How Brian Jockel turned his A.W. Beattie experience into a career in the architectural engineering field

brian jockel

Brian Jockel may sit behind a desk more often than not, but his roots in the architectural engineering field began with hands-on experiences in A.W. Beattie’s Carpentry and Building Construction program.

Jockel, an electrical designer for McKim & Creed Inc., fondly remembers the days he learned everything from floor, wall, and roof framing from Mr. Carlini and the real-life appliance of Computer-Aided Drafting in Mr. Brown’s class.

“Whenever a coworker asks me what the dimensions of a 2x4 are, I can confidently tell them 1-1/2” x 3-1/2,’” Jockel said. “Shout out to Mr. Carlini for that one.”

There was also that time that dozens of students from the Carpentry, Building Construction and HVAC programs worked together to lower a fully-framed, shingled roof onto a student-built modular home.

“Even though we were in different programs, we were one team with one goal on that day,” Jockel said. “Beattie is all about learning how to effectively work together to accomplish a task, which is something that you will most likely have to do in your career. I am happy to say that the roof was successfully lowered and the modular home made it to its destination.”

That was seven years ago when Jockel was a senior at Shaler Area School District and not long after Mr. Brown introduced him to opportunities at Pittsburgh Technical College (PTC), which he credits with leading to a career that presents new challenges and solutions every day.

His company, McKim & Creed Inc., is employee-owned and has a national engineering footprint in a variety of fields.

“What I most enjoy about my job is that you learn something new with every project that you work on,” Jockel said. “One day I can be working on a skyscraper for an apartment building in New York and the next day I can be working on a stadium for the new Seattle hockey team. The variety of work and uniqueness of projects makes it exciting.”

Jockel, who enjoyed hands-on work in the field, knew in high school he wanted to experience the other side of engineering and construction.

He uses Revit MEP and AutoCAD on a daily basis to design Prefabricated Electrical Systems as it relates to power, lighting, and telecommunication systems for multi-discipline projects, which encompasses commercial, residential, healthcare and educational use. He is also responsible for helping to train and oversee six members of his department through the coordination of tasks, creation of training material on engineering processes and communication with clients on a daily basis.

Jockel earned his Associate’s Degree in Architectural Engineering Technology at PTC in 2016 and will soon graduate from PTC with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management.

“My advice to current students in the CBC program is you will only get out of it what you put in,” Jockel said. “Beattie can be a building block for your future, but it is up to you to make that a reality. Never be afraid to ask questions or signal for help, because all of the instructors truly do want to see you succeed. One of my favorite quotes is by Tony Gaskins, a motivational speaker, author and life coach, who said, ‘If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs.’”

Jockel now serves on the Career Center’s Carpentry and Building Construction advisory board.

“What I enjoyed about Beattie was its friendly atmosphere, which is what I also miss most about the Career Center,” Jockel said. “You can learn something new while building personal relationships and connections with instructors and other students that can help you in the future, even many years after graduation, so I am confident that Beattie will continue to teach, support and prepare students for employment in the same rewarding manner that the Career Center has done for me and so many other graduates."

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