The WT Group MEP Team: Engineering excellence, every day

December 12, 2023

Every project is more than just an architectural vision given form. It is a self-contained environment that must provide comfort, safety and reliability to the people who use it every day. All of which is why the Mechanical, Engineering and Plumbing (MEP) disciplines are central to every successful project’s completion.

At WT Group, our MEP Practice Area supports that mission every day. With a team of 21 topnotch professionals led by Principal-in-Charge Joe Hainaut, WT Group’s MEP Practice supports a broad range of clients, including project owners, architects, developers, contractors, condo associations, park districts, municipalities and country clubs. We serve mainly commercial clients, but also residential and industrial businesses. Types of projects include restaurants, retail, entertainment, park districts, municipal projects, car dealerships, mixed-use buildings, offices, clean rooms, warehouse facilities, and more.

WT Group is proud of the ability of our MEP Practice to deliver consistent excellence for our clients, all across the US. Here are some of the MEP Practice’s newest team members who make it happen:

Matt Strzok, Electrical Engineer

My role is to design an electrical system to power all the needs of a building for various types of projects. This can range from a small-scale renovation to a large-scale industrial facility, and anything in between. After the design work is complete, I review submittals to make sure they meet the client’s desires and our design requirements, and be available if questions, issues or RFIs (Requests For Information) come in during construction.

My favorite part of any project is encountering a rare or new issue that needs to be solved. A lot of what you learn as an engineer is not just how to design something that meets all the rules, requirements, and is effective, but also to be able to meet a new challenge head on and solve it, as well as learning from it.

My first desire when seeking secondary education was music. I play guitar, piano, and learned a little bit of percussion, much to my parents’ dismay. I also had a strong background in mathematics, so once I did more research and saw how difficult finding a job in the music industry would be, I decided to pursue engineering.

What I like most about working at WT Group is the people. When I was looking for the right team of people to work with and for, after meeting Joe Hainaut, I knew I was going to find a good home here. That feeling has continued to strengthen whenever I meet someone new.

Jon Witte, HVAC System Designer

I design HVAC systems and any other mechanical systems for new construction. This includes selecting and placing equipment, designing ductwork and piping layouts, as well as performing calculations to ensure that the system works as intended and that all codes are met. I also redesign and adapt existing buildings’ mechanical systems to meet the requirements of current codes.

My favorite thing about engineering is that there is always something new to learn, and the industry is always pushing to improve the quality of the products and services that we provide. I particularly enjoy working on local projects. I grew up in the area, so it’s cool when I’m able to see the finished product and know that I helped to improve my own community.

Ironically, I thought I wanted to be a lawyer until my senior year of high school. Then I took a class in how to use CAD and CNC machines to build a single person, high mileage vehicle from scratch. I loved the whole design and problem-solving process, so it put me on the path to study engineering.

Christina Cepin, Plumbing Engineer

I perform various plumbing engineering requirements for commercial projects. I especially love how much the role varies with regard to every project. There are so many ways to achieve the same goal, whether the job is feeding water to a lavatory or routing the drainage for an elevator sump pump. The challenge is coming up with the most cost-efficient, precise and easiest way to install a feed to that lavatory or to drain that pump.

I really appreciate the confidence it gives me to handle challenging projects. At WT Group, I converse directly with the architect, contractor, and other professionals in the project. This makes the design process more efficient in every way.

One of my favorite projects was Gunsteen Car Wash. I particularly liked how the architect developed the aesthetics for this project. All the plumbing is on one side of the building, making the plumbing drawings look nice and neat.

How did I end up becoming an engineer? You know, whenever you install a TV, Ethernet or anything else of that nature, it’s inevitable that a few screws or small wires are left over. When I was a child, I would collect all those remains and try to build anything I could. So, I guess I’ve always wanted to be an engineer.

Tyler Owsianiak, Mechanical Engineer

I assist other MEP engineers with project setups, updates, and whatever other tasks are necessary to help projects move smoothly along. I enjoy that each day can present new and unique challenges and obstacles to tackle, which means a job that will not get tedious. The different challenges also help me to develop an innovative, solution-oriented mindset.

The comradery in our workplace is also a huge draw. The culture in the MEP department makes working here fun. My favorite project to date has been Nemera R11. This is a product produced by Nemera, a manufacturer of drug delivery systems for medical applications. Nemera is the client I’ve spent the most time working with, and it feels great to be heavily involved with a single project.

When I was younger, I thought I was going to be an architect one day. As a kid, I built towers and cities with LEGOs. As I grew older, I began to take an interest in math and science, ultimately moving on to mechanical engineering. Working as an MEP engineer helps to combine my current love for engineering with my past desire for architecture, since I get to work with a variety of buildings and sites every week.

Jesus Alvaro, Mechanical Designer

As a member of WT Group’s MEP Practice, I provide mechanical design services to a wide range of clients. This includes the selection of equipment, layout of ductwork, and piping, and review of submittals and related tasks.

I appreciate the challenges presented by every project. In fact, the more complex the challenges, the more enticing a project will be for me.

When I consider how I ended up in mechanical design, by way of full disclosure it wasn’t what I imagined as an adolescent athlete. My vision was to someday be a professional soccer player. But I also always enjoyed tinkering and problem solving. Given that, I think I’d have to say that while I may not have explicitly known it at the time, my heart was always going to lead me to engineering of some kind. WT Group’s MEP Practice is a place where I can follow my heart to provide clients with the best that my mechanical design experience has to offer.

Brent Grodek, Electrical Engineer

In my role as an electrical engineer, I mainly work on automotive projects as well as convenience stores. If I have to say what I like most about engineering, it’s that so much of it is a science, with codes and processes you usually have to follow. That’s “usually” because there are times when even codes and practices are up for interpretation.

Among my favorite projects was an opportunity to work with Valvoline on a prototype electrical engineering approach they can adapt to follow the codes for the different cities and states where they are going to build.

Funny enough, growing up I always wanted to be an engineer, only not in the sense I am at WT Group. I actually wanted to be a train engineer, or maybe even a conductor!

Jack Rueth, Electrical Engineer

I specialize in providing both electrical design and consulting to clients working in tandem with the other MEP engineers. Our goal is to provide a full-service engineering product that will effectively meet the client’s needs.

Engineering is an excellent field because it offers a unique opportunity to make clients happy in a way that few other fields can offer. It is a great feeling to deliver a special level of client satisfaction when you show them the physical, finished product they imagined.

I enjoy projects in which I can be the problem solver. In our business, there is always a chance for a wrench to get thrown in and take a project off track. I love being the one who can resolve any headache or logjam and keep the project on track.

I’ve worked at a few different places in my career, but I can say with confidence that WT Group is unmatched when offering a complete range of projects and solutions to any problem or client need. For those who love an interesting challenge, WT Group is an excellent place to work.