March 30, 2016
Get to know Justin Weaver, project architect at Michael Baker International
Project Architect, Associate | Moon Township, PA
What is your role at Michael Baker?
My written role as project architect can encompass a variety of responsibilities from organizing my project teams' efforts, communication with contractors, problem solving Revit issues through the course of a project and making sure our drawings look right before going out the door. No day is the same, and no project is the same. I’m always looking to improve the level and quality of my projects and make the next one better than the last.
I also believe my role is to promote Michael Baker in positive manner, whether it is volunteering for the CANstruction charity event, attending the job fair at my alma mater or making sure I’ve gained the confidence of my clients.
What do you find most challenging about your job?
Architects like to have as much freedom as they can get. Working on government projects can sometimes stifle those creative liberties. The challenge I enjoy is finding ways to do good design despite the limitations we’re presented with.
What has been the most rewarding project you've worked on at Michael Baker?
I think anytime you can get something built is rewarding, since a lot of times projects never get built for various reasons. A project that stands out for me is the Navy Gateway Inns & Suites – a 200-room hotel in Newport, R.I., that is currently under construction. This was zero-design proposal, meaning there was zero preconceived design direction for the Navy. It was exciting to have our proposal selected over some tough competition – for the quality of its design rather than just low price.
What made you want to pursue this career field?
Architecture is one those rare professions that lets you create something that other people can experience on multiple levels. Your vision, creativity and personality are expressed in a built environment that will hopefully have a positive impact. I always treasure the opportunity I have to turn my ideas from sketches into structures that will be here long after I’m gone.
Now the fun stuff…
Last book you read?
George Washington – The Indispensable Man
What is one accomplishment (in your life or job) that you're most proud of?
Being a father of three is the hardest, most rewarding and proudest moment in my life.
What is the number one thing on your bucket list?
I don’t have a bucket list, but my wife and I recently purchased a fixer-upper cottage in Ligonier, Pa. It has been a dream of ours to own property up there. It was one of those situations where the perfect property presented itself and everything fell into place. Definitely a dream come true.
Winter or summer?
Fall is underrated.