#Eweek2024 Spotlight | Caleb Erb

Helping make dreams a reality.

For National Engineers Week 2024, we’re sharing stories from Cushing Terrell’s engineering talent to learn more about how they chose their profession and what makes them tick. 

Who (or what) inspired you to be an engineer? 

In high school, we took tests to provide insights on what each of us was going to be someday and my answers varied a bit but were generally all related to engineering. I decided to take an engineering class my senior year and to pursue engineering in college as well. I ultimately came out loving the opportunities that structural engineering presented.

What is your area of expertise and why did you choose it?

Structural engineering stood out to me the most as there is so much variation in structural design. One great thing about working here at Cushing Terrell is the opportunity to get experience on so many different types of buildings — from government and healthcare projects, to commercial, residential, and retail. The constant learning that comes along with this variety makes us more agile when delivering out-of-the-box design solutions for our clients.

What is one of your favorite projects and why?

The Glacier Park International Airport (pictured here) has become one of my favorites. Although I only had a small hand in the overall building design, I had the opportunity to design the timber trusses over the main corridor and staircase and to be on site from the start to see the building take shape. This gave me the chance to work with our talented team as well as get hands-on experience in the field working with many different contractors over the duration of the project.

Glacier Park International Airport

What has been an innovative, out-of-the-box project you’ve worked on recently?

One of the residential projects I worked on involved a one-of-a-kind design with two separate building areas connected via a 57-foot-long bridge. Although the project did not get built in the end, it was a great learning experience as it was planned to be primarily constructed out of steel and concrete, which came with many challenges to solve.

What is the most interesting/strangest thing someone has asked you to ‘engineer’?

I had a friend approach me about designing a built-in bunk bed for one of his clients.

What things can you not help but engineer in your life?

Just about everything. From creating a color-coded budget spreadsheet my wife and I use and any house furniture my wife wants built, to making snowmen in the yard with the kids and creating spreadsheets for vacations. There are very few things that don’t get “engineered” along the way. Just recently, I hung an elk mount on the wall and as I was releasing the weight, I couldn’t help but think about the flexural torsional bucking of the plates I was asking to hold up my prized trophy.

Caleb at a Glance

  • Structural Engineer
  • Living in Kalispell, Montana
  • Defining characteristics: Honest, loyal, and hardworking
  • Interests: Outdoor adventures! Caleb, his wife, and two children love to explore, backpack, camp, hike, bike, and ski.
Pictured above, Caleb and his wife biking Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, Montana. Also pictured, hiking in Glacier National Park and skiing with the family at Big Mountain in Whitefish.

Read about the other engineers we’ll be highlighting for National Engineers Week 2024!