”
Since you started with the company, how has it changed in your opinion?
“For me, it is probably surprising how little it has changed. The work has always had a large variety to it, including schools, warehouses, retail, and really anything else. We’ve always made having a relationship with our customers a priority, and I’ve worked with some of the same customers for the entire time I’ve been at Willett Engineering.”
In one word or phrase, how would you describe Gray?
“Caring. When we were acquired by Gray, I was worried about being part of a large company and that individual employees would get lost. That hasn’t been my experience. Gray makes its employees a priority both through its safety programs and a variety of other intentional efforts.”
What does being a part of the Gray family mean to you?
“As a structural engineer, I’ve always found fulfillment in contributing to something bigger than myself. Being part of the Gray family is one more way I get to be part of a bigger picture.”
What has been the most memorable experience with Gray since you started?
“Probably working on the shoring and erection for the façade of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Getting a chance to work on a job that has such a high profile was an amazing experience. The ability to point to something and say, “I worked on that,” and have complete strangers know exactly what you’re talking about is a cool experience.”
If you would like to learn more about joining the Gray family, please visit gray.com/careers.