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  • Writer's pictureMAREJ

Engineering Excellence: A closer look at Ryan Skupski’s impact in the field

Ryan Skupski

Senior Mechanical Engineer

AKF Group

Years with company/firm: 5 years

Years in the field: 15 years

What is your most notable project, deal or transaction?

I just finished Smithfield Hospital which is a new construction 3-story hospital. It was challenging, which I enjoy. I learned a lot and had fun thinking through the project.

How do you contribute to your company and/or the industry?

I think keeping the best interests of the client and the people who will occupy the building in mind when designing has helped our company and industry. I’m also involved in several North Carolina projects and play an active role in growing our Raleigh office.

Who or what has been the strongest influence in your career?

Sam K., who was my mentor when I first got started about 16 years ago. Sam had a passion for design and a lot of that rubbed off on me.

What impact has networking had on your career?

Networking has been important; I’m with AKF today because I knew a person working here. I attend ASHRAE, VSHE, and NCSHE events which help me maintain relationships with other people in the industry.

Tell us how and when you began your career in the profession you are in, about your current position and why you choose the field/profession you are in today.

During my time in college at ODU, I worked several internships including HVAC design and HVAC equipment sales. When I graduated, I was working as an intern HVAC sales engineer for a local mechanical contractor in Norfolk. They hired me full time. A few years later, I decided to pursue my PE as a mechanical design engineer.

What unique qualities and or personality do you feel makes you most successful in your profession?

Listening, asking questions, being curious, and doing what you say you’ll do.

What challenges and or obstacles do you feel you needed to overcome to become as successful as you are today?

Those first few years as an engineer in my opinion are the hardest. Living with roommates, learning how to design, learning new programs, and studying for the PE were challenging. Plus, I graduated in December 2007, right about at the start of the recession.

What outside activities do you enjoy during you free time?

I do yearly surf trips down to Central America. I’ve been to Costa Rica a bunch of times, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. Those are my favorite free time activities but I’m always outside doing something.

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