EXPOSED | Schemmer Bridge Manager, Darin Brown, P.E.


Many of us cross bridges during our daily commutes. So much so, that we take them for granted, until they become dysfunctional or closed. Replacing bridge structures often requires a fine balance between what community’s want, when they want it and what they can afford. I like trying to find that balance.

I developed the itch to create things at a young age. As a kid, I wanted to have a go-kart. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the money to buy one and, apparently, “Santa” didn’t either. So, I built my own out of scrap wood, steel and an old lawnmower engine. The go-kart worked great except for the brakes; needless to say I wore out a lot of tennis shoes that summer. Creating something permanent that I can look at and say, “I made that,” is a rewarding feeling. My joy of dreaming up new things and figuring out how to make them a reality was the reason I got into the engineering profession.

The challenge of learning how to incorporate new technologies, processes, methods and materials into bridge designs motivates me. I am fascinated by learning about how other countries build their bridges and I want to bring innovative ideas to the forefront at SCHEMMER. I work with state DOT’s, municipalities and counties providing them bridge and culvert design services. The bridges range from large, multi-lane vehicular bridges to small, tranquil pedestrian bridges that are part of a park or trail system.

Earning my professional license has been one of my proudest achievements. It is easy to get off track from your goals when “life” happens. Marriage, children, money constraints, time issues, etc., but I followed the advice my dad gave me when I was about 12 years old. He said, “You may not win everything you enter, but you should always finish what you start.”

Aside from work, I am an avid collector of sports memorabilia, which I have sold at convention shows in five different states over the last 20 years. I now have Twitter (@dman_B), and am an avid follower of high school sporting events. I like getting quarterly updates and final scores before they ever hit the news. I had a Facebook account until I realized that typed emotions do not translate well. I prefer the face-to-face sharing of opinions to eliminate the misinterpretation of comments or feelings.

My passion in life is to provide my three kids with opportunities to lead a better life than I had. I enjoy sharing their joys of achievement and even their sorrows of disappointment because it is shaping them into the adults they will become. My family loves to travel. We all have different interests and passions, but when we’re traveling together, it is the one time we can find common enjoyment and create memories and stories that will be remembered for years to come.

Fun Fact: I have an accent, according to my college roommate from Boston.

Click here to learn more about the SCHEMMER engineering market Darin Brown, P.E., works in.