Never stop learning. That’s the advice from Brandon Loehr, a senior civil designer, YouTube content creator and alum from TRU’s Engineer Design and Drafting program, class of 2007.
“When you get out of school, you kind of assume you are done, but that’s not how it is — especially in engineering. Things are always changing,” says Loehr. “I think staying up to date with new software and technology has been the biggest benefit to my career.”
While Loehr has always been committed to continual learning for his own self-improvement, he also helps others stay on top of the design game through his blog, newsletter and YouTube channel, CAD Intentions, where he posts computer-assisted design (CAD) tutorials and videos. It started about a decade ago when he posted a video as a tutorial for a friend. Fast forward to today, he’s posted more than 260 videos and has nearly 65,000 followers. In five days, one of his most recent videos, Easy AutoCAD Trick to Automate Layout Text!, amassed more than 3,000 views. In total, his videos have been watched almost 16 million times.
“I always liked photography and video editing, so that’s why I started,” he says. “But I think the reason I stuck with it is that I was always pretty shy and didn’t like public speaking or speaking up in meetings — making the videos has definitely helped with that.”
Accolades received by alum
In 2017, Loehr was named one of the Top 35 Under 35 Young Designers by design-software giant Autodesk. In 2022, he was invited to join their Expert Elite Program as one of only a few hundred members in the world who have become experts in the field and made positive contributions to the industry and CAD community.
As he shares on his website, Loehr’s obsession with design and technology has been lifelong, but his formal education began as a high school student at Valleyview secondary, where he took drafting and AutoCAD courses. Working construction with his uncle’s company reinforced his desire to pursue a career in drafting and design. Thompson Rivers University was an obvious next step and Loehr was accepted in the Engineer Design and Drafting diploma program.
“TRU offered a program that I was interested in and it was a good starting block,” he says. “A lot of what you learn in engineering is hands-on in the field, but the program definitely got me ready for it.”
Loehr’s job with McElhanney, a Canadian employee-owned engineering and geomatics firm, involves working with engineers in a wide range of industries, including highways, mining, land development and environmental services. Early in his career, he spent a lot of time in the field, but as he now works remotely, most of his work happens behind his computer desk.
“We’ve got a drone and survey team, so they go out and fly drones or survey the area and take aerial imagery as well. And then we design (the project) on the computer and on paper,” he says.
Working from home allows Loehr to be involved with projects around the province while still being able to tuck his two young children into bed each night. For now, it’s the perfect arrangement.
“We are super fortunate that because Brandon works from home, he can drop the kids off and pick them up from school,” says his wife, Andrea, also a TRU alum. “Before- and after-school care is a huge need in our area. Kids grow so fast, so being able to have that time with them is priceless.”