We’re excited to introduce Jonah Finkelstein, the newest member of the Spack Enterprise team. He received a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in 2013 and is currently an Engineer in Training (EIT).
Learning how things are made and how they work is what initially sparked an interest and led Jonah to pursue the engineering field. Originally he was interested in structural engineering and didn’t give transportation engineering any thought. His advice to current students – “Take a wide variety of classes during your engineering education to find what truly interests you.” By doing this and experiencing the real world of engineering, his interests switched to transportation and traffic engineering. The attractiveness of traffic engineering stemmed from the fact that it affects almost everybody. The majority of people drive their car or use another method of transportation daily but don’t realize the intricate process that makes it all possible. To Jonah, being a traffic engineer gives “this person behind the curtain feel [that] has always intrigued me.”
Here at Spack Enterprise, Jonah will be working with the Spack Consulting and Traffic Data Inc. team leading the activities surrounding our Traffic Signal services. At his previous employment, Alliant Engineering Inc., he had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects including the Transit Signal Priority (TSP) in downtown Duluth which involved aspects of design, signal timing, installation and programming. He received valuable hands on training that allowed him to dabble in a variety of tasks.
Something most people don’t know about Jonah is that before he began his engineer career, he used to be a professional high wire walker and circus performer alongside Nik Wallenda, who’s known for walking over Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon. While he wasn’t performing he also designed and constructed an assortment of equipment for Wallenda Inc. What’s one perk of being a circus performer? Meeting famous people. Jonah describes an experience:
“When I was studying at the U of M I had the opportunity to perform an opening circus routine for Primus when they performed at the Orpheum Theatre. Our three person troupe was able to meet and talk with Les Claypool and the band and were actually invited to travel and perform with them in Chicago the next day. Unfortunately schedules did not permit but still makes a good story!”
Outside of the work place Jonah enjoys to spend his time outside – regardless of what the temperature is. A few of his favorite activities include kayaking, rock climbing, and backpacking. Although Jonah is no longer a high wire performer, he continues to train on the tightrope weekly and is also still involved in the rigging and coaching side of the circus.
Throughout his experiences, Jonah has taken away this idea that “you are never done learning, and you can always learn more”. He’s obtained a variety of skills and techniques from various opportunities and is looking forward to expanding them even more at Spack Enterprises.