At 50, I’m comfortable saying that I’ve lived a full-life to this point in my existence. Born in the south suburbs of Chicago and raised by a stationary engineer dad and an accounting mom, my sister & I weren’t silver spoon fed, but we never went without anything that we needed. A sports junkie as a kid, everything was fair game: Baseball, hockey, golf, tennis, I even took a crack at wrestling (despite going 1-13 my freshman year…with the 1 being by forfeit…). Sports, exercise & physical preparation have, and will always be, staples of my existence.  My dad was an athlete then, and even now at 75, still plays softball & volleyball. Apples and trees….

I studied civil engineering at Michigan State and transferred in my junior year to Illinois-Chicago and in 1989, got by BS in Civil Engineering.  I had the good fortune of working as a college intern for 3 summers, and the experience was a major contributor to landing my first job at Consoer Townsend & Associates in Chicago as a Construction Engineer. I spent the early part of my career working on both construction and design efforts, gaining traction in the industry with every project.

Fast-forward 28 years – The journey that I’ve been on has made for an unbelievable ride. I’ve been in responsible charge of over $500 million in construction work as a Resident Engineer. For the past 10 years, I have been working for Knight E/A, a consulting engineering firm based in Chicago. I have been fortunate to have worked along side of a lot of great professionals who have helped me become the engineer I am. As I look back at my career, it’s hard to believe that I’ve been involved with such a sizable amount of infrastructure improvements in what seems to be such a short amount of time.

In 1986, my best friend wanted to go on a double-date with a couple of girls he knew. He thought it would be a good idea if I met this cute blond who lived down the street. Little did I know that this date, pizza at Gino’s East in Chicago and a walk along Lake Michigan, would end up being the start of a 30+ year friendship, relationship & marriage that has made for some of the best days of my life. Beth & I have been blessed with a healthy marriage and 2 amazing kids. I don’t know what I did to deserve having these people in my life: I thank God everyday for giving me the privilege to be part of their lives.

I have a few other moving parts in my life beyond work & family. I have played hockey since grade school and continue to skate 2 nights a week. I am a strength & conditioning junkie, spending virtually every night in our unfinished basement putting a barbell, squat rack & simple training implements to use. I train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu – It is an absolutely amazing sport, one that has me considering backing off on my ice time (I can’t believe I’m actually saying that….). Needless to say, being strong, fit, active & healthy are staples of my life and not solely a mid-life crisis repellent. I’ve told many that I hope to roll this completely beat up body up to St. Peter’s gate and thank him for letting me red-line it for as long as I could. Hard work is a blessing and I’ll continue to treat it as such….

This site has been in my personal incubator for years. As I am starting to feel like I’ve stepped over the crest of my career’s bell curve, I’m looking at other avenues where my knowledge base, experience & attitudes about life can be utilized in ways other than just managing construction projects (and pushing paper….). I have the desire to write, teach & publish – I am hoping that this site will be my On The Job Training as I eventually hope to transition into something “industry-related-but-different” down-the-road. It is my goal to make this site a resource for college students and young engineers of all disciplines to glean a piece of my knowledge & experience to make them better members of the industry. I have a lot of work to do, but I’m looking forward to the journey.

If you have ideas for posts, or questions about something engineering-related, or need advice on a particular problem or issue you are wrestling with, reach out to me anytime, either with a comment or by email – I’d enjoy the opportunity to dialogue: bhildebranski@gmail.com

Cheers!!!

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