National Engineers Week 2019

Meet an Engineer: Andrew Kaparos, PE

Author: Pam Grater Published: February 19, 2019

It’s National Engineers Week! We are recognizing the great work MFA engineers do and celebrating the engineering profession with a profile of an outstanding MFA engineer every day this week. To learn more about MFA’s engineering work, visit our projects page, and read on to learn about today’s featured engineer, Andrew Kaparos, PE.

In what states are you licensed?

I’m currently licensed in Washington and applying for licensure in Oregon and Idaho.

How long have you been a PE?

Seven years.

How long have you been with MFA?

Four years.

Does anything memorable stand out from taking your PE test? Do you have any tips for studying?

Memorable… the gentleman sitting next to me who thought his chances of passing increased with the amount of force he applied to his calculator!

Tips… Create a study schedule and stick to it. Take a couple practice exams in advance, and only bring references you’re familiar with.

I recall a few folks that had suitcases and crates full of textbooks and binders… I thought to myself, “there is no way they’re actually familiar with the contents of all those books.” You don’t want to be fumbling through books hoping to find an answer. Be very familiar with your reference materials.

What has been one of the most memorable projects you have worked on, and why?

One of my favorite MFA projects is the Former Truck City site in Mt. Vernon, WA (aka Skagit County Community Justice Center Brownfield Redevelopment Project). MFA helped Skagit County find an appropriate site to construct their new jail facility. The former truck wash site had a long list of historical operations that left the site heavily contaminated. I assisted with the environmental investigation, remediation design, and construction oversight. The project required soil and groundwater remediation, as well as a vapor barrier and venting system. The team included a wide-array of folks, including attorneys, agency staff, architects, contractors, and many, many more; this required a great deal of collaboration.

Fortunately, we had a great team and the project moved along at a quick pace. The cleanup was extremely successful, and MFA was able to obtain a No-Further Action letter from the Washington State Department of Ecology within just two years! The project also won the Washington 2018 Governor’s Smart Communities Award.

What does being an engineer mean to you?

To me, it’s about using principles of mathematics, science, and common sense to develop designs and solutions for a variety of projects or problems. As engineers, we tend to have skills based around being inquisitive, analytical, creative, and detail-oriented. Being an engineer allows you to take on a wide variety of roles or be involved in a variety of project types.