AUSTIN, TEXAS, USA — What better way to get the inside scoop on Axiom utilities than to ask the people that use them? This month, the MicroStation Today spotlight shines on Jeff Freitas of Austin, Texas. If you travel on State Highway 130 in central Texas or Price Freeway in Arizona, this is the man to thank. Jeff Freitas, Lead CAD Technician for the Austin division of the international engineering firm ARCADIS, took some time from his day to speak with MicroStation Today about his background in CAD, his fortune with Axiom tools, his family and Godzilla.
MicroStation Today: Please, tell us about your background and career in the CAD industry
Jeff: I’ve been a MicroStation CAD Technician for almost ten years working mainly in transportation. I’ve been with ARCADIS for one year in January. I am the Lead CAD Technician. Before that I was working on the State Highway 130 project in Texas for two years.
MST: What have been some highlights?
Jeff: I have worked on many projects between Arizona and Texas, mainly large freeway road jobs. I’m very proud of the many projects I’ve worked on and it’s due to the teams I’ve worked with, so I don’t like to personally credit myself. Bruce Hagen took me in at Aztec Engineering over nine years ago and taught me to do CAD. Without him, I wouldn’t be in this field today. (He has since passed away.) From a work standpoint, the two projects that most profoundly affected my career were the Price Freeway job working at BRW in Arizona and the State Highway 130 job at Lonestar Infrastructure as an employee of DMJM Harris in Texas. However, I have learned more at Austin ARCADIS Office in basic design and engineering than anywhere.
MST: Tell us about your usual day
Jeff: I get up at 5:30 a.m. to get ready for work. I arrive to work at 6:30 a.m., eat my breakfast (usually instant oatmeal) and get started on my tasks for the day. Depending on the workload at the time, I may be doing just CAD work or may do some simple GEOPAK [civil design software by Bentley] functions or work with Descartes. With Descartes [Descartes offers services and software solutions for industries such as transportation with inventory, logistics assets and mobile workforce], I’m cutting photos for figures or drainage area maps. I work four nine-hour days (plus an hour lunch) and a four-hour day on Friday
MST: Which Axiom products do you use?
Jeff: I use Microsoft Office Importer. Microsoft Office Importer has saved us numerous hours in creating summary sheets (a “summary sheet” is an inventory table of the construction items to be used in a design). We create a template in Excel. Once we get it filled out to our liking, we use Microsoft Office Importer to import the Excel file into MicroStation. Once it’s in the MicroStation sheet file, we make any necessary adjustments such as row and column sizes. [Editor's Note: a sheet file is a design file (or model) which will be plotted. For example, a sheet file could contain a border, a title block and selected views for a particular design.]
MST: What was it like before you used Microsoft Office Importer? How has your productivity changed since that time
Jeff: Based on my experience with Microsoft Office Importer, Axiom tools increase productivity and consistency. Before Microsoft Office Importer, I had to manually create summary sheets and all types of quantity summaries. Summary sheets were created in MicroStation with text and lines but any type of change to the summary sheet was difficult because it was all done manually. Now with the Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Office Importer combination, I can adjust rows and columns to give me more room on a sheet to add more information. A complicated summary sheet could take anywhere upwards of an hour and 15 minutes. Now with Microsoft Office Importer, when we have the base sheet set up in Excel, it takes 35 minutes and that includes revisions.
MST: Tell us a bit about your self
Jeff: I enjoy watching football, baseball, basketball and hockey. I am a fan of the Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and Boston Bruins. The last time I played any sports was in high school; I played soccer for two years. During the summer, I watch Godzilla or anime [Editor's Note: anime is a style of animation developed in Japan, characterized by stylized colorful art, futuristic settings and action], or play video games on my Xbox. Of course, I spend time with my wife and play with my kids.
MST: So do you like anything Godzilla – or do you prefer the TV series or any movies in particular
Jeff: I collect the Godzilla movies, but don’t like the American version that was released in the theatres. Other than that, I like them all. I was collecting the comics, but can’t find them anymore.
MST: Thank you, Jeff.
Jeff: Thank you.
ARCADIS has 9,000 employees, which generate $900 million in annual gross revenue. ARCADIS is an international company that provides consulting, engineering and project management services for infrastructure, environment and facilities.