What’s typical life like at Pearl Engineering? Mechanical Engineering Team Lead Joe Erdmann summed it up with one word – crazy!

“It’s a good crazy though,” Joe said. “Leading the mechanical engineering department and delegating tasks on a variety of departments is an interesting challenge. On one hand, you want to give the most experienced people large roles in projects that best meet their expertise. On the other, we want to train and nurture the skill sets of those that aren’t as familiar. It’s not always easy to balance, but we think finding that balance is very important.”

This position of leading and delegating an entire department is not new to Joe, who served as Design Team Lead up until the summer of 2018. In all, Joe has been with Pearl Engineering since 2006. Mechanical Design was where he got his start, but over the years he has also had experience in civil, structural, and electrical engineering.

His interest in engineering bloomed back in high school when Joe worked a job in residential house construction. While the physical demands weren’t that appealing, what was appealing was the problem solving and project management. Around the same time, he found he also enjoyed working on cars and small engines. The two found their way together in the form of a career in engineering.

The variety that his career entails is what Joe says he enjoys most.

“You never seem to find yourself doing the same thing,” he said. “Variety brings challenges. Every job comes with different demands, some more challenging than others. But, no matter what, everyone is a learning experience.”

For a man who enjoys engineering, industrial settings and construction you may be surprised to hear that one of his greatest passions is backpacking and getting “off the grid”. Joe, by himself or with his group of friends, has gone out several times a year for many years now exploring remote locations across the country with nothing more than the gear on his back. Some of his traveling highlights include New Mexico, Colorado, upper Michigan, and the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin.

When Joe is back “on the grid” and winter rolls around, he also enjoys attending high school basketball games at his old alma mater, Lincoln High School, and other area high schools. He currently lives in Wisconsin Rapids, his hometown, with his wife of 26 years. Joe is also the father of two boys.

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