Life At Damotech: Engineering

Posted by Damotech - Rack Safety on October 5, 2021
( Last updated on 21 October, 2021)
Damotech - Rack Safety

Members of the engineering team at Damotech are talented, resilient, constantly learning, detail-oriented, and always ready to take on a challenge. While some of them are most of the time on the move performing conformity inspections in warehouses across North America, others are based at our HQ, working on research and development or the quality assurance of client reports. No matter how their specific roles may differ - their values are aligned.

They are high-performance oriented, specialized in pallet rack safety. No matter the size of your warehouse or the industry you are in, they will cater to your specific warehouse safety needs. So, who are these seasoned professionals responsible for keeping warehouse workers safe across North America?

We caught up with four of them –Jean-Paul Khalil, Soukayna El Hammouli, Sammy Bongiorno, and Katerine Ortiz – to give you an idea of what it's like to live a day in the life of a member of the Damotech engineering team.

Jean-Paul Khalil, CEP (Candidate to the Engineering Profession), 1 year at Damotech

Jean-Paul Khalil, CEP, inspecting a rack in a warehouse
Figure 1: Jean-Paul Khalil inspecting a rack in a warehouse.

What Brought You to Damotech?

When I found the job offer online I was immediately drawn to the company's values and found the job description very appealing. Throughout my experience in this life, I learned that I loved travelling and inspecting for quality control.

What Does a Typical Workday Look Like for You?

This is a tough question! When I'm on-site, I meet up with the client, then we walk through the facility and identify the scope of work to be done. Afterward, I begin taking all the measurements needed for the report -which is very meticulous work. By the end of the day, I communicate the highlights of the visit to my team.

Can You Tell Us About Your Most Challenging Project Yet?

The most challenging project so far was in Colorado. I was scheduled to go somewhere else, but an emergency had me go to Colorado instead. The warehouse was gigantic and had severe out-of-plumb issues. A mandate this big typically requires at least 3 or 4 people to finish it in time, but we were only two since it was a last-minute change of plans. In the end, we were able to do all the work on time. Although it was a challenge, we were happy to have successfully done the job, and it was a lot of fun working with my colleague.

What Is the Most Rewarding or Exciting Part of your Career to Date?

The most exciting part of my career is knowing that I am working hard to create a safe work environment for all warehouse workers.

What Do You Wish People Knew About the Work that You Do?

I wish people knew how important rack safety is. It is a major factor in the industry, yet not a lot of people know about it.

What Would You Tell Someone Looking to Get Hired as an Engineer at Damotech?

I would tell them to get ready to explore the world!

Where Can We Find You When You’re Not at Work?

I will most probably be cooking, playing board games or outside, walking.

Soukayna El Hammouli, CEP (Candidate to the Engineering Profession), 1 ½ year at Damotech

Soukayna El Hammouli working on an engineering report from her hotel room.
Figure 2. Soukayna El Hammouli working on an engineering report from her hotel room

What Brought You to Damotech?

When I initially read the job description, I liked the balance between what the company seemed to expect from its employees, and what was offered in return. So, I went to Damotech’s website to learn more about its expertise, culture, and values. I was convinced that it was an excellent professional fit for me, as their values strongly correlated with my own. I was then, and still am, right to this day – it is a wonderful company!

What Does a Typical Workday Look Like for You?

Before the inspection day, I prepare all the files needed for the mandate (software files, warehouse plans, PDF files) and upload them to my iPad. I usually send a confirmation email to the client indicating my arrival time and any other inquiries. Then, I prepare my uniform (Damotech polo shirt, safety vest, and boots) and the inspection tools.

On the inspection day, I meet the client, and we usually go around the warehouse (if a new client) to see all the pallet racks to be inspected. I answer the client's questions if they have any, and then I start the inspection. Depending on the size of the warehouse and the type of engineering services provided, the assessment is done alone or with colleagues, and it takes between one to several days to complete.

After the inspection, I meet the client again and show him the critical damages that need immediate unloading, discuss the key findings they should be aware of right away, and answer any questions. If the inspection is completed before 5 p.m., I return to the office or the hotel room if I'm in the United States and start working on the report.

Once the report is complete by running the load capacity calcs, generating the layout, analyzing the key findings, etc., I upload all the completed documents and files to the network and send a confirmation email to the Revision Committee.

When I do not have mandates scheduled, I work on research, writing blogs or presentations, and sometimes attend training sessions.

What Do You Wish People Knew About the Work That You Do?

I wish people would know that this job is not limited to inspecting, certifying the rack systems, and ensuring safety conformity within warehouses. This job extends to building your personality, taking higher responsibilities (we save lives within the workspace), exploring new places, and taking on creative and challenging projects.

What Is the Best Career Advice You Have Received While Working at Damotech?

The best advice I received while working at Damotech is "If you need help, ask for it." and "Feel free to speak up if you notice anything that needs to be improved." This advice was not only spoken but put into action as part of the Damotech culture.

Sammy Bongiorno, Project Engineer, 5 years at Damotech

Sammy working in his office.
 
Figure 3 : Sammy Bongiorno working in his office

What Brought You to Damotech?

After working for a large corporation for several years, I was looking to work for a company where my contributions would directly impact the company's overall progress. Damotech's company culture and opportunity to travel immediately piqued my interest.

What Does a Typical Workday Look Like for You?

My primary role at Damotech includes reviewing engineering reports, but a typical workday includes quite a list of diverse tasks. Every morning I take a few minutes to plan my day and prioritize the work I aim to accomplish. Typically, there is a mix of report reviews, answering technical questions, coaching fellow team members, managing the Damotech Web Platform, participating in review meetings, reviewing PSRs (Pre-Start Safety Reviews), and anything else that comes up during the day!

What Is the Most Rewarding Part of Your Career to Date?

Working for Damotech has been the most rewarding part of my career, by far. Before joining the company, I had minimal knowledge about the racking industry. Learning the complexities of this industry has been both challenging and gratifying at the same time. Throughout my time at Damotech, I have been able to become somewhat of an industry expert. It has been very fulfilling to share my knowledge with all the younger members of the team that have joined us since I started.

Can You Tell Us About Your Most Challenging Project Yet?

My most challenging project at Damotech so far was the load capacity certification of a large warehouse in the Midwest U.S. The warehouse was over 800 bays, but the challenging aspect was that it was entirely in a freezer. Working an entire week in freezing temperatures was tough. I have to say, after freezing for entire days, taking a nightly dip in the hotel hot tub was essential!

What Is the Best Career Advice You Have Received While Working at Damotech?

The best advice I have received was to follow my passion. Throughout my time at Damotech, there have been many opportunities to get involved in R&D projects, develop new work procedures, test new equipment, use various skills (drafting, coding, video editing), etc. Management has always encouraged the members of the engineering team to develop unique skills and work on projects that they are personally interested in.

What Would You Tell Someone Looking to Get Hired as an Engineer at Damotech?

Working at Damotech is a great place to develop as an engineer. A great blend of tasks between travel, on-site experience, and report writing keeps the work interesting. For anyone interested in travelling throughout the U.S. and Canada and who wants to develop their technical skills, Damotech is an excellent company.

Katerine Ortiz, Project Engineer, 5 years at Damotech

Kate inspecting a racking system in a warehouse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 4. Katerine Ortiz inspecting a racking system in a warehouse.

What Brought You to Damotech?

What mainly captivated me was the idea of working in a very niche but essential industry, where I knew my job would have an impact on the safety of employees. We do get to save lives… indirectly! Working along with leaders in the industry who love to share their knowledge and empower their team members caught my attention. And clients are spread throughout North America, therefore we get to travel and visit new places.

What Does a Typical Workday Look Like for You?

A typical day at work begins with going over the planning and establishing priorities for the day. If I don’t have to go for any on-site visits for data gathering or to meet a client in another province or state, you will probably find me doing some report reviewing or assisting in tech support. Once a week, our team meets for knowledge sharing sessions, a space dedicated to continuous learning, sharing experiences, and technical “skilling up”. It is hard to describe a typical day, as our daily tasks depend on the mandate you are working on.

What Do You Wish People Knew About the Work That You Do?

We do save lives, in one way or another! Our conformity inspection recommendations help prevent serious incidents from occurring in the workplace.

Where Can We Find You When You’re Not at Work?

You will find me paddling somewhere on the St. Lawrence river!

Join the Damotech Engineering Team!

Are you a CEP looking to join a fast-growing company with a dynamic team, in an exceptional work environment? Are you passionate about what you do? Want to travel while at work? A position at Damotech could be yours! 

Apply now: https://www.damotech.com/careers

Damotech Inspector Working in a warehouse.

Topics: Blog, Warehouse Safety, Rack Inspection

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