Interview with Structural Engineer Joshua Crofton-Macdonald


In 1951, the National Society of Professional Engineers initiated Engineer’s Week to highlight the important role engineers play in our society. It’s been celebrated every year since. E-Week events and publicity also focus on attracting young people to the profession.

In honor of E-Week, we’ve asked some of WBRC’s newer engineers and engineers-to-be about their chosen careers.

Joshua Crofton-Macdonald, PE – Structural Engineer

Josh Crofton-Macdonald is always challenging himself to learn and improve, while also staying on top of his many responsibilities. Case in point – he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Maine in his “spare time!”

Why did you become an engineer? What attracted you to this profession?

Growing up I had a knack for problem-solving and enjoyed building with my hands. From puzzles to home construction projects, I loved putting things together and seeing the finished product. Engineering was attractive to me because I saw it as an opportunity to blend my love of problem-solving and modeling with my desire to be outside building things with my hands.

What traits do you think are needed to be successful in your engineering discipline?

To me the most important trait of an engineer is curiosity. You need to have a desire to grow and learn every day. Engineering has a way of humbling you and consistently teaching you new things throughout your career. Embracing that challenge with patience and an open mind is integral to success.

When you first started working in engineering, what was most surprising to you?

There is so much more to engineering than you are taught in school. Sure, the math and science courses are important, but soft skills such as creativity and effective communication are equally important.

What would you say to a young person who is interested in becoming an engineer but unsure if they have what it takes?

The engineering world is HUGE. Within the field of engineering, there are opportunities for everybody. If you have a curious mind and love to learn, there is a place for you in the engineering industry. It is an industry where you get to integrate skills in math, science, writing, communication, and art. Don’t let an aversion to one of those stop you from experiencing all the rest!