Congratulations to Ken Davidson on his 15 years with Civiltec Engineering!
Ken joined the Prescott office on February 10, 2004 after moving from San Diego, California. Though he originally studied hydrogeology at San Diego State University and later worked for a geology firm called Leighton and Associates, Inc., he had gained a high level of experience in using AutoCAD and wanted to continue working with the program.
Ken began sending out resumes to civil engineering firms. After working for Aguirre and Associates, a small engineering company in La Mesa, California, he received a call from Civiltec.
The week before Christmas 2003, Ken spent time in the office, doing smaller interviews with staff members and getting to know the team. At the end of the week, Rick Shroads officially hired him to work on construction observation. Ken moved to Prescott in January.
Though the firm has grown since the early 2000s, Civiltec continues to deliver surveying projects, with Ken as a key part of their success.
In your 15 years with Civiltec, what has been one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned?
Something that I have learned – and continue to remind myself today – is to always double- and triple-check my work before sending it out. You should always review what you did and make sure you did it correctly.
What has been your favorite project and why?
I really enjoy survey boundary mapping. This is essentially creating property boundaries from record plats and legal descriptions in Civil3D. We go out and survey monuments and other set property corners. I began doing this work with Aguirre and Associates, but really started focusing on it with Rick and Civiltec for the last 15 years.
Last year, we worked with Southwest Gas on a huge boundary mapping project. Most boundary mapping projects cover around 1500 feet. We covered 15 miles!
Since joining Civiltec, how has your life changed? Have your passions evolved?
I always envisioned myself in a place like this. But geology is very different from boundary mapping, so I have learned many new things. When I started here, I was focusing on construction observation. Then I got into surveying and that is the part I enjoy today.
One of the things I like about boundary mapping is doing the research of old records and being able to put that data on a map. It’s like detective work, to go back and find out why properties and easements have changed. You have to do your own research. You can learn a lot about a place, in ways others might not expect.
On a personal level, my life hasn’t changed very much. But since I started, I finally got my motorcycle license and bought my first motorcycle three years ago. I recently got another one a few weeks ago. I have a sport bike and a dirt bike. We have so many trails out here in Prescott, I thought I needed to get a dirt bike to explore them.
Do you have any hobbies?
I like to do a lot of “DIY” projects, mainly working on vehicles. I rebuild things; I like to take things that aren’t working apart and see if I can get them to work. My first motorcycle came in boxes so I spent a few weeks and put it together. I think I’ve rebuilt about five cars. The first car I rebuilt with my dad when I was 14. We rebuilt the engine, did the bodywork, and repainting – everything.
I also like rebuilding chainsaws. Originally, I started because I had wanted to purchase a chainsaw, but they are really expensive. So I went on Ebay and found ones that needed work. I disassemble, go through and see what parts are bad, and then put them all back together. I have six chainsaws now, but I’m not sure what to do with them.
How do you want to help Civiltec grow in the future? Is there anything you want Civiltec to achieve?
More boundary projects would be great! Aside from that, I think I would like to help grow Civiltec as a mentoring firm. It would be great to bring on some students who just graduated from college as new hires, and train them for survey work and other service lines. These skills need to be learned somewhere; Civiltec could be that place.