Staff Spotlight: Walker Santiago

September 2, 2014 by Will Schnier P.E.

Walker-SThis edition of the Staff Spotlight focuses on Walker Santiago, a Senior Designer in our Austin office. Walker enjoys sharing his design knowledge with the community and his friends by being active with several CADD and 3D visualization groups. When he isn’t fine-tuning his techniques or getting up to speed on the industry’s latest advances, he enjoys time with his friends and family in the Austin and San Antonio Area.




Where are you originally from?

I was born in Puerto Rico. 


Tell us something really interesting about you.

I’m an Army brat who’s lived in Germany, California, Texas and Panama.  I originally thought I would go into Biology after high school. Panama’s animals and jungle peeked my interest in biology. 


Everyone at BIG RED DOG has a story about why they joined the team. What’s yours?

I worked with Chance previously at another firm and knew any firm he was working at would be top notch. After my first visit I knew that the people here made it great because of their skill and hunger to be the best. I wanted to be a part of a group of over achievers who had a goal to be the best too.


What drew you to the engineering field? 

I would say I was drawn to Civil engineering because I got to express my artistic side while also expressing my detailed oriented side by showing that realism in an artistic way.


What was your first job?

My first job was working for the Department of Engineering and Housing in Panama as a teenager. I was mentored by electricians, painters and other maintenance workers who taught me about what it took to maintain military housing.


Who or what inspires you? 

My family inspires me. Father, mother, brother, sister, wife and kids all inspire me. I am surrounded by hard working, smart and artistic people. Technology also inspires me to be more creative and resourceful.


Where’s your favorite place to eat in Austin?  

Sapps Fine Thai Cuisine. Madam Mams is a close second.


What do you like to do in your free time? 

I don’t have much free time as a parent, but when I do get free time I like to watch classic comedy movies or go outside and build things for my house.


What’s your favorite news source?

Reddit and google news are my favorite news sources.


Do you have any pets?   

I have two dogs. One is a French Mastiff Nero and the other is a Corgi/Bassett Mix named Jake. I named Jake after John Belushi’s character in the Blues Brothers. Nero had his name when we adopted him and I never thought about changing it since it sounded cool. Both of them are great companions since they just want to be around me no matter what I’m doing. My wife also has two dogs. One is a big Boxer  Named Finn and the other is a Pitty/hunting dog mix named Bea. We are dog enthusiasts for sure.


Describe your ideal vacation. 

My ideal vacation would be any all inclusive beach getaway with my whole family and dogs. 


What would be impossible for you to give up?

It would be impossible for me to give up high speed internet. It’s my connection to family and friends that live far away and my way of keeping up with world news.


Who is your favorite sports team?

Most people might think that the Yankees are my favorite team, but they aren’t. My favorite team is my daughters High school Softball team the Anderson High Lady Trojans. Watching kids play with lots of heart is much more intense then watching the pros. 


Written by Will Schnier P.E.

Will Schnier P.E.

Will Schnier is the Chief Executive Officer of BIG RED DOG Engineering | Consulting. Will received his BSCE from Purdue University and co-founded BIG RED DOG Engineering and Consulting in 2009. Since starting the firm in 2009, BIG RED DOG has grown to over 100 team members with offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. BIG RED DOG has garnered awards for being one of the 50 fastest growing companies in Texas (Business Journal’s Fast 50 in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) and an ENR top 100 Design Firm in Texas and Louisiana (2012, 2103, 2014, 2015). Mr. Schnier is very well versed in the project review and development permitting process having worked closely and very successfully with City and County review staff, neighborhood associations, environmental groups, and public boards and councils. He has been responsible for the project management, engineering design, and regulatory permitting of hundreds of single family subdivision projects, mixed use and multifamily residential developments, industrial facilities and oil and gas development projects throughout Texas. He is the author of two publications: “Land Subdivision – A Practical Guide for Central Texas” and “The Book on License Agreements in the City of Austin”. Will was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Real Estate Council of Austin (RECA) in 2014 and served as Mayor Lee Leffingwell’s appointment to the City of Austin Zoning Board of Adjustment from 2011 to 2015.