Mr. Michael Tomaselli, Fire Protection Engineer, Anne Arundel County
From the age of about 13 I knew that I wanted to be an engineer and when I entered college I knew I wanted to achieve the status of becoming a Professional Engineer. When I was a junior in my undergraduate program I knew that graduation and the 'real-world' was rapidly approaching and the necessary preparations needed to be taken. Already a supervisor of the Adele's Restaurant kitchen staff I decided to take on another venture, an internship in my field of study. I interviewed and ultimately was given the opportunity to intern, unpaid, as a Fire Inspector with Anne Arundel County Fire Marshal's Office. One afternoon, out on an inspection, I began talking with a sprinkler contractor who was so impressed with my degree and studies at UMD that he made a few phone calls and within a week I had another interview with a reputable sprinkler contractor from Carroll County Maryland. Over the next year I took in as much on job training as I possibly could, learning the "ins-and-outs" of residential sprinkler system design. Then in December of 2013 I obtained my Bachelors of Science degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. Soon after graduation, with my aspirations of becoming a Professional Engineer in mind, I knew that I had to expand my horizons into the other realms of fire protection engineering. Within a few months I had migrated to another sprinkler contracting company only this time I was designing commercial sprinkler systems, which forced me to utilize an entirely different mindset. However, as many people with a burning desire will tell you, my aspirations of becoming a Professional Engineer never left the forefront of my mind and thus another change was in my future. This change happened to be my last and has led me to my current position as a Fire Protection Engineer for Anne Arundel County, Maryland. In my current role I serve as Fire Protection Engineer/code consultant to the County's Fire Marshals as well as contractors and design professionals from around the country. I utilize the theory and practical expertise given to me throughout my undergraduate and graduate programs to understand the intention behind nationally recognized codes and standards and ultimately ensure that these provisions are followed throughout the design phase of a project. Without the knowledge obtained at the University of Maryland I would not have been able to create a reputation for myself as logical engineer that is capable of bridging the gap between contractors and engineers that exists worldwide.