Lucas Beattie

Life Update: New Job!

After a bit of a hiatus, I’m back with another article! I had set a goal to publish an article every week for a half a year before slowing down, and only ended up making it to 18 out of 26. After this article, hopefully you’ll agree that I had a good excuse for the pause. Now I’m hoping to get back to a semi-regular schedule, maybe shooting for an article every two weeks.

I thought I’d take this one to give a little life update, as I’ve had a lot of hectic and exciting things going on. I’ll resume business as usual with the next article (the promised follow-up article for my first rental house). In the last couple of months, we did a kitchen remodel, I ran a half marathon and got sick afterwards, we had our second baby, and I accepted a new job!


Kitchen Remodel

My wife and I had always planned to do something about our kitchen from the time we bought the house 3 years ago. We had dark cabinets with cathedral doors and a dark blue laminate counter, and I had promised that we would start tackling that project as soon as I finished and rented my rental house.

The rental house took way longer than I thought, and we had our second baby on the way a bit earlier than planned, so time was tight. Not to mention I really, really wanted to keep costs somewhere inside the stratosphere, despite labor prices skyrocketing over the last couple of years.

We got the hardwood stained and refinished. Then we ended up keeping our old cabinet boxes, paying a company to “reface” them, by painting the boxes, and putting on new doors and drawer fronts. I also put in cabinets myself surrounding the fridge (not pictured) and for an island. Admittedly, I complained the whole time, as I was pretty burned out after the rental house.


We also had some drywall repair work done and had the kitchen ceiling flattened (the texture removed). Then the counter company had a few issues cutting the sink, which pushed back the schedule, but we finally had a new counter and new sink installed the same week as the birth of our second kid. Cutting it close!

We still need to paint the walls and the ceiling, install a backsplash, and replace some baseboards. But the new kitchen is functional and looks great!



In Cincinnati, very close to where we live, we have the Flying Pig marathon every year. After running my first two half-marathons last year, I decided I wanted to run this one again. I said I wouldn’t train too much, and be fine with whatever result, and didn’t think too much of the fact that it was about 2 weeks before our second child’s due date.

Slightly adding to the weekend’s difficulty, I had taken on a friend’s registration for the race when they learned they wouldn’t be able to run it, which meant I was signed up for the “3-way”. This comprises a 1 mile race Friday, a 10k and a 5k on Saturday, and the half-marathon Sunday.

Unfortunately I was sick with some sort of general respiratory virus for about a week and a half leading up to the race, but I had been healthy for about a week before it. Friday and Saturday went great. The weather was excellent, and I ran the 3 races a little faster than intended, but performed well and wasn’t too worried.

Then on Sunday for the half-marathon, it thunder-stormed like crazy, and I found myself running soaking wet, splashing through puddles, and across bridges in the lightning while I could barely see. Probably not a smart idea at all, but I kept on running.

My headphones died from the water and I couldn’t hear my split anymore, so I had no idea how fast or slow I was going. The rain had made me angry, though, and I was plodding along with determination, so I thought I was doing pretty well, but I kept telling myself I might be running at a 2:01 pace (and I wanted to get less than 2 hours), so I kept pushing.

It must have worked because I got a 3 minute personal best with a 1:51:25. So I was riding high, feeling invincible… and immediately got sick again a couple of days later.

It was a totally different general respiratory virus that lasted through my last week of work at Palmer Engineering, and right up until we had the baby. In retrospect, the race didn’t seem like too good an idea, but I suppose it’s better I that I got sick after doing well than if I’d done poorly.

Second Baby

Right after all of this, my wife and I went to the hospital to have our second baby. We have a two year old girl, and although we found out we were having a girl beforehand with her, we decided to wait and have the second baby be a surprise.

Fortunately everything went very smoothly, and we had our second daughter in mid-May. We would have been perfectly happy with a boy of course, but were both secretly hoping for another girl :). Her big sister is doing great too, and is always being cute, giving her little sister pats on the back and words of comfort when she’s crying. We’re having a great time.

New Job


Finally, amidst all this chaos, I decided to accept a new job! I had an excellent time working at Palmer Engineering, and was very sad to leave them, but I had a unique opportunity at the right time.

I was talking with a fellow civil engineer who enjoys making Excel VBA macros (so there are more than one of us!), and we both used the software “PSBeam” to design prestressed concrete girders at work. He had been working on a VBA program to parse PSBeam output into a format easy to use in Excel, and we were discussing some issue related to it.

I ended up saying that I knew PSBeam was made by a small company called Eriksson Software and we could probably just message them with a question or issue, and at that point I had the thought: “I should send them a resume.”

When I hadn’t heard back about my resume or phone call a few weeks later, I added the company’s CEO on LinkedIn. This happened to be at the same time I had just finished releasing my third and final article on drilled shaft design: Column/Drilled Shaft Capacity Part 3: Sheet Download. He accepted my invitation to connect, saw my article series, and ended up messaging me to discuss a potential interview, without having seen my resume or having heard my voicemail. So this website helped create the opportunity!

After interviewing, we were both excited about the fit, and I’ve now completed about two weeks of work at Eriksson! I’ve always had in the back of my mind that I would enjoy doing software development, but the intersection of structural engineering and software is so tiny that I hadn’t seriously considered it as a career option until all of this started. Now I get to work at the company that makes some of my favorite engineering software, while still making good use of my engineering experience. I’m excited to work with a small, but impressive team in this space, as opposed to a large company where I might have a bit less impact on the product. Now I’m working remotely and am deep into the process of learning the ins and outs of C#, and may post some future articles on that journey.

This website ended up helping me find an opportunity in a tiny niche, and I can’t think of a better fit. I’m extremely excited about the next few years and can’t wait to see how things progress.

I remain grateful to Palmer for the last several years in bridge design, and for helping me develop into the engineer I am. My time with them started during an undergraduate co-op in 2011, and continued when I returned in 2018 after moving around the country. My time there was extremely rewarding, and I wish everyone there the best!


The chaos and fun of all of this happened at the same time and made for a hectic period where I paused in writing articles. Now I hope to get back to it, but probably won’t aim to maintain a once a week schedule. Regardless, it’s good to get another one written, and I’ll look forward to more!