Learn about our engineering department and the many hard-working people that help us with the innovation, research and development of our products. Our engineers are innovative problem solvers who apply the principles of science, math and technology to help give us a better understanding of how structures perform, advance our design technology, and improve building safety. Our research and development activities have led to many advances in the building industry. Over the years, we’ve developed countless products that help ensure structural safety and reduce cost and have created new construction systems to improve the way structures are designed and built. Read on to learn more about the various roles within our engineering department and hear a few of our engineers say what they enjoy most about working at Simpson Strong-Tie.
Roles and Responsibilities
Name: Mark Jarvinen
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Title: Senior Field Engineer
Responsibilities: Responsibilities include acting as a liaison between Simpson Strong-Tie and key engineering firms in our territory; providing their engineering contacts with technical support and training, design and specification assistance, and field services. Field engineers participate in developing and delivering technical presentations and design resources, conducting site-specific field testing, and supporting Simpson sales staff’s initiatives in their territory. Field engineers work to secure commitments from their engineering contacts to specify Simpson Strong-Tie products on projects that facilitate sales by the sales staff.
From Mark: “What I enjoy about being a Field Engineer is that every day is different than the previous day. Each day presents a new challenge and a new opportunity to become a trusted advisor to our technical clients in the design industry. There’s always a new opportunity to pursue or a previous contact to call on to reinforce Simpson Strong-Tie’s relentless effort to be the most trusted construction products manufacturer worldwide.”
Name: Mary Nunneley
Location: Pleasanton, California
Title: R&D Engineer
Responsibilities: My role as an R&D engineer in the Lateral Systems group includes the following tasks: Developing structural steel products for the building industry; managing product test programs for code report submittals; working with Marketing to develop technical literature for lateral system products; providing technical and application support for products; and providing internal support and training as well as evaluation of processes and procedures in pursuit of continual improvement.
From Mary: “I love that as a Simpson Strong-Tie R&D Engineer I am continually challenged with problems to define and solve. I enjoy playing board games and doing puzzles, so the planning and critical thinking needed to develop a product feels more like a game than work to me.”
Name: Joe Cullen
Location: West Chicago, Illinois
Responsibilities: Chemists assist in the research and development of new adhesive, coating, repair, strengthening, and cement products, as well as improvements and modifications to our existing products. Responsibilities include product development; determining quality standards; assisting Manufacturing in the scale up and transfer of products and technology; responding to information requests from both internal and external customers to facilitate sales; and the analysis of products using a variety of test methods such as titration, DSC, TGA, DMA, and mechanical testing.
From Joe: “I truly enjoy the broad diversity of our chemical-based product lines — from our anchoring adhesives to our concrete repair products to our carbon-fiber strengthening. When this diversity of products is paired with such innovative engineering and sales teams that are constantly searching for new and innovative ways to use our products, my days are never boring. I never know when I’m going to get an unusual request: “What if we used that product in this way?” or “Would it be strong enough to hold this?” These types of questions help us to push the envelope and test things in new and unexpected ways. Ultimately, when these questions help us identify gaps in our product lines, they turn into projects where we truly try to do something new, and really stretch our capabilities. What I’m working on can always change. I might have a ton of different projects I’m working on, but then we will get a question from the field for a customer, or even a request to help Manufacturing with an unexpected issue with a raw material or formulation that will totally upend my day and get me asking questions I never would have otherwise thought to ask.”
Name: Sergio Casillas
Location: West Chicago, Illinois
Title: Lab Technician
Responsibilities: I work in our test lab, mainly dealing with testing anchors and adhesives, but also with pins, screws, etc. We test the strength of the anchor or adhesive by drilling into concrete and installing an anchor or installing adhesive in it and putting a rod inside. Then we use our machines to pull them out and see how much force it took to pull them out. We also run other kinds of tests, but this is the most common one I perform.
From Sergio: “What I enjoy about being an engineer is knowing that our testing leads to our company’s success, that even though we may not make these parts, our testing is still a key contribution to our company.”
Name: Mehul Soni
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Title: Senior Truss Engineer
Responsibilities: As a Senior Truss Engineer, I am responsible for performing engineering reviews of wood truss components, engineered wood products, wood truss repairs, and sometimes steel beams designed by our customers or in house by our Vietnam staff. Apart from component review, I am also responsible for writing software requirements for bugs and enhancements in the Component Solutions® Studio software and for creating engineering details.
From Mehul: “I love the challenges every day that I get reviewing wood truss components and repairs in Integrated Components Systems CS Studio software. I will complete 10 years with Simpson this April, which is a big milestone for me. I love working for Simpson, as I see the Secret Sauce exemplified by everyone around me. I am blessed with a very supportive team, and that is what I love about Simpson. I have two kids, a 10-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son and I work hard to maintain the work-life balance. I am passionate about playing cricket on weekends in summer. Overall, life is fun and I am very proud to work for Simpson Strong-Tie.”
Name: Tina Goodman
Location: Pleasanton, California
Title: Senior Engineering Technician
Responsibilities: My main focus is working on engineering projects, which include a variety of tasks ranging from production drawing updates to product testing and first part checks., and which involves working with many different departments and people to implement product changes. I also spend a great deal of time supporting the Codes and Compliance team (Jeff Ellis, Randy Shackelford, and Michael Brown) — processing all code report applications and submittals, managing code report change requests and renewals, updating the Code Report Database and DAM, along with several other code report-related tasks and providing additional code report support, as needed.
From Tina: “What I enjoy about being an engineering technician at Simpson Strong-Tie is the variety of work I get to do, the challenge that comes with each new project, and the constant opportunities to learn new things. I definitely am not one for monotony, so I guess you can say what I enjoy most is that, even after 20 years, each day is different for me.”
Name: Philip Hui
Location: Kent, Washington
Title: Branch Engineer
Responsibilities: Services to our external customers: As a branch engineer, I give presentations to specifiers such as structural engineers and architects on our products and design services with the goal of gaining specifications which will turn into increased revenue. The presentation includes technical information on how our products can help with the design of the client’s projects, including a demo of our design software. I also present to building officials to ensure that the plan check process will be smooth for consulting engineer clients who specify our products on their plans. My specific area of expertise on Simpson products includes our wood connectors along with mass timber and our lateral systems, including Strong –Wall® shearwalls, Strong Frame® moment frames, and the Strong-Rod® anchor tiedown system (ATS) for shearwall overturning restraint. I help design our Strong Frame products for consulting engineers with their project needs and provide technical support to our product lines including evaluation of misinstallations and coming up with fix solutions. I review and stamp our ATS designs to ensure they meet the customers’ architectural layout and structural demand loads.
I also act as the eyes and ears of the field to find out what the needs are and bring in new ideas or solutions that we can work on. Going off of that, I design and test certain new product ideas by doing the required calculations, coming up with test set-up drawings, and witnessing the lab testing to see whether they hit target load. If they don’t, then we use the information we learned from the testing to brainstorm better product ideas. I assist with technical calls that come into our branch from customers in all the states that our branch covers. I represent Simpson at professional association events such as the Structural Engineers Associations for Washington and Oregon, as I am based in the Pacific Northwest.
Services to our internal customers: I provide technical expertise in support of our internal customers such as our inside sales, outside sales, and engineering technician team. Basically, any question that our sales team receives that gets too technical for their comfort is sent to me. I do presentations and ride-alongs with our outside territory sales team to provide technical information to the clients that we are seeing. This support helps us gain specifications that turn into revenue.
From Philip: “I enjoy being a solutions provider for a great team that is helping people build safer, stronger structures — which makes me feel like I am doing something good for society.”