Home President's Corner President’s Corner – September 2020 – Emily McCarthy

President’s Corner – September 2020 – Emily McCarthy


It’s the end of summer and that means Houston can look forward to lower temperatures! From the southern hemisphere, I wish you all a beautiful beginning of fall. As Houston falls out of summer, New Zealand is strolling into spring. It is strange to think that I will enjoy our upcoming fall and winter holidays during spring and summer. Sometimes things that we are so accustomed to, and that seem so solidly factual, are in fact entirely dependent on perspective. It can be summer and winter simultaneously, one just needs to be upside down on the other side of the world.

Change of perspective can be challenging, but it can result in something good if we work and are willing to find the good. Many companies, industries, and individuals have been forced to find new perspective over the past 9 months. They have been turned upside down and are living in unpredictable environments. But each season has its own advantage and its own purpose. I encourage you to search out the advantage in your own challenging circumstances.

Here in Auckland, construction is booming, especially infrastructure projects. There is a push from the government to progress projects that will keep people employed and, given the number of companies that are allowing remote work, roadway projects are getting a lot of attention given the temporary reduction in congestion.

My project here in New Zealand continues apace. I am grateful for a job that provides so much variety and growth. As the sole onsite liaison with my USA team, I am brought into building science, mechanical, electrical, coating, plumbing and structural fields to help our client find solutions to some challenging issues. As engineers, we problem solve regardless of the field. The skill sets we develop are often targeted to a specific engineering subset, but broadly we can apply that skill set to other businesses. Our training in critical and analytical thinking makes us valuable wherever we end up.

There will come some trying times in the next year. Funding for new projects may temporarily be postponed which will mean fewer traditional projects among our competitive industry. But because of our problem-solving background, we will see opportunity, and uncertain times will be a springboard for great growth. Contractions are painful, but they force us to dig deep and, in the end, become better engineers.

I know the times we are living in right now are not easy, and so many stimuli are offering you a discouraging message. Your circumstances are not trivial, they are hard and challenging, but you are resilient, and you are not alone.

Even though our regular routines have been violently disrupted, staying connected and maintaining professional and personal relationships can help provide stability. Just because working remotely is available, I encourage you to not let remote work isolate you. Seek out ways to interact within our community. We at SEAoT Houston are working to provide creative and safe ways to facilitate the community you have become accustomed to, and we are always open to hearing your ideas, so please reach out anytime.

Be safe and stay well.

Emily McCarthy
SEAoT Houston/Gulf Coast