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Impressive Trajectory: Project Engineer Zach Wagner Sees a Bright Future at P1


Zach Wagner’s sport was soccer growing up, so when it came time to choose a college, he wanted to attend a school that would allow him to play collegiate soccer while also pursuing an engineering degree.

"After weighing my options, I had the opportunity to stay close to home and play Soccer at Fort Hayes State,” Zach said.

“The physics program allowed me to go three years at Fort Hayes State, then transfer to Kansas State University to pursue my Mechanical Engineering Degree.”

Zach says he originally hoped to pursue the aeronautical side of engineering.

During his transfer from Fort Hays State to K-State, Zach was also looking for an internship that might help him gain some experience.

He learned about P1 from a family friend who knew P1 CEO Smitty Belcher.

“She gave me Smitty’s contact information, and encouraged me to connect,” Zach recalled.
Smitty replied directly to Zach, and soon after, Zach found himself interviewing with P1 executives Phil Nehring and Rusty Roderick.

Zach was brought on as an intern to work in Lenexa with Rusty and the Performance Solutions team.
That’s where Zach’s planned trajectory took a new turn.

"The internship showed me a side of engineering I didn’t know well, and I really enjoyed this HVAC and plumbing side,” Zach said. “Going to a variety of job sites and seeing how all kinds of different systems work was fascinating – it was rarely the same thing twice.”

“It gave me a new direction for what I wanted to pursue at K-State.”

Zach ended up completing two internships at P1 - the first in Lenexa during the summer of 2021 and the second in Wichita during the summer of 2023.

P1 Service Project Engineer Zach Wagner playing soccer, hanging out with fellow interns, and going fishing

Pictured, above: Playing soccer; Teambuilding with fellow interns at the “Go Ape” obstacle course during his 2021 internship at P1; Gone fishing!

Towards the end of his second internship in Wichita, General Manager Andy Dunbar and Project Sales Manager Casey Rohaus invited Zach to apply for a full-time position.

“They let me know that if I wanted to come back and work at P1, the Wichita office could use my skill set, and there was opportunity to make an impact.”

"I felt like my internship last summer was my interview to secure a position with P1," Zach stated.

In November, Zach accepted a position with P1 as a Project Engineer, citing culture as a major draw.
"The culture is what brought me back to P1,” Zach said.

“I have never felt like a number in a large company here,” he said. “I feel like an integral part of the company.”
He was especially impressed that he could communicate directly with the company’s CEO before anyone even knew him.

“At P1, no one is too important to give their time to someone just starting out,” Zach noted.
Today, Zach still enjoys the variety his work presents.

"My favorite part of this job is the variety. One week, I'm at a company that makes 150,000 pounds of ice daily, inspecting the exhaust fans for its chiller and compressor room,” he said.

“The next week, I'll be at a completely different type of manufacturing facility. It’s also great seeing something I have designed or developed come to life.”

As for long-term career goals, Zach says he is working toward his Professional Engineering License, which will take approximately five years to complete.

"I'm excited to grow with an expanding company,” Zach said.

P1 Service Zach Wagner quote about careers in engineering

“As P1 Service adds branches, I would like the opportunity to move somewhere else in the U.S., and possibly help get a new branch up and running.”

As for hobbies, Zach says he likes fishing and still plays soccer, but his newest hobby is golf.

He’ll fit right in with the Wichita office and all those golf tournaments! P1 is proud to have talent like Zach on the P1 Service team.

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