By Benjamin Joe
RAC Engineering, P.C. is a premier Structural Engineering firm founded in 2009 by Robert A. Curtis, PE. Curtis has over 30 years of experience in all aspects of the construction and engineering industry. Unique to the industry, Curtis began his career in the field on construction sites experiencing the real time application of design initiatives.
Working as a consultant, he acted as project manager, as well as, design engineer on numerous projects – providing structural support to architectural teams as well as leading innovative design efforts on special structures. Curtis also understands, first hand, the expectations and needs of clients because for several years he was the “client” (city engineer of a large municipality).
“He’s been a loyal member and supporter of the Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas for many years,” said Sarah Nelson, administrative assistant for the Chamber. “ We are happy to have him with us.”
Executive Director of the chamber, Cathy Oddo said that Curtis was well versed in structural engineering and drew up the structural designs for a member of the chamber’s basement when it needed to be repaired.
“He’s always supporting us, so we wanted to do something nice for his business, as well,” Oddo said. “He’s amazing to talk to, the projects he’s worked on are really amazing.”
To hear Curtis, though, the credit all goes back to the chamber.
“It began with a need for providing health care, for myself and my employees. As a chamber member, they have associations with a whole bunch of different businesses,” Curtis said. “At the time, there was one that provided health care services and we were able to get a reduced price.”
“They have discounts, members give other members discounts, it really helps to promote the business,” he continued. “Every Tuesday and Wednesday mornings they have get-togethers where other businesses come in and talk about what type of services they provide. They send out an email and if you’re interested in that, you can come sit for nothing and get some networking done.”
RAC isn’t just a good company for its clients, it’s also a great place to start a career.
“I do have some junior, I hate to say architects, but they’re not licensed,” Curtis said. “They’re working on their licenses, and, also there’s an engineer who’s working on getting his degree and ultimately, his license. I like to hire younger people coming out of school. They just seem to have the fresh ideas and with my strong background in civil, structural, and geo-technical, I can help mentor and guide them to bring them up to that elevated level of licensed professional.”
Curtis said, “We do a lot of residential. Everything from sinking houses in Amherst up to brand- new home designs. We also do some commercial work and some industrial work.”
RAC’s mission is to incorporate life safety, integrity and continuity into property and infrastructure through the application of contemporary structural engineering principles.
“From day one of opening my business I have been associated with the chamber,” Curtis said. “It’s a bit humbling and I do appreciate it and I will continue to support the chamber in all its efforts. They give back more than my investment.”