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Laboratory Design spoke with Matt Shipley, General Manager with AM Technical Solutions in Austin, Texas.

Laboratory Design (LD): What piece of architecture—lab-related or not—is your favorite, or would you most like to see for the first time?
Matt Shipley (MS):
I enjoy architecture in general and the way buildings and spaces can influence people. I love the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. and the way it integrates U.S. history into the design. It includes dust from the moon and characters from Star Wars as gargoyles. I recently went to Italy and was amazed with the craftsmanship and innovation that went in to the buildings. When you think about the technology used today, including BIM and other advanced modeling and calculation software, it is very inspiring to see the precision and skill it took to build those structures.

LD: What’s the best advice you’ve received during your career?
MS:
I have been fortunate to have many inspiring mentors in my career. As an engineer by schooling, I started my career thinking everything was a technical problem. At some point I became aware I was working for businesses and it really was about the money and value to the business. The next phase of my journey was the realization that all of these endeavors are powered by people, and real value is in understanding and building healthy and productive relationships that can solve for the business and technical challenges. With strong focus and sophistication on the human elements, the business and technical challenges get solved much more efficiently and positively. The engineering and construction space is highly reliant on high performing teams. The thought leaders in this space are using new and exciting techniques to give this element of the business the same focus we traditionally give scope, schedule and budget.

LD: What would you tell young people if you wanted to encourage them to join your line of work?
MS:
Really seek to understand the why behind the work you do. What are the concerns of the clients, colleagues and peers in your business and how can you either directly address or facilitate the resolution of the concerns. See the bigger picture and solve for the individual problems in alignment with the overarching need.

LD: What kind of projects are you working on at the moment?
MS:
We are very excited to be bringing our technical expertise to the table across a variety of sectors. We have consistently provided deep technical project management and quality assurance experience to the high tech market including semiconductor, lab, datacenter and life sciences. In addition, our technical construction division is enjoying significant growth. We are providing fixed price technical architectural builds for semiconductor fabs, laboratories and life science spaces.

LD: Why did you decide to get into lab/healthcare design, as opposed to other kinds of facilities?
MS:
Our strong position in high tech provided a natural fit. Our culture and history is rooted in quality and technical construction. These are the exact skills that bring successful project management and construction services in the lab/healthcare and life sciences spaces

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