ICC Members: The individuals behind codes and safety — Kirk Williams
Code professionals ensure building safety today, for a stronger tomorrow. As the individuals behind modern codes and standards, these professionals are responsible for ensuring the safety and compliance of codes and standards, shaping the safety of the world around us, and serve as the safety foundation for our buildings. They don’t just ensure that buildings are constructed to withstand the stress of everyday use, they are behind the security and stability of every building. They specialize in preventative measures to help communities weather unforeseen natural disasters and ensure that first responders have less to worry about and can do their jobs safely. Code professionals are an essential piece in the building and construction puzzle and are engaged in the building process from the initial building plan to the finished product.
The International Code Council is a member-focused association with over 64,000 members dedicated to developing model codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. They protect the public through their commitment to building safety; enforce code compliance to empower and educate stakeholders across the built environment to embrace and integrate safety standards in their work; support economic development by making our buildings studier, and therefore longer lasting. Their knowledge, skills, and abilities impact every building, in every community.
The Code Council recognizes the importance of continuing to grow awareness of the important work that code professionals do and the impact they have, in the hopes of encouraging aspiring building safety professionals to join in on the building safety movement. In this exclusive feature for the Building Safety Journal, we asked Kirk Williams, special inspector at Applied Inspection Systems, to share his experience in the industry, highlights of his professional career, and any insights or advice he has concerning the industry and the future of building safety.
CWI/ Non-Destructive Testing Technician
Applied Inspection Systems
Bryant, Arkansas, United States
International Code Council member for one year
BSJ: What was the path to your career — how and why did you pursue a profession in building safety?
Williams: I began my path as a welder. I welded for five years before transitioning into the inspection field. About four years into my welding career, my coworker at the time told me he was planning on getting his CWI [Certified Welding Inspector certification]. I had very little knowledge of inspection at the time but it was very interesting to me nevertheless. I began to research and look into what it would take to become a CWI. A couple of years later, I started my inspection career with Applied Inspection Systems. Over the past 10 years, I have advanced my career/
BSJ: What three things do you need to be successful in this industry and in your profession?
Williams: First, knowing your applicable codes, standards, specifications and procedures is paramount. Second, always be honest with others and yourself. And third, never stop learning.
BSJ: What role have mentors, advisors or your network played in your career?
Williams: I owe a great deal to my old welding instructor Steve Williams. Without him and the guidance and opportunities he practically laid out in front of me, I don’t think I would be as successful in this industry as I am today. In addition, Applied Inspection Systems has given me the resources, knowledge and experience in a wide range of applications that have made me the inspector I am today.
BSJ: What led you to become an ICC member?
Williams: Becoming a special inspector.
BSJ: Are you involved in any ICC committees or councils? Do you have any ICC certifications?
Williams: I am currently not involved in any ICC committees or councils. I currently hold a certification as a Structural Steel and Bolting Special Inspector and a Welding Special Inspector.
BSJ: How long have you been in the industry?
Williams: 10 years.
BSJ: What major changes have you seen?
Williams: Not many that I’m aware of specifically.
BSJ: What excites you about the future of your industry?
Williams: New manufacturing processes, construction methods and techniques, and economical growth.
BSJ: What is one piece of advice that you would give to those starting out in the industry?
Williams: The one piece of advice I would give is to stay committed to your work. The longer you stick with it the more you will learn and the better you will become as an inspector.
BSJ: What do you see as most surprising about the work that you do?
Williams: What’s the most surprising to me is how detailed and specific certain aspects of the inspection process can be and how important it is to pay attention to those details.
BSJ: What would you like to do next in your professional/personal life?
Williams: I’m always looking for ways to better myself professionally and personally. Staying true to myself and having a vision is the key driving force that I trust will get me to the “next level.”
BSJ: What do you enjoy doing in your leisure time?
Williams: Well, of course, my family is very important. Spending time with my kids is a big deal for me. I also really enjoy woodworking in my spare time. I have always enjoyed working with my hands and I have huge respect for craftsmanship.
If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title would be?
Williams: Never Give Up
There’s a world of opportunity in being a member of the International Code Council. Membership provides the tools to get the most out of each workday: from discounts on essential International Codes and other publications to the best prices on top-quality training and ICC certification renewals, Code Council membership helps budgets go further. Exclusive member benefits include code advice from expert technical staff as well as access to member-exclusive news and articles at the Building Safety Journal news portal. Plus, only Code Council members vote in the ICC code development process. An online Career Center allows job postings and searches for new job opportunities — all at no additional charge.
The Code Council offers numerous councils, committees, and resources to help code professionals grow and network with colleagues. Six discipline-specific Membership Councils offer members a place to come together and be a more powerful force in shaping your association, your industry, your career, and your future. Code Development Committees are an instrumental part of the ICC code development process and are responsible for the review and evaluation of code change proposals submitted to the International Codes. Professional Development Committees serve to better align the ICC education programs and certification programs to ensure that quality training is available to meet the needs of all members, customers and certification holders. Finally, the Value of the Code Official toolkit helps members to heighten awareness of the importance of code officials to their communities and to highlight the code official’s role as a helpful advocate for community safety, health and welfare, and economic development.