Construction is a fast-paced industry, and for Elaina Runingen, that works just fine.
Runingen is an assistant project manager for Hunzinger Construction. She joined the company in January 2021 and has been an integral part of the project management team ever since.
“She brings a fierce focus on details and has shown to be a huge benefit to the project as a whole,” said her colleague, Joan Zepecki.
Runingen is a member of the Society of Women Engineers, whose mission is to empower women to achieve their full potential in careers as engineers and leaders.
“My favorite thing about my job is getting to work on different teams and solve a variety of problems,” Runingen said. “I’ve had the opportunity to review cabinetry shop drawings for school projects. In contrast, I’ve also worked with a railroad contractor to install railroad tracks at a manufacturing facility. The variation in tasks is stimulating and challenging.
“I also like working with clients, architects, engineers, operations folks, field personnel, and Hunzinger office staff. There’s always something new to learn and no two projects are exactly alike. I’ve worked on a couple of school projects and each one is its own animal. The conditions vary from job to job and managing customer requests and tight schedules leads to great learning opportunities.”
One of the hardest things to do on any job site is managing risks. There are many hazardous activities involved in constructing a building, so a lot of attention to detail and planning is required.
“Taking care of the people who come to work every day and doing everything we can to make sure they go home safely is very important,” Runingen said.
Asked about her most important influences and mentors, Runingen mentioned Jon Sheahan, Jon Jansen and Will Wright.
“I worked with them on the Komatsu Manufacturing project and each one of their styles and personalities influenced me in a unique way,” she said.