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Employee-Owner Spotlight: Pat LaPlante, Level II NDE Technician, Minneapolis, MN

Pat LaPlante

We recently met with Pat LaPlante, Level II NDE Technician out of our Minneapolis, Minnesota office to discuss his role and what he loves about his job.

What is your role at Braun Intertec?
I’ve grown with Braun Intertec for more than 30 years and have been lucky enough to work on some major projects with my team. My role here is to perform nondestructive testing services on various components in the field and laboratory. Some of my everyday tasks include structural steel inspections, welder certification, bolting inspections, plan detail interpretation, and code book interpretation. I am responsible for communication with subcontractors, structural engineers, project managers, (both inside our company and general contractors), state building officials, fabrication shop managers, and owner representatives. 

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?
To be honest, the most rewarding aspect is when people, whether they are internal, external, subcontractors, ironworkers or clients, call to ask me questions. I have 32 years of knowledge that I love to share. So, it’s a rewarding feeling when I can do that.

What do you like about the Braun Intertec culture?
I like how everyone works as a team. Whether it’s project managers, project assistants or other inspectors, we all work together as one on all sorts of jobs. We’re a team at Braun Intertec which makes it an awesome company to work for.

What are some of your favorite projects you have gotten to work on and why?
US Bank Stadium is by far my favorite. It was a challenging job with extremely long hours, but it was fun. There was so much communication with a variety of different personalities.

I was also a consultant on the Texas Rangers Stadium which was a new experience for me. I was more of a project communicator there, like a contractor almost. Part of my responsibilities on that job was to streamline reports and add more communication from our office project managers to send on-site.

I really enjoy working on the big projects. A few others that come to mind right away are the Mall of America and the Twins Stadium because of their complexity.

How does safety factor into your day-to-day work?
Safety is the most important thing that contractors, especially at Braun Intertec, have in the forefront. I have refused to do inspections several times because the situation was not safe. Recently, I was asked to work from a ladder and said, “I can’t do that, that’s not safe at all,” and had to leave the site. If I’m not confident in the safety of a site or project, I can’t do it.

What advice would you give to someone who is beginning a career in NDT?
I would say, go to work every day and learn something new. We won’t know everything about a project or a test. Keep an open mind, always give it your best. Also try to make things easy. If things are easy, they’re fun, and it’s important to have fun at your job.

To learn more about his experience, join us July 9th at 11:00 am (CDT) for a webinar, Stadiums and Vertical Structures: How to Get the Most out of Your Next Structural Steel Inspection. Register here: https://bit.ly/2B5v7GV