John Shevlin, a professional engineer and senior vice president of Pare Corp., was recently named 2013 Engineer of the Year by the Rhode Island Society of Professional Engineers. The award recognizes an engineer who has made significant and lasting contributions to the Rhode Island engineering community. Shevlin started his professional career with Pare in 1986. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering.
PBN: Tell us about an interesting project you’ve worked on during your career.
SHEVLIN: It seems like every project has some unique or interesting aspect to it, but there are two that stand out. The first is the East Bay Bike Path. This was my first engineering project at Pare. I think the project had a very positive impact on the five communities that it passes through. The other project is the Central Artery Tunnel Project in Boston. The overall size and complexity of the design and construction made this a once-in-a-lifetime engineering assignment.
PBN: Part of RISPE’s mission, and part of Engineer of the Year award criteria, is to promote the ethical and competent practice of engineering. How do you demonstrate this in your work?
SHEVLIN: By making engineering assessments and designs based on sound engineering practices – even if these are sometimes at odds with a client’s preconceived ideas about a project. Pare has always been very clear with its managers and staff that we must make decisions based on sound engineering and science. We will go out of our way to serve the needs of our clients … but we always make certain that our work is based on sound engineering and does not negatively impact the health, safety and welfare of the public.
PBN: Any advice for those about to enter the workforce?
SHEVLIN: Get industry experience wherever you can find it, even while still in school. Prior to joining Pare, I and most of my colleagues completed summer internships with engineering, construction or public transportation or utility agencies. This experience is invaluable in helping to identify the type of work and/or engineering disciplines in which you want to specialize. •