Jason Durr is a South Bend area native, a golf-pro wannabe, and an expert at getting into a canoe. As the design team lead for CBBEL’s office in South Bend, he spends his time working with clients to create solutions for drainage and transportation projects. He has 20 years of civil engineering experience in both the public and private sector as well as experience as an MS4 coordinator. This collective experience has allowed him to develop an understanding of not only infrastructure needs and requirements, but also the ability to design and manage projects as an environmental steward. Currently Jason is leading a diverse team of design engineers, planners, landscape architects and public engagement specialists to create a welcoming and vibrate streetscape update for the city of Elkhart, Indiana. Find out below what makes him tick and what it is he loves about his job.
1. What are you most passionate about in this job?
My job gives me the opportunity to help provide solutions that hopefully have a lasting positive effect on a community. I am inspired and appreciate that what we may perceive as a small detail can have a major impact on a community. I am also just curious in nature, so I am always observing and pointing out things to my family on trips even though they constantly state they don’t have the same level of interest as me.
2. Other people don’t find this exciting, so why do you?
I could go with the standard engineering answer in that I enjoy figuring out how things work and seeing how solutions are applied, but that isn’t the whole story. I really enjoy all the different challenges that come in our profession. While projects have similarities, they are never the same. I truly believe I learn something new every day. I also like the idea that if our work goes unnoticed, kind of like a referee, then we know we are doing our job well.
3. Why is working for Burke different than anywhere else?
There is a level of community pride and professional commitment that is seen at all levels of the company. While we are a business, we are strongly encouraged and supported to be involved in the communities where we live and work. This culture is definitely reflected in the way we partner with our clients.
4. How long have you been doing your thing?
I have been doing my thing at CBBEL for almost nine years. I have another 10 years of public and two years of private experience for a grand total of 21 years, which also happens to be the age of our current intern…wow, when did I get so old?
5. What, in your opinion, is the most important take away for your clients?
I am fortunate in that I have experience working for both the public and private side. As a public employee, I thought it was important that the consultant was engaged in the discussion to a level where I felt confident that they understood the challenges of the project and that their design will consider all the impacts through project completion. Our clients should always feel that we are actively listening and that we are approaching the project as partners and with their best interest in order to develop the best solution.
6. If you could be any natural feature, what would you be and why?
I think I would like to be a large tree on a golf course. My golf ball seems to be attracted to trees, so I figure it must be a sign.