“My favorite part about being an engineer is designing a piece of our community with life, health, and safety in mind. I love that we can channel the forces of nature for the benefit of society. Whether it is safe roads, flood protection, water delivery, or water treatment, there is huge satisfaction having the know-how to make plans a constructed reality.” – John McLain, PE, Baseline Founder & CEO


John McLain graduated from Colorado State University (CSU) with a degree in Civil Engineering. Years ago, he created a scholarship opportunity to give back to students from his alma mater and also encourage them to pursue a career in engineering.

Our company is proud to support members of CSU’s College of Engineering. This year, the Baseline Engineering Scholarship was once again awarded to Florencio Guzman Diaz who is a senior from Trinidad, CO, and majoring in environmental engineering. This area of study covers the fundamentals of civil, chemical, and mechanical engineering; Florencio’s two favorite topics within his Environmental Engineering studies include energy conservation as well as water resources and treatment.

For anyone interested in next year’s scholarship, the deadline is March 1, 2021. Students can access more information on CSU’s website.


Colorado State University – Senior Design Project Highlight

Every year, the seniors within the College of Engineering partake in a year-long capstone design course; this project helps prepare students for their upcoming careers by challenging them to apply their knowledge and solve real-world issues. The Senior Design Project spans two semesters and pairs the students with industry sponsors to uncover solutions to real-world problems.

These engineering projects, which were completed in 2020, can be found in the Engineering Senior Design Showcase booklet. Baseline is thoroughly impressed by what the students were able to come up with and the impact they have already made in their communities.

Clearly, CSU has helped successfully educate and employ countless engineers. Baseline congratulates them for their accomplishments and wants to encourage them for the fulfilling journey ahead. It’s exciting to know that the upcoming engineers are exceptionally talented and bound for success.

As the week comes to a close, Baseline’s civil engineering team reflects upon their experiences as engineers. Check out what they had to say this week in their responses below.

1. Valuable Advice for Aspiring Engineers

Design it as you own it.” – Jordan Piaskowy, PE, Project Manager

Have a little fun being an engineer and make a little money along the way.” – Roland Obering, PE, PLS, Principal Engineer

You need to understand how a contractor is going to build your design so getting time in the field is very important. A design is only as good as the finished product.” – Chris Manning, PE, Division Manager & Operations Partner

Men do not necessarily see things the way you do and it’s important to point out the differences to them. There have been several of these instances of this throughout my career. I remember, when I was first starting out, I worked for a smaller firm that had several functions a year at a local country club; unfortunately, I quickly realized that women were not allowed anywhere besides the lower level of the clubhouse. Similar in nature, I have received several emails addressed to ‘Dear Gentlemen.’ Neither situation was intentionally inconsiderate but reminded me to never be afraid to speak up.” – Sarah Parsley, EIT, Project Engineer

More valuable than advice, the most important thing I have received in my career from someone else was an opportunity. The chance to prove myself and gain the necessary knowledge. Most engineering firms want to hire someone who already has experience so they do not need to train them. But a first opportunity from someone who was willing to take a gamble and devote their own time and resources to train me, develop my skills, and provide mentorship; that is a gift that will last a lifetime.” – Zach Henrichs, PE, Project Engineer

2. Fun or Unique Stories During Your Time as an Engineer

The design, then testing, of the Velodrome in Colorado Springs for the US Olympic Committee was unforgettable. The USOC flew us to Los Angeles to experience that track which we then designed in Colorado. The one difference between Los Angeles and Colorado Springs is that it gets 10˚ below zero here. Once built, we got permission to “test” it with my KLR250 dirt bike. A 33˚banked curve at 33 miles per hour was a real thrill, not quite NASCAR but a great experience.” – Roland Obering, PE, PLS, Principal Engineer

One site visit that Jordan, Melanie, and I did was an inspection of the flume in Blackhawk that follows Gregory Street. Jordan and I as the “bottom man” and “bottom support man” walked through the flume with our PPE, gas monitors, and measuring equipment while Melanie was our “top man” outside the culvert monitoring weather conditions. It was a really exciting experience getting to walk through and investigate these big drainage structures. The whole investigation felt more like going spelunking!” – Sean Callahan, EIT, Staff Engineer

I once judged a concrete mix design competition amongst regional cement producers. I had to batch several concrete mixes from different cement plants and using various ratios of fly ash. I then tested several compressive strengths and analyzed the data to award the winners from various categories of mixed designs.” – Zach Henrichs, PE, Project Engineer