The Studio 41: A Rare Breed

by Tim Alatorre

Steve Grossenbacher (B.Arch ’05, Assoc. AIA, LEED BD+C, EIT) talks about the path that led him to pursue Architecture and Architectural Engineering and we discuss the Las Vegas death ray.

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Show Notes

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Cal Poly News

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Rapid Fire Questions:

  • Cal Poly or Berkeley or Penn State? Cal Poly
  • Autocad or Revit? Revit
  • Parallel bar or T-Square? Parallel
  • Facebook or LinkedIn or MySpace? Facebook
  • Arch Record, Arch Digest, or Architect? Architect
  • Drafting dots or tape? Tape
  • Yellow trace or white? cocktail napkin
  • Ad Markers or Prisma? Prisma
  • Pen or Pencil? Pencil
  • Mac or PC? MAC
  • What’s the Meaning of Life? 48

SCORE: 2,720,412


  • Cal Poly Bachelor of Architecture, 2006. Penn State Masters in Science in Architectural Engineering, 2007
  • Why are you in VA?
    • Works for Clark Nexsen… just over 3 years, worked on a wide array of projects
    • Large office with 6 locations
    • Currently working on a library/faculty lounge type building at a community college
    • Travelling right now to work on an army corps headquarters base
    • He’s the Revit guide for his office so he gets to travel around helping out other offices
  • What’s with all the letters after your name?
    • EIT – Engineer in Training: it’s the first step in getting your Engineer License, you take a fundamentals exam
  • Currently working towards licensure? progress?
    • In the midst of his AREs (he’s taken and passed 2, his third is coming up)
    • He’s doing his IDP in Washington D.C.
  • Why Engineering?
    • He wanted to understand how buildings worked structurally
    • The idea of being the bridge between Engineering and Architecture was always appealing to him
    • It’s nice being able to speak both languages
    • The experience of studying engineering was a complete 180 from studying architecture
    • He likes to focus on how to use the two professions together rather than let them conflict
  • How did Cal Poly Architecture program contribute to a Masters program in Engineering?
    • The program prepared him well
  • Long term goals?
    • Would like to move into a Project Manager/Architect position, get an overview on the whole practice and firm to learn everything about the process
    • Maybe someday have his own firm, but he’s really happy where he is now and doesn’t see a move anytime soon
  • Advice for incoming Cal Poly students?
    • Don’t give up, if you want it you can get it
    • Make it happen for yourself
    • Don’t get frustrated, just push harder
  • Advice for graduating Cal Poly students?
    • If you’re seeking your Masters, now may be a good time to do it with the economy in the current state
    • Don’t sell yourself short, apply to grad schools or move to that big city and make it happen
  • Anything you wish you would have done while you were at Cal Poly?
    • Wished he would have focused more on drawing and sketching so he’d have better skills in that area

About the Author

Tim Alatorre