Buildings and the act of constructing them has always fascinated me.

Mike Ruff

Mike Ruff

Director of Electrical Engineering

Passing on what I have learned in my career to the next generations of engineers is something I do every day. I enjoy telling a story based on an experience and turning it into a real life lesson. I do this every chance I get.

How did you arrive in this business?

Buildings and the act of constructing them has always fascinated me. The systems, structure and space planning involved, the process of making the whole thing ‘work’ was something I wanted to be involved in, so I applied to Carnegie Mellon University for Architecture and Penn State University for Architectural Engineering. After much thought, I decided that with my interest in architecture and engineering, the Penn State program was for me. The rest, they say, is history.

Who have you worked with (or for) in the past?

After graduating from Penn State, I worked in the electrical engineering department at Dalton Dalton Newport. There, I worked with a great group of people who have moved on to become the Principals and Partners at many of Cleveland’s premier Architectural and Engineering firms. I also spent quite a few years at Bacik Karpinski Associates. Being part of a growing firm, helping lay the foundation of one of Cleveland’s elite Consulting Engineering firms was exciting and professionally challenging.

What are you passionate about personally?

I really enjoy coaching, teaching and interacting with young people. Youth sports and the skills that can be developed through healthy competition (athletic, social and emotional) is something I have been involved with my entire life. Whether playing a sport when I was young or being a volunteer for youth hockey coach (for 28 years), I believe I learned and taught valuable life lessons. It’s the best way to learn, as the consequences are small. You win, you lose, either way the sun comes up tomorrow and life goes on. I have cherished memories, both of successes and failures in sports, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

What are you most passionate about professionally?

Teaching, training and mentoring our young engineers is very motivating. Passing what I have learned in my career onto the following generations of engineers is something I do every day. I enjoy telling a story, based on an experience, and turning it into a real life lesson. I do this every chance I get.

What’s your favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon?

At this point in my life, a long weekend on a road trip with my family to watch college fast pitch softball is a favorite way to spend a weekend. If relatives and friends join us, it’s even better.

How long have you been doing what you do?

I like to think I have been doing this my whole life. My parents built a house when I was 5, and I spent time with my dad everyday monitoring its progress. I am still doing much the same now, just on a much larger scale.

Any volunteer activities you’re crazy about?

I have enjoyed my 28 years of being a volunteer youth ice hockey coach, and have tremendous respect for those who take the time and effort it takes to mentor and be a positive role model for other children. The effort it takes to be involved in a team-worth of family situations, to be a teacher and mentor to all (including parents), to stay abreast of coaching developments, and to commit your own family’s time to other people’s children, is certainly crazy. But I wouldn’t change it for the world. The people who do it for a long period of time – they’re crazy.

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