PACE would like to wish Bill Pavlich, PE, a happy retirement! We asked him a few questions to reflect on his career:
- How did you end up in the engineering profession?
That is a very long story involving a nine-year post-high school odyssey of education, work, travel, and life experience before a decision to go back to school and study engineering. My decision was heavily based on practical considerations. I had a degree in philosophy, but my background lacked coursework in math and science. I studied pre-calculus independently, then began my journey taking prerequisites for chemical engineering at the University of Washington. During the year, I found a passion for water-related classes, so I switched majors to Civil Engineering. After graduating, I worked for a small firm in Iowa, focusing on small to medium size municipal water and wastewater projects. I have been working on water-related projects ever since.
- In your nine-year odyssey between high school and civil engineering, what was your most memorable experience?
There were a lot of memorable experiences, but the one I will never forget is a 3,000+ solo bicycle trip from France to Greece in 1980. Most of the trip was on backroads in the former Yugoslavia and Greece. The trip was not planned- it evolved on a daily basis. I would stop for a beer and a coffee and look over the maps to decide where to go.
3. Where is the coolest project you got to work on?
It’s hard to pick a favorite since there are many. From a career standpoint, planning completely new water or wastewater systems stands out. I developed the master planning documents that became the basis for the sanitary sewer collection, treatment, and disposal system in Sisters, Oregon, and the water source, treatment, and distribution system in LaPine, Oregon.
4. If you could give one piece of advice to a younger employee, what would it be?
Always keep in mind that you may be wrong. Listen to others but keep in mind that they may be wrong. Develop your spreadsheets and models but remember that they may be wrong. This may sound negative, but it isn’t. You will learn to review and consider your own work more critically, listen more carefully to what others are saying, and develop a sense of what a reasonable calculation result should look like.
5. What have you enjoyed the most about working at PACE?
6. What will you miss the most about the Municipal Team?
Thank you, Bill for your 11 years at PACE. We will miss you and your dedication to making our communities stronger.