Written by: Nick Kiefer, University of Cincinnati, Electrical Engineering, 2022

Working at Motz Engineering has been my first semester of co-op experience through the University of Cincinnati’s engineering program. So far my time here has been nothing short of excellent! It has been fascinating to learn so much about the MEP consulting process in such little time.

I haven’t just been watching from the sidelines, however. I have been able to dig right in to help with aspects of projects from placing a receptacle in a room to circuiting to creating a custom lighting plan based on specific luminaires.

Looking back objectively at all that I have learned so far, I think it has been incredible how fast Motz has helped me to pick up programs like AutoCAD, Revit, and Visual, programs which I had never used before. I have had the opportunity to go on site visits where we met with the client to determine their vision for a project and to verify existing conditions for a remodel/upgrade.

All of this fun and learning has not been without its challenges, however. Jumping right into everything, while enjoyable to me, is not for everyone and can be a bit stressful. Thankfully, though, I have many very knowledgeable coworkers to help me out any time I stumble, whether it’s Chris Wilson’s extensive expertise in Revit or Bret Heckman’s wisdom from working in this field or Suzie Murdock’s never-ending energy. It has been a challenge to become acclimated with waking up at 5:30 to beat the never-ending I-75 construction/rush hour traffic “game,” but now I don’t mind mornings as much as I used to. This will help encourage me to sign up for earlier classes instead of pushing them to the afternoon. This job has also taught me that music can indeed get boring in the car, and podcasts are the way to go for passing the time.

An exciting aspect of an engineering company that I didn’t expect to learn much of is marketing. I’m thrilled to be able to work with Suzie and Amanda Roehl (Pixels and Ink Studio) on organizing events. This has allowed me to expand on my previous experience with professional communication and planning in a new field. Another aspect of Motz that I have come to enjoy is the office atmosphere. Since Motz has the advantage of still being a relatively small (but rapidly growing!) company, nearly everyone you work with is within earshot if they are in office. This closeness has helped me to get to know many of my coworkers better than if they were “just a name” I had heard now and then. Not to say that it can be bad working for a large company, but I guarantee if you’re working at GE you won’t work directly with the president on projects on day 1! I enjoy how this office can be both relaxing and fast-paced at the same time. Lastly, I’m excited to have the opportunity to lead a project in our own building. This experience will be a great way to bring everything I have learned here together. Thank you, Motz!