Engineering a job

The collapse in the housing market and the recession it caused caught civil engineer Kurt Nygaard, in its downward path.

“The vast majority of our work was overseeing housing development,” said Nygaard, who was laid off in January 2009 from the Alaimo Group, a Mount Holly engineering company.
“The supply of houses now far exceeds the demand and new construction is down,” he said. “A lot of companies and people are on hold.”


Nygaard, of Lumberton, has had a lot of experience in civil engineering and construction management, but what really gets him excited is the field of hospital engineering.
From 1992 to 1995, he was the hospital engineer for Tripler Medical Center in Honolulu, in charge of making sure all the facilities were kept in compliance with the law.

“The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals Organization inspection makes an OSHA inspection look like kindergarten,” he said. “It’s important. People’s lives are at stake.”
Because his wife works as an operating room nurse and because he has a military pension, his financial situation is not as dire as others.

But, he’d like to return to full time work. He recently completed a brief contract in a hospital engineering position, his ideal job. Since he was laid off, he’s been a volunteer at the Professional Services Group in Burlington County, helping other unemployed people get work.

Update: As of December 2011, Nygaard is still looking for work


  • Kurt Nygaard
  • Hometown: Lumberton
  • Profession: Engineer -- hospital, civil
  • Experience: Oversaw construction of roads, buildings, infrastructure and solar panel installations. Oversaw maintenance and upgrades of cell phone system in Africa. Oversaw hospital maintenance, construction and compliance while staying in budget.
  • Education: Webster University, Texas, master's degree in computers; U.S. Military Academy at West Point, bachelor's degree in civil engineer; Carnegie Mellon University, coursework in process engineering.
  • E-mail address:
  • Kurt Nygaard's LinkedIn profile
  • Kurt Nygaard's resume

Read past profiles in the Looking for Work series. The series continues here every Monday.

Read my Jobbing blog for other news about the world of work.


The Inquirer is not endorsing this individual as a job candidate; potential employers should do their own background checks.

Contact staff writer Jane M. Von Bergen at 215-854-2769 or