Keeping It Real with Ali Arshian

The Keeping it Real series is your chance to hear from Allen & Shariff staff on life, lessons, and leadership, straight from the trenches. Sometimes literally.


Name and Title: Ali Arshian, Senior Electrical Engineer
Office location: Columbia, MD
Years at Allen & Shariff: 11 years & 5 months

What’s the one skill that you would say is essential to being a great mechanical designer?
Attention to detail is essential because one little mistake can cost the owners of the facilities we work in a lot of money. We do everything we can to maintain our good relationship with them.

What are the skills that you would say are essential to being a great electrical engineer?
Having a great memory and common sense.

What is the most innovative advancement you’ve seen since you first started your career?

Describe something from your past (school, work experience, a mentor) that most influenced you to become an electrical engineer.
The small sizes of diodes and transistors with complicated functions.

If someone asked you to describe your unique approach to problem solving, what would you say?
I concentrate on the subject from different views and approaches.

Allen & Shariff just celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. What do you think has given this organization its staying power?
Proper management and diversity of the locations, projects, and employees.

What’s the coolest Allen & Shariff project you’ve been part of?
Block 8. You can learn more about the project here.

What’s the #1 “rookie mistake” you see in those just starting out their career in your field?
Circuitry of emergency light fixtures with integral emergency relay or transfer switch.

Do you have a personal hero? Someone that really inspires you in your professional or personal life?
Lionel Messi, the Barcelona soccer player.

How would you describe the company culture at Allen & Shariff?
Diverse and friendly.

If Allen & Shariff were a car, what kind of car would it be and why?
Volkswagen. Good engineering, not cheap but not expensive, reliable and efficient.


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