Russ Jensen, Wilmette‘s village engineer, usually spends his time ensuring that the village’s infrastructure is in good shape. On March 28, he took time to talk to Pioneer Press about his job, his appreciation for the “Star Wars” universe, and more.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself and why you became an engineer.
A: My dad was in the Air Force. He was a mechanical engineer, and I probably got my interest in engineering from him, although I’m a civil engineer. I’ve got a sister who’s an electrical engineer, a brother who’s also an electrical engineer, so there are a lot of engineers in my family.
Q: Can you describe what a civil engineer does, compared to other engineering fields?
A: I think the best way to describe it is that we are the people who typically work on the environments you drive on, walk on, or land on – roads, sidewalks, landing fields.
Q: What skills or fields do you need to have in order to get into the field?
A: Math and science, like calculus and physics, are the kind of things you get into. Communication is also a good skill, because whether you’re in the private or the public sector, you’re going to be working with people, trying to solve problems, and trying to put the pieces together to do that. So you need to be able to listen to the issues.
Q: Do you have a cause or a charity you’d like people to be aware of?
A: If there’s one thing I can think of, it’s working with rescue animals. We have a dog who’s a rescue dog. He’s about 7 years old and he’s a cross between a coon hound and a border collie. His name is Thunder and he’s sweet. The scenario of rescuing animals is really good; you’re helping to take animals that would be euthanized, and you’re providing them with a home and with love.
Q: Finally, have you seen a movie recently that you could recommend?
A: I’m a “Star Wars” fan, and I saw “Rogue One” over the holidays. It just lit up my heart a little bit – I…