Q and A with a timber frame engineer featuring Bryan B

“These are all ‘yes’ and ‘no’ questions, right?

I chuckled at Bryan’s inquiry as we settled in for our Q&A interview. I assured him that all questions were going to be difficult and on the record. He grinned and I started with asking him a bit about his background followed by more rapid-fire questions. Here’s a look into Bryan:

On occasion, Bryan will bring pup Reilly into the office. Here she was just a few months old.

On occasion, Bryan will bring pup Reilly into the office. Here she was just a few months old.

Bryan has been with our timber frame engineering group since earning his degree from the SUNY Institute of Technology in civil engineering about five years ago. He had dabbled in construction prior to college and always had an interest in building materials/methods. While he didn’t know much about timber framing he was drawn to our company’s people and planet (he’s another in our line of avid outdoorsmen) ethos and found his love for wood grew exponentially once he started with us.

Quick to smile and offer help wherever needed, he’s become a leader on various timber frame projects and with our enclosure system layouts. Most recently he was the project leader for the St Pius X Church rebuild in Chili, NY. This huge roof system went up a week ago to the delight of many, including Bryan who was interviewed several times by local media about St. Pius X.

What’s your favorite word or phrase?
Right on. 

We thought maybe Bryan's favorite phrase would come out at the Topping Off Ceremony for St Pius X, but he spoke a custom script.

Rumor has it that when Brian of St Pius X handed Bryan the mic at the Topping Off Ceremony, a quiet “Right on” was uttered.

What’s your favorite time of day?
Morning. I’m definitely a morning person.
(Turns out Bryan’s regular wake-up time is 4am and these days he’s working on sheetrock in a little home remodeling project prior to heading to the office.)

What’s your favorite truss or joint?
A scissor truss. I like the complexity of the required joinery, the lap in the center, or when a king post is involved.

Split and painted scissor trusses with integrated metal; Bryan's favorite truss style.

Split and painted scissor trusses with integrated metal; Bryan’s favorite truss style due to its complexity and intricacies.


Favorite wood species?

(Bryan wore quite a sheepish look when answering.) White Oak. Well, not so much for timber framing but for regular woodworking.
‘Why the guilty look?’ I asked.
There was one reclaimed white oak timber frame job that kept many of us up at night. Sourcing was a serious challenge, even with Pioneer Millworks [our sister comany] helping. The mention of ‘oak’ set all of us on edge for awhile. Of course, the frame came out amazing. But it was tough.  

While not reclaimed, this oak timber frame showcases some of the color and character that draws Bryan to it.

While not reclaimed, this oak timber frame showcases some of the color and character that attracts Bryan to it.

What sound or noise do you love?
Nature sounds. I love having the windows open at night. 

What sound or noise do you hate?
Nagging. (A good laugh was had at this instant reply.) Just kidding. Traffic. I can’t stand the sound of it. 

Favorite aspect of your job?/Best thing about your profession?
It’s different every day; there’s always a new project. I enjoy being crazy busy. Bored doesn’t work for me. 

Focused concentration from our timber framers as Bryan hosts a kick off briefing for an upcoming build.

Focused concentration from our timber framers as Bryan hosts a kick off briefing for an upcoming build.

What job would you not want to have/do?
Receptionist. I really dislike answering phones. (Bryan glanced sharply towards the door as if our office manager/receptionist might hear him…and might enlist him to help with phones just for the fun of it.)

What’s your dog’s name?
We have two dogs, both rescues from down-south as pups: Harlow and Reilly. They’re great. 

A very young Reilly found a good napping spot with "brother" Harlow.

A very young Reilly found a good napping spot with “brother” Harlow.

What’s your upcoming personal adventure?

(I had insider information that Bryan had begun running with his wife, Jillian. And that he’d signed up for his first half marathon…then proceeded to quit running for several months. I was curious if he was still going for it.)
I go through phases of liking running and really disliking it. Back when I liked it I signed up for the Rochester half marathon…so I’m trying to get back into running again. I did 10 miles on Saturday, which is a personal record for me. Gillian is going to run with me, to be my support, rather than trying to break records as she usually does. If I make it through, I’ll be happy. 

Running is a family affair: Bryan, Jillian, and four-legged sidekick Reilly cover some miles.

Running is a family affair: Bryan, Jillian, and four-legged sidekick Reilly cover some miles

(I thanked Bryan and as we parted ways he commented): I feel like I’m really going to be famous with all these interviews…first at St. Pius, now with you. He smiled broadly. Whew, what will I do when that happens?

If you’d like to learn more about our teams, see Our People on our site. And if you’d like to meet Bryan, he’ll be at the Rochester Half Marathon in a few weeks…assuming his training goes as planned.

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