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Terra-Petra Spotlight. . . John Conaway

September 1, 2017

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As Terra-Petra’s Principal Engineer, John Conaway provides all professional engineering services, support and counseling. No set of finalized plans leaves the office without his approval, signature, and professional engineering stamp.

John earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Utah State University.  Since 1968 he’s earned Civil Engineering licenses in 7 states across the U.S. including California, New York, Ohio, Illinois and Michigan. His licenses for North Carolina and Nevada have run dormant. Needless to say, this is an impressive career achievement and brings invaluable experience to Terra-Petra’s team.

A typical day on the job for John includes meeting with clients, collaborating with the design division, and reviewing environmental reports. He’s also actively involved in researching new products to keep the company current in an evolving industry. John gets a great deal of satisfaction from the engineering aspect of his position. Like any true engineer he enjoys seeing projects come to life and being put to practical use.

Prior to working with Terra-Petra John found employment primarily in the governmental sector. As Terra-Petra is within the private sector he’s noted some major differences. However, throughout his career he’s learned important lessons that can be applied in any sector of Civil Engineering. One of these is to always present a good-looking set of plans – this is something which Terra-Petra takes great pride in. Another lesson John’s learned over these last 45+years is that communication is paramount; good communication between a client and the design team ensures a facilitated and thorough design process.

John hopes to continue active involvement with Terra-Petra in the coming years as the company expands. As it expands, he believes Terra-Petra can benefit from developing a higher level of organization. This includes not losing sight of quality services and the constant necessity of implementing quality assurance/control procedures when reviewing plans. John also thinks that at some point it may be necessary to put one person in place for the single purpose of quality control.

In lieu of all the positive aspects of an engineering career, John has found the occasional deposition and litigation duties to be almost unbearable. As the process can drag on for months, he’s discovered that being called upon as an “expert witness” for testimony is not as captivating as it sounds. Furthermore, he wishes more people outside the industry valued the effort spent on engineering projects and that there was more widespread appreciation for engineering in general.

Away from work, John enjoys frequent traveling to his favorite locations of the mountainous West, Europe, and the Caribbean. He prefers road trips and cruises, and not flying, thanks in part to new policies of the TSA. As a man with an enormous family, John is never alone on his excursions. He’s been married to his wife Judy for nearly 47 years and, together, they have 11 kids, 22 grandchildren as well as many great-grandchildren. John Conaway hopes that he can continue to spread his admiration of Civil Engineering to the younger generations of his family.

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