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February 21, 2022

Engineer Spotlight: Mike Stohl

Engineer Spotlight: Mike Stohl Header Image

Tell me about yourself, your schooling, career path.
I grew up in the Twin Cities (Richfield, Minnesota) and attended Illinois Institute of Technology where I received a degree in electrical engineering, specializing in power distribution. During my last semester of college, I interviewed at Donohue and started working there immediately after graduating. I’ve been here 16 years, working in a variety of different positions. Starting out, my primary responsibility was CAD drafting before quickly transitioning into electrical design assistance. I then became a lead electrical engineer while advancing into project management and eventually regional office management.

Why did you pursue a career in engineering?
Since I was little, I’ve always had a passion for mathematics. My dad was an electrician and was always working on circuit boards and fixing things. Watching him definitely peaked my interest.

What’s your favorite part of your job?
The people. My co-workers are so dedicated, everyone has such great ideas, and the teamwork is phenomenal. Being in an ever-evolving field, everyone brings new and creative ideas to the table and we deliver exceptional projects to clients time and time again. We’ve got a lot of smart people in our group.

Tell me about the most challenging project you were involved with and what you did you fix it.
Quite a few projects in the St. Louis metro area have been a unique challenge because of the magnitude of the projects. Given the size of the plants and electrical systems from the 1970s with limited as-built documentation, there’s a lot of problem solving that goes into getting everything upgraded. Overcoming the obstacles of researching previous eras, and outsourcing services to trusted teammates that can complete tasks like hydro excavation to find different subsurface features, helps to complete the process as quickly and efficiently as we can.

Where were you in life 5 years ago? 10 years ago? What do you wish you knew back then?
Ten years ago I was designing electrical systems associated with water and wastewater facility upgrades. As a young engineer, you don’t know what you don’t know and I wish I would have had more construction experience to truly understand how things are built and what works in real-life applications.

What advice would you give someone just starting out?
Find something you’re passionate about, listen to senior members in your field, and do as much research as you can while you’re still young. You won’t have those opportunities once you’re further along in your career. 

What do you do for fun?
I love being with my kids and doing any physical activities like weightlifting, biking, running, and playing basketball. 

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