“I’m at the point where I’m very much involved with all parts of [the project] so I end up doing quoting, scheduling, as well as project management for it—even though I might only be managing myself. Sometimes there’s a bigger project that comes along that you need more people for but there’s still a fair amount of autonomy that’s really nice to have.”
— Eric Costaggini, Sr. Engineer, Cleanroom Specialist
How long have you been with NWESI?
I started as a temp in February 2008, and was hired on full time that June. At the time I was living down in Harrisburg and was hired to help work on Sacred Heart Hospital down in Eugene. I was there for 4 or 5 months, then moved up here and got hired on around the same time. Harrisburg is a great small town but I really wanted to be up here and closer to friends.
What kind of work did you do before coming to NWESI?
So I went to school for chemical engineering, and while I’m not doing that here, I am applying some of the engineering principles. I liked chemical engineering but there wasn’t a lot of job opportunity around Portland for that sort of thing, so I kind of pivoted and worked here before I realized it was actually pretty good, that I was going to stick with it.
Before that, around June 2007 there was a 6 month internship I got right out of college. It’s one I think they [the winery] did yearly—it’s like a process optimization pilot winery thing that’s part of their gigantic system. I was there with three other chemical/bio- engineer type people—that same group also had wine-makers and was trying to combine some of the process stuff with the wine making craft and see what would happen. It was really interesting, but it wasn’t quite for me.
What’s your current role?
Right now I kind of have two roles: site sustaining and cleanroom and performance testing. SSD is generally helping existing clients with ongoing projects. Cleanroom testing is similar but it’s kind of separate at the same time—I work at a lot of high-tech places doing mostly small projects.
What aspects of your job are particularly appealing?
The nice thing about small projects is I’m at the point where I’m very much involved with all parts of [the project] so I end up doing quoting, scheduling, as well as project management for it—even though I might only be managing myself. Sometimes there’s a bigger project that comes along that you need more people for but there’s still a fair amount of autonomy that’s really nice to have.
What has been a personal or professional growth over the years?
Some of the larger airport projects are probably the best case of how I ended up doing project management for more than just me. I think what comes to mind is the PDX Quick Turn Around. There were more people there, and a larger scope. It was three months dealing with all the construction site folks, all the time tables. That project also had different systems we don’t normally work on, so it was a new challenge.