Our People – Othon Estrada, Jr. | Quiet Hero

Othon Estrada, Jr. is a Senior Commissioning Agent, Energy Specialist and Associate at iFactor. We sat down with Othon to learn more about an almost diplomat turned engineer.

Q: During your career, you’ve worked on dozens of projects. What is your favorite part of the design process?

A: My favorite part is the initial planning stages. It is during this part that most of the important decisions that affect the entire course of the project are made. I enjoy it the most because of the interaction among the engineers, owner, and architect.

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to a young professional just entering the engineering field, what would it be?

A: Go into finance! J But, if you want to stay in engineering, I would advise getting a hard bound notebook and keeping lots of notes. Memories are short.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

A: I was told early to ask lots questions and never assume.

Q: What is the greatest work of engineering genius?

A: I would say it’s the Roman Empire road system. It’s amazing to me to think that some of those roads still exist in one form or another.

Q: What is the most exciting project you’ve worked on?

A: The US Embassy in Kabul. Riding with the Marines in a Humvee with a flak jacket down the Great Massoud Road was pretty awesome.

Q: What is your best memory at iFactor to date?

A: Most definitely, the Thanksgiving parties. Those are always fun!

Q: You’re a Georgetown Bulldog (grad school) and a MIT Beaver (undergrad).  How many hundreds of thousands of dollars do you own in student loans? Kidding!

Actual Q: You’re a Georgetown Bulldog (grad school) and a MIT Beaver (undergrad).  If the two were to rumble in the park, who would come out on top?

A: The Beaver! The Bulldogs are far too polite while the Beavers know how to fight dirty!

Q: Do you have any big|exciting plans in store for 2017?

A: Probably, a big family trip to Mexico. We’re hoping to visit some of my Mayan ancestral sites, especially Tulum and Coba.

Q: What’s something most people don’t know about you?

A: I got a degree in international relations from Georgetown, where I met my wife. I almost became a diplomat, believe it or not!

Q: What’s your favorite part of living in California?

A: Being so close to family. Especially with young children, it’s a blessing to be close to family.

Q: What might we find you doing on a typical Sunday afternoon?

A: Mostly, taking it easy with my family and getting ready for the school week.

Q: If you had one superpower, what would it be and why?

A: Death-ray. I have my reasons….

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?

A: Aggressive drivers. It’s never worth getting into an accident.

Q: I’m pretty awesome at _____________.

A: Painting.

Q: How many stamps do you have in your passport and what stamps do you hope to add in the next 5 years?

A: I counted once. I have about 35 visas in my passports. I would love to add Mongolia, Croatia, and Ethiopia.