Byron Cook is a Senior Structural Engineer at Top Level Engineering, and joined the company almost a year ago in June of 2020 after spending many years at a larger, multidisciplinary engineering firm in the DC area. Byron is a resident of Falls Church, Virginia and – as a lifelong Washingtonian – has enjoyed watching the DC area grow and change dramatically over the last 50 years.
Byron spent his youth in the leafy Northern Virginia suburb of Arlington, where he knew from a young age that he wanted to become an engineer. His yard and neighborhood were prime spots to construct dams, bridges and tree houses for himself, his brothers and other neighborhood friends. Byron claims he was a “structural engineer from birth,” and as the only engineer in his family, his parents were very supportive of this career choice. After graduating from high school, Byron’s love of building things eventually took him to Virginia Tech, where he went on to receive both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering.
Building an Engineering Career
Over the course of his 33-year career, Byron has collaborated on the design of on a number of interesting projects – from a 13-story suburban office building to a one-million square foot warehouse! He claims it impossible to pick just one favorite project, however, one of his more notable assignments was serving as the chief structural inspector for Fed-Ex Field during its construction in Landover, Maryland in the mid-1990’s. Given the popularity of The Washington Football Team, this was truly an exciting project to be part of.
Getting Back “Into the Weeds of Design”
Byron has spent the entirety of his career working for engineering firms located near Washington, DC – yet some of his projects have taken him to far corners of the globe, including Cairo, Manila and Hawaii. While the travel was exciting and his career was indeed progressing,
Byron found himself working for larger engineering firms where he dealt more with management and personnel issues vs. the intricacies of true design.
“I missed getting into the weeds of design,” he said – and this is what prompted his move to Top Level Engineering almost a year ago.
He and TLE Principal, Kirby Hartle, had worked together at a large engineering firm more than 20 years ago, so when the opportunity arose to work with Kirby once again, Byron jumped at the chance!
Regaining His Joy
Since returning to a smaller, more specialized structural engineering firm like TLE, Byron has regained the joy of designing structures and being more “hands-on” with his clients – which he absolutely loves! And, he is very positive about TLE’s the future.
“I see us expanding into different markets, and really see great growth potential for Total Top Level Engineering in the next five years,” he said.
Byron is truly an integral member of the TLE team. With his wisdom and experience, TLE’s growth and success is sure to continue! To contact any of the TLE team click here.