As if being a respected civil engineer was not hard enough, Aaron K. Martinez, P.E., M.ASCE, decided at the young age of 28 to open his own design and construction management firm, A.M. Engineering. So in April 2013, with a few clients and nothing more than his own unique combination of expertise and skills, he opened his doors for business.
While starting his own firm would become one of his most enjoyable and rewarding enterprises, Martinez knew the process was not without risks. A professional civil engineer with over 11 years of design and construction management experience with Lumos & Associates, his career up to that point had been composed of public works projects along with residential and commercial development. However, the most important characteristic he possessed was the will to succeed.
“I feel that the past two years could be summed up as one big achievement,” says Martinez, whose business is located in Elko, Nevada, the town where he grew up and went to high school. “Currently A.M. Engineering has designed, contracted, and managed a total of 21 projects, averaging nearly $1 million in construction costs, with one exceeding $14 million.”
Reflecting on the past 2 years in which business has grown from a potential financial risk to a now flourishing clientele base, Martinez says, “It has truly been amazing to watch a dream come to light. What I think separates me from my esteemed colleagues is my ambition and drive to succeed. As my old professor Dr. [Gary] Norris [at the University of Nevada, Reno] once said, ‘As an engineer, there is just no room for error…you may only have one or two chances and if you get it wrong, you may lose their respect forever.’ I think of that often and attempt to apply it daily.”
Martinez lists as his most recent achievement the urban planning and design services he performed for the $14 million Planned Unit Development (PUD) Carlin Crossing. The 326-acre mixed-used development in the city of Carlin features over 5 miles of collector/residential streets and bicycle lanes, as well as 14 miles of topographically challenged off-road bike trails. Martinez says he approached this project by implementing smart growth policies and urban design techniques into the development’s overall master plan.
“Urban design techniques promote a wide variety of land uses,” explained Martinez, “which assist the development’s future resale viability while also providing economic stability for the city. By creating a development agreement with the city [of Carlin], Carlin Crossing was able to add to the current municipal code which allows the use of the latest smart growth and urban design approaches to better suit today’s residential and business owner needs.
“The main goal was to ensure an economically constructible design that created a sense of place to call home.”
“I look forward to portraying A.M. Engineering as a firm that is here to stay,” notes Martinez. “We have created strong working relationships with firms throughout the state of Nevada, combining resources and technologies to become more competitive on selection-based projects.”
Prior to starting A.M. Engineering, among his most celebrated projects with Lumos & Associates was the design and management of the Eureka Airport Runway 18/36 project in Eureka, Nevada, in 2012.
“My role was to design and manage all the construction operations for the $3.4 million airport reconstruction project, which needed to be constructed in a 21-day operation window,” says Martinez.
“There is nothing more gratifying than watching a large-scale design completed so quickly,” he confessed. “I feel a team effort and a sound design were responsible for the project being completed on time, with zero safety incidents, and under budget.”
Martinez concluded, “Being a New Face of Civil Engineering means the world to me. We have an amazing opportunity as civil engineers to guide the project process. With that opportunity comes great responsibility and I do not take that lightly.”