North Fork of the Blackfoot River

MEC Celebrates National Engineers Week, February 16 – 22

Posted: January 27, 2020
Joe Smith, PE
Chief Operating Officer

Where did you receive your education?
I received my Bachelors in Civil Engineering from the University of Kentucky and my Masters in Civil Engineering at Montana Tech.

What do you do as COO?
To put it simply… I oversee the Line Crews, Right-of-Way (Tree Trimming) Crews, the Warehouse, our Safety Program and the Metering and Engineering Departments.

How do you use your engineering background in your current role?
I’m working to bring data analytics into the mix. I have been using data and metrics as a gauge for our system’s overall health.

What prior jobs did you have that help you in your day-to-day as COO?
Prior to accepting the role as COO at MEC, I was the Engineering Manager at Ravalli Electric Cooperative. That role, along with my prior role as Ravalli’s Field Engineer, helped me develop a better understanding of the cooperative business model.

I also worked for an engineering consulting firm as a Project Manager (PM), which allowed me to oversee and manage multidisciplinary teams, departments and tasks.



Erik Langaunet, PE
Manager of Engineering

Where did you receive your education?
I graduated from Montana State in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering.

How long have you worked for MEC?
I worked for an environmental engineering firm in Spokane, WA before I accepted a Staking Technician role with MEC in 2004. In 2012, I was promoted to Manager of Engineering and have remained in this role since.

What is the most exciting part of your job?
The most exciting part of my job is seeing a project be constructed and knowing how much time was spent in the design and planning stages.

What was your biggest challenge in 2019?
2019 was a busy year for construction! So making sure we had the materials and resources to meet the busy construction schedule was definitely a challenge.

If you had one super power, what would it be?
The ability to heal! What would be more super than that?