BioBuzz by Workforce Genetics

5 Questions With David Korzuch, Mechanical Engineer at CRB Group

“5 Questions With…” is a recurring BioBuzz series where we reach out to interesting people to share a little about themselves, their work, and maybe something completely unrelated. This week we welcome David Korzuch, a mechanical engineer at CRB Group, a full-service facility design, engineering, construction, and consulting firm for biotech, pharma, food and beverage, and science and technology.

David is an experienced and dependable mechanical engineer with a keen understanding of HVAC&R and mechanical utility system design. He has successfully completed projects for cGMP manufacturing facilities, laboratories, and central utility plants ranging in scope from small-scale renovations below $50k to advanced facility designs exceeding $250 million.

1) Please introduce yourself to our audience by looking back at your education, training, and career.

I’m a mechanical engineer working for CRB on the biotech Market Team at the Philadelphia Office. I’ve been with CRB for 4 years and I have over 12 years of collective experience as a mechanical engineer in various design roles. My expertise is HVAC and plant utility system designs as they relate to pharmaceutical and biotechnology facilities. I focus primarily on the design of cleanroom environments and thermal fluid systems to support the process requirements within a facility.

My formal training started at Penn State’s University Park Campus in the general engineering curriculum. I always knew that I wanted to be an engineer since my freshman year of high school; I was drawn to science and math in school and was fascinated with the discovery of how things work. Naturally, I pursued a major in mechanical engineering while at Penn State with a minor in engineering mechanics. Upon graduation, I worked as a mechanical design engineer at a few different design companies before ultimately joining the CRB team in 2018.

My career has always been design-focused. As my experience progressed, I’ve assumed more leadership roles within the project team until reaching the level of lead mechanical engineer and project engineer, which are the current roles I serve across multiple active projects at CRB.

2) What are some things about the CRB culture that make you excited to be a part of the team?

The best way I describe the CRB culture is “Work Hard, Play Hard.” CRB has a unique talent pool of individuals that embrace each other as a family unit while pushing each other to be the very best versions of themselves. It’s for the collective benefit of the company, our clients, and the projects. CRB employees aren’t afraid to push the limits to get the job done, hold themselves and their co-workers accountable, and strive for technical excellence—all while having fun and maintaining a positive attitude. The company’s culture complements my professional career and my personal working style, which is why I am happy to be part of the CRB team.

3) CRB is a fast-growing company working across many markets. What are the current industry challenges that you are helping companies and clients to overcome?

The biggest industry challenge right now is delivering technically complex solutions on time and within budget as inflation rates continue to rise and equipment/material lead times continue to remain unpredictable. Many of our clients have a “speed to market” incentive that drives projects to move uncomfortably fast which requires a paradigm shift in the traditional ways of thinking with regard to project execution. As a preeminent team of engineers, designers, and builders, we at CRB need to collectively think outside the box in order to execute for our clients on time and within budget. Some examples include: Integrated Project Delivery using CRB’s ONEsolutionTM approach; using lean project execution methods such as Last Planner and Target Value Delivery; using trades in partnership roles as project designers supporting the design phase of a project; and evaluating the use of alternate manufacturers, technologies, and materials in projects.

4) As an expert in the field, what are some words of advice you would give to someone just starting out as a mechanical engineer?

The term “expert” is relative in this industry. The engineering field is continuously evolving and growing with the emergence of new technologies and new project execution methods. As an engineer, you need to maintain the mindset of a continuous learning engine to keep up with the evolving industry and remain an “expert” in the field.

My words of advice to someone just starting out as a mechanical engineer… stay curious, remain humble, and ask questions…lots of questions. It takes about five years, or 10,000 hours, of project experience to really understand the mechanical engineering discipline and be able to contribute to a project team in more of a leadership role. While working on project teams, observe the dynamic of team members… the good and the bad. Try to take away the good from each experience and learn from the bad but strive to do better and not repeat it. I always find a mentor at each company to collaborate with… figure out what works so well for them and what do you admire most about them; then learn from them. Mimic those admirable traits and make them your own. You will soon enough develop a personal working style that remains unique and fuels your own professional career.

Use your time wisely because it will go fast. Make your own way in your career and don’t follow a path directed by others; it’s your life and your career so do what makes you happy every day.

5) If you had to assemble a team of famous celebrities to help you solve a “who did it” mystery adventure, who would you choose and why?

This is an interesting question… my mystery-solving team would include an ensemble of some favorite cast members from Saturday Night Live over the years. The team would include Tina Fey, Will Ferrel, Eddie Murphy, Bill Hader, Jimmy Fallon, Adam Sandler, Chris Kattan, and Kate McKinnon… just to name a few. We could turn the “who did it” mystery into a comedy skit. I grew up watching SNL through high school and college and love to make people laugh. It would be fun to be part of an SNL comedy skit, so I think that would be my dream team for solving any mystery.