Steven Dix, Haskell’s Group Lead Electrical Engineer and Design Manager, is pictured with his wife, Steph Dale, and their dog, Tuk’r. Steph runs the family’s business, Go Tuk’n, which operates a fleet of electrically powered tuk tuks giving tours and providing transportation and event services in Jacksonville, Florida.

March 15, 2023

Design Leader is Experienced and Deft Outside His Comfort Zone

Steven Dix took a circuitous route to his role as Haskell Group Lead Electrical Engineer, and his outside-the-box approach to work makes him successful.


As a former journeyman and bartender, Steven Dix is far from your average electrical engineer. When the Jacksonville, Florida, native started his long and winding journey to becoming Haskell’s Group Lead Electrical Engineer and Design Manager, he had no idea where the road would take him.

“I was supposed to go to college right out of high school, but my girlfriend was a year behind, so I convinced my parents to let me wait so she could catch up,” Dix said. “They said I had to do something, and I had a feel for electricity because I’d taken shop classes, so I said, okay, I’ll go into the apprenticeship program.”

The relationship with his girlfriend didn’t last, but Dix found a new love in his work. He continued in the program and became a journeyman electrician. He quickly discovered that no single milestone would be enough.

“I’m pretty goal oriented. It’s always about what’s next,” Dix said. “After I got my journeyman’s license, I had to get my master’s license, after that it was the contractor’s license, and then I asked, ‘What’s next?’ It was engineering.”

By the time he started working on his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Florida, Dix was in his early thirties. Yet despite his nontraditional route to college, he found it an easy transition.

“It was a little bit different than being in the field every day,” he said, “but I did really well in the math and science.”

Class kept Dix busy, but the books weren’t the only thing on his mind. He still needed to support himself financially, so he started working as a bartender. “It was this dance club that was just packed from 10:00 to 2:00. I started with Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tuesday had to go pretty quick, and eventually Thursday had to go because it was hard to get back to school on Friday.”

The extra work was a grind, but it had an unintended positive consequence. “I was hanging out with nerds like me in the daytime and partiers at night, so I really had to think about my social skills.” This adaptation would be useful in years to come.

Thinking Outside the (Electrical) Box

Dix’s approach to his role can be as unconventional as his career path, and it sets him apart, said David Kode, Vice President of Architectural and Engineering (AE) Operations.

“Steven’s not scared to get outside of his comfort zone,” Kode said. “Typical electrical folks and engineers, they like to work on just the electrical. He’s jumped up and said, “I want to be a design manager. I want to support budgets. I want to be fully involved with that. That’s something that Chris Flagg (AE Group Operations Principal) and I recognize as something he does very well.”

The combination of technical expertise and the people skills he developed in college – with scholars by day and bargoers by night – make him an engaging and trusted leader, Kode said.

“He’s very good at what he does,” he said. “When he’s talking, people are listening and taking notes. And then leadership skills, he does an excellent job working with team members on their careers and getting proper training.”

Hey, It’s Santa!

Dix wears numerous hats in his professional role, and he took on another during the holidays. The AE Facilities teams at Haskell’s Jacksonville headquarters held a holiday decorating contest among the design disciplines. Let’s just say the competition was intense.

“Our electrical group was one of the winners of the contest,” Kode said, “and the reason was that Dix dressed up as Santa Claus and grew a full real beard and handed out gifts, hot cocoa and eggnog to all the team members.”

Kode keeps a memento of the event: a million-dollar novelty check that Dix handed him as a gag gift at the party. “Our joke when we had our internal meeting was, ‘Hey, man! I went and tried to cash your check and it bounced!’”

The check may not have cleared, but Kode says he found the whole performance nonetheless heartwarming. “It’s just something you bring your kids to. You just melt when you see that thoughtfulness in approach. And now he’s got a new nickname. We’re just starting to call him Santa.”

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5 Questions with Steven Dix

What drew you to your career?

It started in ninth grade when I built a radio in electronics shop class and thought that was really cool what you could do with electrical circuits.

Where is your favorite travel destination, and why?

Nosara, Costa Rica. Love the people and the consistent surf.

Complete this sentence: I couldn’t make it through the week without …

The beach/ocean. I start every day on the beach with my dog. In the summertime with sunrise occurring earlier I get some water time in as well.

Who is your role model and how have they influenced you?

Mom and Dad. Mom from her work ethic, she had a 10th-grade education and worked her way up the ladder in banking field and was still able to take care of us growing up.  My dad, as he was such a people person, never met a stranger. He was successful in business as well.

What does being a Haskell team member mean to you? 

Love the integrated Project Delivery method. Being able to collaborate with Team Members from Design and Construction is amazing.

Dix says he starts every day at the beach.

Haskell delivers $2± billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 2,200 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.

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