Age: 24
Company: SmithGroup
Title: Plumbing designer II

How long have you been in the PHCP-PVF industry?
I have been in the PHCP-PVF industry for a little over six years.

What drew you into the industry?
Growing up, math was my favorite subject in school — I loved it and was quite good at it. This drew me to engineering, so I started taking engineering classes in high school to help further my knowledge about the field.

My father is also a strong supporter and leader in the PHCP-PVF industry, and I have been fortunate to work side by side with him at SmithGroup. His passion for plumbing design excellence and mentoring the next generation has shaped my interest in learning and specializing in plumbing design. I hope to bring this same level of vision and enthusiasm to my generation.

What is the most rewarding aspect of working in the industry?
The most rewarding aspect of working in the PHCP-PVF industry is knowing our design and engineering systems for buildings will have an everlasting positive impact on the communities they serve.

The buildings we are designing will last beyond my lifetime, which allows me to make a lasting mark with my design. It’s a great feeling to know that I played a part in designing these amazing buildings. Interactions with clients, contractors, manufacturers, and other disciplines throughout the project design and construction process have given me opportunities for growth as a young engineer.

What is one thing you wish more people knew/understood about the PHCP-PVF industry?
PHCP-PVF has a significant impact on our daily lives, from an innovative design that provides safety and comfort for people to technologies and strategies that promote environmental responsibility and equity. The plumbing systems offer a wide array of applications, such as using new plumbing fixture technologies and water heat pumps to reclaim plumbing systems. A simple plumbing fixture can now be taken to the next level with safety and efficiency. Selecting a correct plumbing fixture, like a hands-free type, can provide significant water savings and have the capability to be programmed to contribute to a more sanitary environment.

What has been the proudest moment in your career so far?
Working on a wide variety of projects ranging from workplace projects, such as city halls and offices, to science and technology projects that include crime labs, forensics and research labs have provided me with the vision and tools to improve the design and delivery of the project. One great example is the University of Arizona Applied Research Building project. The drawing set that our plumbing team produced received high accolades from trade partners, who commented that it is one of the best put-together drawings and designs they have seen in recent years. The plumbing set clearly illustrated the design intent and was easy to read and connect with how the drawing set was organized.

I also had an opportunity to co-author a plumbing technical article with my father. Working alongside my father as the eyes of the next generation allowed me to provide feedback on his technical article drafts that helped readers from my generation understand the content. This experience helped me understand the importance and benefits of passing on the knowledge that I have learned and creating a bridge to connect the past, present and future of plumbing design.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
The music genre I listen to covers a very vast range, including hip hop, rock and country music. My hip-hop dancing background allows me to appreciate the vast range of music genres outside the hip-hop genre. The discipline and passion required for being in a hip hop dance team in high school serves as one of my inspirations for how I approach my plumbing design projects.  

As one of the high school dance team captains, the competitions had specific parameters for judging, and we had to pick the right songs and ensure our routine fit the music and the story we wanted to tell. For plumbing systems, that same approach is used by the SmithGroup plumbing team. We are given the design of the building that has specific parameters and restraints and a particular story to tell. We then assess the building to provide the right plumbing system and solution for this building that will meet the specific code of that area. Whether it be Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC), International Plumbing Code (IPC), or California Plumbing Code (CPC), each has its own set of parameters and restrictions.

Discipline is required to be on a competition dance team. It takes a lot of practice, patience and the willingness and motivation to continue to learn. That same discipline to learn and practice also comes with designing plumbing systems because plumbing continues to evolve, with constant updates to strategies, technologies and code.

I was passionate and excited about dancing and continued to find ways to improve. That same love and passion apply to plumbing. In daily functions outside of work, I continuously look at plumbing-related things as simple as a downspout on the exterior of the buildings and think about ways to improve the way I design.

Why he was chosen as a Next Gen All Star Top 20 Under 40 winner:
“Lhymwell is well on his way to becoming a mover and shaker in the plumbing industry here in Arizona! He and his team have been effective on a majority of the Marquee projects in the region. They are forward-thinking and professional in every aspect of business,” says Troy Hoffman of Southwestern Mechanical Sales.