Insight | Jan 30, 2020 | Arora
Employee Spotlight: Arthur Simpson, SET
Arthur (Art) Simpson, SET is the Lead Fire/Life Safety Designer in our Chadds Ford office. Art started with Arora in 2013 as a Fire/Life Safety designer and quickly earned multiple certifications that allowed him to expand his role and be promoted to Lead Fire/Life Safety Designer. Art was recently recognized by Arora’s Value Recognition Program for “Mutual Respect,” acknowledging his ability to make his co-workers feel appreciated, especially through his regular Friday delivery of Philly soft pretzels to the office!
How did you come to do what you do? Was this a lifelong goal?
I’m really not sure how I came to do what I do. I did not have a life plan set out in front of me. After graduating high school, I left for Basic Training in the US Army. I trained as a Chaparral Missile System Mechanic and remained on active duty for 10 years, plus another 10 years as a member of the Inactive Ready Reserve. My military training involved areas of small engine repair work, working with high pressure pneumatic systems up to 3000 psi for working with the missiles, testing the missiles at live-fire exercises, and a large amount of electronics and troubleshooting.
After leaving active duty, I decided to follow something in the electronics industry. For my first civilian job, I began working as an alarm technician. I then became interested in fire alarms as the work in this area was guided by mandatory codes and standards, and I figured this was something that would outlast the typical burglar alarm business. I decided to follow this field of work and see where it would take me.
I don’t believe this was a lifelong goal, but I have spent a good deal of my life achieving many goals in this career path, up to and including my current NICET Level IV certification, which is the highest level in the fire alarm field.
What do you enjoy most about your job? What motivates you?
The enjoyment I receive in this, as well as previous jobs, is the sense of accomplishment for doing my best. I guess I follow in the saying, “If you enjoy what you’re doing, then it doesn’t feel like work.” I try to keep my personal best standards on projects at the same level, regardless of how small or how large the project would be. In general, as long as I can be part of this work, I just want to see what happens next and hope to continue to be part of it.
What makes you a unique, successful employee?
I don’t have any special magic to be a unique employee. I do what I do because I enjoy it and try to learn as much as I can while doing it. In my work as a designer, I call on my past experiences of being on the other side as the contractor, working from drawings from other designers in other firms.
What are some of the challenges you face day-to-day?
Deadlines and deliverables. In addition, to keep up with an unforeseeable change received from a client, just when you thought you were ready to submit. I remain flexible to roll with the unexpected. I think the biggest challenge from day-to-day is time. You feel as if there is not enough time in a single day to complete what you envision in your mind, to place all the information in a set of drawings to tell the story.
What are your favorite types of projects to work on?
An easy favorite by choice, is a brand-new project just coming out of the ground. Other than that, I find it interesting as a challenge to do a project where we can take a used facility and regenerate it into something of a brand-new type of facility. Imagine taking a closed down, abandoned old factory building and creating a new facility that can be reborn for new use. I enjoy the work I do and the help I can provide, so I do not think I have a single type of favorite project, but I like to think I treat all projects I am involved with as equal, regardless of size.
What are your career goals?
I don’t think I have any single item as a goal, but an idea. I want to be successful in what I do and to be regarded as a good source of information. I want to learn more as I go along and have the benefit of contributing to the success of the firm no matter how small my part. I want to go as far as my career path will take me and do the best that I can getting there.
What do you like to do for fun?
As a lot of people in the office may believe, coming to work or just working is my fun. I like to do things with my hands, like working on small projects around the garage and the house. I like spending personal time with family and with the dogs and I like to travel and take drives when I can. Someday, I would like to go back to Germany and Europe to see things I saw while I was in the service, and to see how much has changed over time. When I was last in Germany, it was 2 countries, and now it is one.