The Keeping it Real series is your chance to hear from Allen & Shariff staff on life, lessons, and leadership, straight from the trenches. Sometimes literally.
Name: Chuck Booze – Senior Electrical Designer
Years at Allen & Shariff: 2 years
What’s the one skill that you would say is essential to be a great designer?
What is the most innovative advancement you’ve seen in electrical engineering design since you first started your career? How has it affected the industry?
I would say most recently it is the application of energy codes. These codes have sparked many advancements, such as lighting controls and load management. Trying to design using these controls as economically as possible is challenging.
Describe something from your past (school, work experience, a mentor) that most influenced you to become a designer.
Coming into design from the contracting side, I would say that it was my extensive use of engineered drawings to complete work. I was electrical, but more often than not, I had full sets of MEP’s and ARCH’s. I also did HVAC control install. I had the opportunity to see drawings from numerous architects and engineers, and gained a lot of experience dealing with the other trades.
Maryland: Eastern shore or mainland?
Eastern Shore. I was born and grew up in Cambridge. I currently reside in Salisbury.
If someone asked you to describe your unique approach to problem solving, what would you say?
I don’t think my approach is unique. When I was in my apprenticeship class, we had a very good teacher. When we had a question, our teacher would almost always say, “You have a code book, look it up.”
Allen & Shariff is celebrating its 25th anniversary. What do you think has given this organization its staying power?
A commitment to doing the job right!
What’s the coolest Allen & Shariff project you’ve been part of?
I would have to say the electrical service mapping project at Wallops Island. The Blue Angels use Wallops as a staging/practice area during the Ocean City air show. Doing a site survey and listening to the roar of an F-18 Hornet just outside, and going out and watching them take off from about 400 feet away is a memorable experience.
What’s the #1 “rookie mistake” you see in those just starting out their career in your field? Explain.
My design career has only been 16 months long, so I feel that I fall into the “rookie” category. For me, it is QC. Back checking myself and getting others to back check my work. Even at my age, 53, I had to “get over” the feelings that I don’t have to be perfect.
Do you have a personal hero? Someone that really inspires you in your professional or personal life?
As a kid, it was Brooks Robinson. I loved baseball and I read multiple books about him. He was a great player who has always been described as a better person. As an adult, it falls back to my father. He is where I received my work ethic and moral compass.
How would you describe the company culture at Allen & Shariff?
Simple: It’s a team. Different players have different talents that can be put on the field to move the ball forward.
If Allen & Shariff were a car, what kind of car would it be and why?
Probably a 1993 (25 years old) model – that part doesn’t matter, but it has been customized, accessorized, had body work done, repainted a couple of times, has had multiple sets of new tires, re-alignments, and oil changes. Still on the road and running!