TEAM MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Robert Lopez, 34 years with MMI
In the world of steel construction, there are unsung heroes who work tirelessly and often in dangerous conditions to construct magnificent structures. One such individual is Robert Lopez, a seasoned steel construction professional with an impressive 46-year career under his belt. Robert’s journey through the world of steel construction has been marked by a deep passion for his work, an affinity for teamwork, and an abiding commitment to teaching others.
A Journey of Steel: From the Depths to the Heights
Robert’s steel construction journey began 4100 feet underground in the 1970s, constructing the number 9 shaft for Newmont Mining Co. in Superior, Arizona. Working at such astonishing depths was no ordinary entry point into the industry. It was here that Robert learned new skills and developed the grit and determination that would later help define his career. In 1989, he joined MMI Industrial and Steel. He has been part of our growth and progress for an impressive 34 years, leaving his mark in multiple spaces within the organization. Initially, Robert worked in our steel erection division and later as a millwright. In the course of time, he was promoted to Project Manager, working with multiple clients and field crews. Today, Robert works in our Quality Control Division as a Facilities Maintenance & Improvement Specialist.
The Joy of Transformation
One of the most enjoyable aspects of Robert’s career in steel construction has been witnessing the transformation of an empty job site into a newly completed project. There is a unique thrill that comes from seeing it evolve from near nothing to a functional structure. It’s that satisfaction that kept Robert going back to the construction site, year after year during his field days.
Passion for Teaching and Collaboration
Robert’s enthusiasm for steel construction has extended beyond the field and into our facilities and yards. He takes immense pleasure in working with others, sharing his experiences, and imparting his knowledge on those demonstrating a commitment to learn. Robert has learned a lot himself over the years. Some lessons have been through good experiences and others through making mistakes along the way, but he learned from them, and he wants others to learn from them, too.
Memorable Projects: Turning Challenges into Triumphs
Throughout his career, Robert has encountered a multitude of projects though, one stands out as particularly memorable. He and his crew were once tasked with constructing screen walls and canopies at a local church. The project faced a significant setback when the steel delivery was three weeks behind schedule, jeopardizing the project’s completion. Eventually the material was delivered, but it was delivered just before the project was scheduled to be finished. The original three-week erection schedule was no longer a luxury afforded to them. Robert and his team rose to the occasion, demonstrating incredible teamwork, skill, and commitment. Against all odds, they completed the project in just three days, providing an example of what can be achieved when passion meets professionalism.
Words of Wisdom for Aspiring Steel Constructors
For those considering a career in steel construction, Robert has some valuable advice. He emphasizes the importance of being prepared for hard work, harsh conditions, and congested spaces. He acknowledges that the work can be challenging, but says, “it is these experiences that will make you grow and be more confident as an individual.”
Robert’s 46-year journey in steel construction is a testament to the passion, dedication, and love for his craft. From humble beginnings deep underground to memorable triumphs on the construction site, he has left an indelible mark our organization. His commitment to our company’s Core Values – HAPPY, HUNGRY, HARDWORKING and HONORABLE, teaching, and working collaboratively with others has not only elevated his own career but has also paved the way for others. Robert’s story reminds us that true success in any field is not only measured by the structures we build but by the lives we touch and the knowledge we pass on.