Get to Know Brian Lawson, PE, CPD, GPD

In this edition of Get to Know, we are pleased to introduce Brian Lawson, PE, CPD, GPD, a member of ASPE’s Rochester Chapter.

ASPE: If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?
Brian: Germany and Austria. My dad and brother were both stationed there while serving in the military, and I have heard many stories about how great a place it was to visit. From the culture, the beer, and the skiing, it just sounds like a wonderful area to experience at least once in my life.

ASPE: What are your hobbies outside of work?
Brian: I enjoy playing the drums. While I am still a relative novice, I have been taking lessons for the past two years and have been learning a lot. I also have always enjoyed working with my hands and playing with tools. I am in the beginning stages of restoring a 1972 VW Westfalia Bus. It is currently in a thousand pieces and taking up space in my garage, much to my wife’s dismay. I had a VW Bus in high school, so I’m excited to get my project running to relive my glory days. My wife and I have also started becoming novice coffee roasters.

ASPE: What is your favorite type of music?
Brian: I am a punk rock fan through and through. I have been listening to punk since the 90s when I was a teenager. I have many favorite bands, but my absolute favorite would have to be Strung Out. I love their capability to play their instruments with perfection and speed (punk rock and technical ability don’t always go hand in hand). I’ve seen them a few times in concert, and each time was an amazing experience. As an aspiring drummer, I can truly appreciate how difficult it is to play fast yet play technically accurate.

ASPE: What is your favorite childhood memory?
Brian: I grew up in rural western Pennsylvania, and our house was adjacent to a forest. In the summer, I used to love playing in the woods all day without a care in the world. My friends and I would climb trees, blaze new trails with our bikes, search for salamanders under rocks, or just see how far we could go before we were out of earshot of our parents yelling “dinner!”

ASPE: Do you have a favorite vacation spot? Where is it and why do you keep going back? 
Brian: While we have only visited it once, our favorite spot that we want to go back to is Kauai, Hawaii. It is such a beautiful island, and the laid-back pace was exactly what we were looking for in a vacation spot. In addition, we really got a kick out of all of the feral chickens all over the island. We nicknamed one Rodney the Rooster that was keeping us company while lounging on the beach.

ASPE: What is your favorite meal?
Brian: I do not really have a favorite meal, as I will pretty much eat anything. However, any meal that my wife and I cook together is No. 1 in my book. We like to be creative and try new recipes all the time.

ASPE: What did you want to be when you were a child?
Brian: I really wanted to grow up to be a fighter jet pilot. I’m pretty sure I got that idea from watching Top Gun as a child. However, when I got older I realized that I couldn’t be a fighter pilot due to the fact that I wear glasses, so instead, I joined the Army and became a crew chief on UH-60 helicopters. I still got to fly, albeit not as a pilot and not like I dreamed of as a kid…but it was an amazing experience!

ASPE: What’s your favorite type of foreign food?
Brian: I love to explore new foods, especially foreign foods. I would have to say that my favorite is probably authentic Korean, Chinese, or Japanese…though you can’t go wrong with a good Indian curry either. I spent a year in Korea while I was in the Army and fell in love with the food. Most people hated kimchi while I was there, but I loved it.

ASPE: Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?
Brian: In junior high and high school, my classmates always thought that I resembled Macaulay Culkin, so based on resemblance alone, I think he would be a good fit to play me in a movie. Otherwise, probably Kevin Smith. He plays the character Silent Bob in his movies, and I think that personality would fit me well. I normally am quiet and don’t have much to say, but people tend to listen when I do finally say something.

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