Engineers Week 2023 Interview: Gabriel Alfaro, Engineering Associate
This week at McGill we celebrate Engineers Week, a week dedicated to celebrating the future of engineering. The week was created by the National Society for Professional Engineers (NSPE) an organization that is dedicated to “Creating a world where the public can be confident that engineering decisions affecting their lives are made by qualified and ethically accountable professionals.” The theme this year for Engineers Week is Creating the Future. With this theme in mind, we interviewed six of our employees who are newer to the field of engineering and are paving the way in the engineering field each day. Read our interviews each day to find out what excites them about their current work and the future.
Engineers Week 2023: Today, meet Gabriel Alfaro, Engineering Associate in our Pinehurst office.
Why did you pursue the engineering field?
I have always been interested in how small parts can be put together to create a complex object that improves our standard of living. An example of this is how our projects work together with older projects, sometimes from other engineering firms, but work together in unison to provide a better service as a whole.
What excites you about problem solving?
I like to be challenged and prove to myself my personal abilities. There is no better feeling than after trying multiple approaches and finally arriving at a solution that will both financially and practically solve the problem.
What are your hopes for the future of engineering? How do you plan to be a part of that / contribute to that?
I would like to see younger professionals show interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Innovation and advances occur because of STEM fields, and we should try to encourage as many people as possible to follow this career. Being a part of organizations that promotes engineering, like the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), increases people’s interest.
Is there a project you’ve recently worked on that you are proud of?
The first project I worked on at McGill is the Siler City Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion. It has been a multi-office project with multiple components that I had no experience with before. This project has taught me that there is always something new to learn and that projects are not just engineering but also have a lot of permitting associated with them.
Is there something new in the field that you’d like to share or that excites you?
I have recently discovered the major problem with Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) chemicals and the environment, and how we should try to create solutions to this complex and difficult problem.