“I like a project that has a lot of challenges to the design — one that requires visiting a site and investigating; a type of forensics; doing research and investigation on an existing structure.”
Our engineers come from various places around the world, creating a diverse background of experience. One of these engineers is the accomplished Dr. David Peralta, who is a licensed structural engineer originally from Peru. For 16 years, Dr. Peralta has been with Unintech Consulting Engineers, Inc. (UNINTECH), and we have been grateful for his loyalty and his expertise. He recently shared with us his unique background as a graduate researcher of structural engineering and what it takes to be successful in the field.
Dr. Peralta graduated in 1988 from the National University of Engineering in Lima, the capital of Peru, with a degree in civil engineering. Rather than taking a job after graduation, he decided to put his career on hold to focus on research. He began studying earthquake engineering and structural analysis; he also used their computers and programming software for the design of reinforced concrete columns in biaxial bending.
Thanks to the Japan International Cooperation Agency, he was able to further his research in structural engineering at the International Institute of Seismology and Earthquake Engineering in Tsukuba City, Japan. There, he spent a year traveling to different cities in Japan to learn what other research centers and universities were doing in earthquake engineering and structural dynamics.
From Japan, Dr. Peralta received a scholarship to further his education in the United States at MIT, completing his Masters in Civil Engineering. Afterward, he transferred to Texas A&M University for his doctoral studies. As part of his doctoral research, Dr. Peralta co-authored The ASCE Technical paper, “Seismic Behavior of Wood Diaphragms in Pre-1950s Unreinforced Masonry Buildings.”
When asked how his studies and educational background contributed to his career, Dr. Peralta explains, “The research was motivation to continue studying. It laid a solid foundation for my career in structural engineering. Without the preparation of these studies, I would not be as prepared as I am today.”
He explains that the knowledge he gained through intensive research allowed him to develop his career by adjusting and fine-tuning his skills. His research skills cultivated in him an ability to focus intently, which supports the engineering projects he currently manages.
Today, Dr. Peralta lives in San Antonio, Texas, working as a Sr. Project Engineer for Unintech Consulting Engineers, Inc.
He shares one of the most notable achievements of his career — working as the Project Manager on San Antonio’s Alamo Stadium and Convocation Center project. “It was a privilege to work on this project,” he says. The work required the investigation of an older building constructed back in 1939. Upon completion, the project won the National Recognition Award for Engineering Excellence from the American Council of Engineering Companies in 2015. “This recognition is kind of like the Oscars of engineering,” he explains.
He had the honor of being recognized in Washington DC with UNINTECH’s co-founder Min Chow “Clifford” Hew. The Structural Engineer also featured this project in their Spring 2015 issue.
The renovated stadium in San Antonio
Currently, Dr. Peralta is working on Texan projects that include a park similar to Morgan’s Wonderland called “Fun for All” in College Station, the reconstruction of a deteriorating wall at San Antonio’s historic Spanish Governor’s Palace, a lift station for the San Antonio Water System, and an investigative project of existing buildings in Travis County. Dr. Peralta enjoys working on investigative projects the most. For him, these projects provide numerous exciting challenges that, once solved, prove incredibly rewarding. He explains that he likes “a project that has a lot of challenges to the design — one that requires visiting a site and investigating; a type of forensics; doing research and investigation on an existing structure.”
On becoming successful in a fast-paced, technical industry and maintaining professionalism in his work, Dr. Peralta acknowledges the need for daily focus in everything he does. “Because there are many things going on in an office — and many projects being handled at once — you have to be able to shift and re-focus constantly.” He maintains his momentum by keeping careful time management and organization, prioritizing his work, and delegating tasks, when necessary, to others on his team. His love for challenges and his ability to innovatively solve them are what makes Dr. David Peralta a vital member of the UNINTECH team.
Dr. Peralta is a professional engineer and project manager at Unintech Consulting Engineers, Inc., in San Antonio, Texas. He has extensive experience on projects involving structural design, residential and commercial buildings, and water and wastewater facilities. His background has given him knowledge of building analysis and design, foundation design, utility projects, and structural evaluation and modification of vertical structures. He is a member of the PTI DC-10: Slab-on-Ground Committee and contributor to the Post-Tensioning Institute’s “Standard Requirements for Design and Analysis of Shallow Post-Tensioned Concrete Foundations on Expansive Stable Soils.”