Technically skilled and invested in company culture, our industry-leading team is our foundation. In this new series, “GSer Spotlight”, Levi Stoelting, Principal at Glotman Simpson, shares how his passion for internal mentorship and building trusted client relationships has been an integral part of our success.
What is your Role at GS?
I am a Principal and Senior Engineer, so I am involved with all aspects of the company from structural design, staffing, business development, and everything else in between. Essentially, I do whatever needs to be done at whatever level it needs to be done. Even after 20 years at Glotman Simpson, no one day has ever been the same. The variety of the tasks is part of the thrill of working at GS.
What made you choose this career path?
I didn’t know I had chosen a career path when I started here. When I was going to school at BCIT, one of the academic requirements for my program was working on a project with an industry partner. Nervously, I called Glotman Simpson out of a phone book, not knowing anything more about them besides the fact that they were structural engineers. One of the senior engineers took me on and was excited to have me on board. The project partnership was a great experience for both parties, and I kept in touch long after it was completed.
Upon finishing my studies, I had a few offers to work in the US, but part of me wanted to stay in Vancouver. I sought guidance on moving forward and shaping my career path from the senior engineer at Glotman Simpson and was offered a position. It was a fortunate stroke of serendipity, and it seems so crazy to think that my career path evolved from there, all from deciding to call Glotman Simpson out of a phone book. It just goes to show that you create your own opportunity.
What is your favourite thing about working at GS? Why?
A large part about working at Glotman Simpson is that it is never static. The roles, projects, clients, and environment have not been static in over 20 years. The job evolves every day. And I appreciate everyone that comes here and the contributions they make. Everyone here is amazing at what they do.
For people that are a little bit more entrepreneurial and flexible, Glotman Simpson is attractive, and I can tell that we are attracting the right people. One thing that has become overwhelmingly clear in my 20 years here is that we do good work, and we do good work fast. Our communication is quick, and our people are ethical and responsible. They work incredibly hard and understand what is expected of them.
What is your most memorable GS Project/moment/experience, and why?
It is not the highest-profile project, but our work on The York Theatre was certainly one of the more memorable ones.
I live near Commercial Drive in East Vancouver, and absolutely love my community which the York Theatre plays a large part in. The first time I walked through the project site, I went down into the basement and some of the sprinklers had been deployed; —there was about a foot and a half of cold water, filled with debris, which we had to walk through in the middle of winter. A lot of work went into the redesign of the 100-year-old building. It’s fulfilling to see how much it has helped the liveliness of the East Vancouver community since.
Our family has seen shows at The York Theatre during Christmas time for the last handful of years. I love what we did for the community through that project, and I feel an immense amount of satisfaction in doing that.
What makes GS Special?
It’s the overwhelming sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in who we are and what we do, who we have working here, and what our contribution is to each other and the wider community and environment around us.
As structural engineers, we have a huge responsibility, and people feel that. Sometimes this responsibility manifests itself as pressure. I know though that, our team understands that this pressure comes with an overwhelming sense of fulfilment and accomplishment. It’s very much a privilege to have people put trust in us, and it’s our job to uphold that trust. I am extremely proud of what we are entrusted with every day, whether it be with clients, an organization, an institution, or a larger community.
How do you stay organized? What advice can you share on staying on top of your daily to-do’s?
There are a couple of things that I do: 1, I create a rolling plan for the next three months and I review it every single day to see how my priorities have shifted. 2, I like to use the shoulders of the day, whether it be early in the morning or later in the afternoon, to reset and understand my priorities. I’m also ruthless with my emails and tasks. I act on them right away. When emails come in, I sort them quickly, address which ones are a priority. If some are actionable within two minutes, I deal with them immediately. Anything else, I find a time and place within the day to get it completed, or assigned.
How do you keep up to date with developments and new technology in your field?
There is no one right way to keep up with new engineering systems and technology. It’s a combination of reading publications, formal education, and industry events. It’s also learning on a project-by-project basis that then opens new experiences and opportunities to learn. We have been involved with so many different publications and seminars to share our analyses and research on buildings we have designed, which has spawned additional research.
Any Final Thoughts?
As structural engineers, we are part of a larger engineering community. It’s our responsibility, and career calling to continue to raise the level of engineering, both within our office and within the industry. We aim to elevate everyone around us to keep this discipline and industry growing.