London's Living Treasures Banquet 2019 - Page 43

Logan Sams In a cozy office on the second floor of the Ryser Building on Main Street in London sits Sams Engineering, a struc- tural engineering company comprising of just "four-and-a-half" employees. "I primarily work as a consultant to architects," said Logan Sams, founder of the company. "Architects design how a building looks, how it is used, its floor- plan, layout, things like that. And then we fit the requirements of the building within those constraints." Sams graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2005 with a degree in civil engineering. After working at a large construction firm for around three years, he employed at Gray Engineering and Design in London. "That was right around the tail-end of the recession," recalled Sams. "Gray En- gineering ended up going out of business. I had to start my own thing; it was either sink or swim." Sams Engineering began in the base- ment of Sams' home on Jan. 1, 2011. After two years, he moved to his small office on South Main Street, employing two drafters, a licensed engineer and a part-timer to take care of payroll. "I like having such a small company because I don't have to chase every piece of work that comes across my desk," ex- plained Sams. "If I had a really large firm, I would feel like I'd have to land every job I possibly could to feed the monster, so-to-speak. I'd have an incredibly large amount of payroll to meet every single month." With his small company, Sams can choose which jobs interest him the most. In spite of their size, Sams Engineering takes around a hundred jobs each year. A notable project includes the Ark En- counter in Williamstown, a recreation of Noah's Ark which currently is the largest timber project in the world. "I love designing something in my head and working on plans," expressed Sams. "You've got this model in your head of London’s Living Treasures Banquet 2019 what the building looks like and how it functions. And then as it actually starts to be erected, and you can physically go inside of it, and look at what you've seen in your head for so long, that's the most rewarding thing. " With the joy of seeing ideas come to life comes the stress of managing multi- million dollar projects. Sams Engineer- ing must ensure their projects can endure the weather and handling occupant-loads. If a dimension is wrong on a set of plans, somebody is responsible for paying up- wards of hundreds of thousands of dol- lars to fix the mistake. "You just get accustomed to the bur- den. There's risk with any kind of busi- ness you make. You just gotta go with it or get out of the game," said Sams. Sams advised any aspiring structural engineers to attend an accredited college and work in engineering-related posi- tions during the summers. He warned to never go into an occupation blind. "Do something you love, try to find something you love," said Sams, "this is our eighth year of business. For eight years, I've never looked at the clock to wait for five o'clock. Do something you love and never work a day in your life." 43