get to know
September 22, 2020
If you’re lucky, at some point you’ll have that “aha” moment when you realize you love what you do. For InEight’s AJ Waters, that moment came in 2009, when he was working on the construction of TD Ameritrade Park, home of the College World Series in Omaha. As an engineer for Kiewit, AJ was tasked with estimating the specialty items associated with the ballpark — the netting, the foul poles, the benches in the dugouts, the batting cages — all of the neat stuff that goes into what makes up a ballpark. This particular ballpark came with a $131-million price tag and a seating capacity of 35,000 spectators. AJ earned his master’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln just a few years earlier and worked tirelessly on this project with all his Cornhusker pride.
A.J. knew this is where he wanted to be, and he was doing exactly what he wanted to do.
To understand how he got to that moment and where he is today, AJ points to his early engineering internships. “I soon realized I did not want to sit behind a desk all day,” he recalls. “That’s when I gravitated towards construction engineering. It got me out in the field and at the job site. Then when the ballpark project came along, it was like a dream come true. I had always wanted to build a stadium.”
To this day, AJ remains out and about as the Vice President of Industry Solutions for InEight. His focus is meeting with InEight customers and ensuring the Industry Solutions team understands and addresses our customer pain points — optimizing operational efficiency using innovative software solutions. While this expanding role points him in many different directions, he still continues his strong connection with his alma mater, working with the next generation of construction professionals. InEight software is in use at several colleges in the U.S. and AJ works with staff and students at the University of Nebraska-Omaha with the software as part of their engineering curriculum. Although one may look at these solutions as really high-tech, he always stresses the human component to the students. “Until robots take over the world, construction remains a hand-driven process,” AJ says. “Software can’t drive a nail into the wall any faster for our customers, but the sequencing, the order in which they attack each room, that makes a difference. We can help you identify your project pinch points and drive efficiency in execution with our software.”
AJ is currently working from home in Omaha to stay safe like most of InEight today. He will occasionally reflect on that “aha” moment over a decade ago. “There are very few jobs where you can take your family and re-visit the work you’ve done and look at it with pride and a profound sense of accomplishment,” he says of TD Ameritrade Park. “The ballpark is something we continue to enjoy each year as a family.” In fact, it’s just one of many projects in the city of Omaha that have AJ’s fingerprints. And although the story has changed a bit throughout his career, AJ continues to point out projects to his wife, Dani, and his kids Matt, CJ, Cadi and Jacob where he sees we are making a difference. That feeling of helping others to better their projects is what continues to drive him day in and day out.
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