Staff Spotlight: Tim Kwan Becomes a PE!

Project Engineer

Congratulations on becoming a Licensed Professional Engineer. This is a huge step in your career and one to be very proud of. We at Civiltec are definitely proud! So let’s put the spotlight on you and this accomplishment. 

What were your goals before coming to Civiltec? 

Civiltec was actually my first engineering job! Prior to joining, my goal was mostly to graduate from Cal Poly Pomona as soon as I could! I also wanted to get as much experience as possible luckily,  I was able to complete that goal while interning here!

What new goals did you develop while working for us these past five years? 

My goals while I was at Civiltec for the past 5 years have constantly been changing. Initially, I started with just passing the FE Exam, and then slowly working my way up to all the requirements to become a PE. Aside from the license goals, I wanted to try and dial in my focus area to get really good at one style of project but have since started expanding my project portfolio gaining an understanding of a wider range of projects (some examples include recent work on Groundwater Wells and Storage Reservoirs).

Can you describe your PE journey? 

My journey started when I joined Civiltec as an intern in June 2018. I interned in the summer and continued throughout my school year. Before my last year of college started, I took my FE Exam and passed my EIT. Then I continued interning and graduated during the pandemic, becoming a staff engineer. During my staff engineer era, I took my PE National Exam shortly after graduating. Since eligibility for surveying and seismic exams requires 2 years of experience, I had no choice but to wait the time out and gain the necessary experience while working. After two years, I took my seismic exam, and then my surveying exam and became a project engineer. Looking back at it, it’s been a wild 5 years of studying for all these exams, but it finally feels like it’s just getting started! 

When you were working towards your PE what helped the most? 

While working towards the PE, a lot of my co-workers were supportive and encouraging towards the effort that I was putting in. They all believed in me and gave supporting comments to me while I was studying. Honestly, these meant the world to me and made me feel good! 

Do you have any recommendations for those starting their PE journey? 

I’d definitely recommend starting working towards your license as soon as possible! In California, there’s a 2 year period where you have to get experience before you start taking your seismic and surveying exam. Within those 2 years, knock out that national PE Exam! That way, you don’t have any delay for the seismic and surveying. Also, ask lots of questions if you need to. Civiltec helped me a lot with resources that allowed me to pass.

What does the future hold for you now? 

Well now that I’m a Project Engineer, it looks like my responsibilities are increasing and I am hoping to work hard. Can’t wait for the first project I get to add my stamp on!

In the past few years do you have a favorite project? What elements of it make it top of mind? 

A project that holds dear to my heart would have to be my first ever Water Master Plan, City of Brea. I was on the project from beginning to end, and every day was learning something new. Nothing beats that feeling when you’re learning something new and it just clicks in your head. One element in this that made it a top-tier project for me was how this system moves water around the City. It’s different than the norm of other projects I’ve worked on, making it exceptionally unique.

How do you spend your non-engineering time these days? 

A lot of my time now that exams are finally over is spent hanging out with my lovely girlfriend, playing video games, or grabbing food with my friends! Recently, I’ve been trying to be fit again, but getting motivated is always a struggle! I was also really really far behind in the Marvel universe, but I recently caught up in the series! 

If you could recommend three shows to someone what would they be?

Oh boy, there are a lot of shows (anime) that I would love to recommend, but if I had to pick 3, it would be: 1) Ranking of Kings, 2) Demon Slayer, 3) Run with the Wind.

#1 and #2 are fantasy-styled shows that are constantly providing eye-candy environments and animations. While the show seems to use typical themes you’d see in any other show, the way it’s portrayed leaves you wanting more. #3 is a more realistic everyday lifestyle show that captures character development and growth, a feel-good kind of show!