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June 2022 Webinar – Intellectual Humility – A Case for The Humble Engineer


Please join us for our webinar Thursday, June 16, when John Kubala of Kubala Engineers presents Intellectual Humility – A Case for The Humble Engineer.

  • Thursday, June 16, 2022.
  • Noon-1:00 p.m. (Central).
  • Online webinar.
  • Free to SEAoT members, $10 for non-members.
  • NEW: Group registrations are available! Pay $25 for up to 5, or $50 for 6 or more. Have one person register, pick the group option, and pay for the group option. After the webinar, email your sign-in sheet to [email protected].
  • Registration closes at noon the day before the webinar.
  • 1.0 PDH* with verified attendance

How to register:

  1. Click here to register
  2. Instructions for accessing the webinar will be provided by email


In many ways we are living in unprecedented times.

I have often reflected and been thankful for the stability of our profession. Structural Engineering, our design methods, and the materials used for our construction have enjoyed a long and stable history. Routine code adjustments, material cost fluctuations, the occasional supply chain hiccups and steady technology upgrades have been the norm; but recently that stability feels in jeopardy. And while the overarching circumstances did not occur overnight, there has been an ever-increasing demand on the structural engineer. Design timelines are shorter, construction timelines are shorter, every RFI is hot, and every submittal is behind before we even receive it, early foundation and structural steel packages are expected, and we are asked to design everything from the structure of the building down to the countertop supports. And all of this is being put on the shoulders of a steadily younger group of engineering and construction who rely more heavily on computers and software than previous generations.

With all of this in mind, how do these young professionals make wise decisions?

  • Seeking wise counsel
  • When to trust your own research
  • When to involve a specialist or a manufacturer
  • When to accept another’s opinion and when to challenge it
  • When to concede or change one’s own opinion

Intellectual humility embraces all of these themes. While “Intellectual humility” may be a modern term, the concept has mature roots. In this presentation John will make a case for intellectual humility in structural engineering. John will provide relevant historical information and data along with several real-world project examples from his career where this concept was front and center in the decision-making process.


John Kubala, PE
President and CEO
Kubala Engineers
WhoJohn Kubala P.E.
BornHouston, TX
RaisedMidland, TX
EducationHigh School – Lee High School, Midland, Texas (one of the Friday Night Lights schools) University – The University of Texas at Austin (The University) Bachelor’s Degree – ARE Architectural Engineering (Structural Engineering for Buildings)
Engineering InternshipsWatson and Associates of Midland, Texas (Surveying and Engineering)
Career  Conti, Jumper Gardner & Associate (current d.b.a. CJG Engineers) – Project Manager PBK Engineers – Director of Structural Engineering AG&E Structural Engenuity – Equity Owner & Managing Principal of the Houston Office Kubala Engineers – President and CEO
Personal LifeFrom a very early age John had a passion and genuine affinity for creativity, design, and building. John attributes much of this early passion to his father, who was a jack of all trades and a humble renaissance man. From as young as John can remember there was hardly a free weekend or family vacation where his father did not have “the boys” elbows deep by 6am in a multi-day house, car, or boat repair project for someone in the family. While these days were not always the most fun-filled, John now realizes that this was ideal preparation for a life as a professional problem solver….. and John just happens to be a structural engineer.   
After college, John married his high school sweetheart, Jamie. John and Jamie have two children, Hannah 14, and Liam 8. John and his family are members of Houston’s First Baptist Church, (The Loop Campus @ I-10 and 610) and have been devout members since 2005. John currently resides in Houston, Texas within the Spring Branch Independent School District region (I-10 & Bunker Hill). John and his family are active in sports. John is heavily involved in an extensive list of extracurricular activities ranging from architectural and interior design-type competitions with architects, to coaching and playing on conventional sports teams to Men’s Serve with his church (an outreach for widows). John’s longest tenured extracurricular is his 17 year career as a stalwart member of the Houston Rangers Futbol Club, a top-tier team in the Houston Futbol Association’s Premier League, (and yes this is American Soccer).   
Work LifeJohn began his career at the Houston-based Conti, Jumper, Gardner and Associates. John worked directly under Britt Gardner, the President at CJG and a fellow Architectural Engineer from UT and a Midland, Texas native. Britt was a great first boss! The projects and experience were extremely diverse, and John was able to work on all types of buildings with various structural systems and various structural materials involved. In addition to helping more senior engineers on some of the larger projects, John was also able to manage some of his own projects ranging in size from small commercial projects (banks, retail, and similar) up to larger school projects such as new elementary and middle schools.  
Next in John’s career, while at PBK Engineers, John was able to interact directly with clients and start to build a reputation for his work outside of the office. Additionally, John was able to manage a team of engineers and eventually became the leader of the structural engineering department with a total of 14 staffers.
After PBK, John moved to AG&E Structural Engenuity where he was blessed to manage the Houston office and become an equity partner at the firm. AG&E Structural Engenuity was a great mix of seasoned senior engineers and talented young professionals. During John’s time at AG&E Structural Engenuity John was able to develop and maintain a significant client base across several markets and sectors. John was tasks with running all aspects of his local Houston office, (finances, marketing, backlog, etc.) in addition to some appointed items for the firm as a whole.  
John is currently the President and CEO of Kubala Engineers, a structural engineering consulting firm specializing in the structural design of buildings. Additionally, Kubala Engineers also specializes in facility assessments, long-range master planning, forensics, complex peer reviews, and complex building design relating to: windstorm, storm shelters, blast designs, and building envelope integration.

* PDHs for this course will be provided by SEAoT Houston and are NOT accredited by NCSEA or any other organization.