Electrical guru to data center construction expert
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2023
The basis for Skybox’s success lies in the hard work and achievement
of our employees. We are highlighting each of our team members from
various departments to share their impact on Skybox and what makes them
the heartbeat of our organization.
"Nick Bouknight continues to display excellent leadership qualities as he spearheads our projects. His knack for detail, safety and quality work sets a high bar for our team and our partners. I look forward to watching Nick’s career develop at Skybox as he drives for excellence building the future of digital infrastructure.” –Jason Valudos, VP Construction
How did you get into the data center industry?
Like most high school students, I had no idea what I wanted to do. What I did know was that I loved architectural design and anything mechanical: cars, trucks, boats and beyond. I didn’t originally plan to go to college, but after some persuasion from my high school employer, I decided to give it a try. I began my education at a local community college, but after further consideration, I decided to transfer to Texas A&M University due to their strong construction program, graduating in 2008. Following graduation, the economic downturn left limited job opportunities, so I decided to fall back on my electrical background to kick off my career. After a strenuous search, I found my first position as an electrical estimator. Quickly following, I transitioned into operations and then discovered data center construction as the peak of electrical contracting. Over the next decade and a half, I worked through various projects concluding on the management of two hyperscale data center sites totaling 120 MW. After the conclusion of those projects, I was ready for my next career challenge. I went back to school to start my MBA at SMU in Dallas (which I completed in May) and soon after stumbled upon the opportunity with Skybox. Once I met with our team, I know this was the place for me to progress my career in data center construction.
What is one thing we don’t know about you?
I am the 2002 Texas state champion for the Diesel Equipment Mechanics Technical Information Test. In high school, I competed in a carburetor rebuilding competition. While waiting for the competition results, I took the diesel technical information test on a whim and ended up with the highest score in the state. While I haven’t capitalized on this skillin the workforce, I continue to enjoy vehicles and their mechanical knowledge for fun.
What was your favorite project or lesson learned?
If I had to pick one, it was a dental school build years ago. It was my first significant project as a project manager without the regular support of a more senior manager. From project requirements to budgeting issues, it led to two challenging but highly educational years.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
When I decided to do a career pivot, my goal was to find a place where I could play a large role and have an impact on the growth and success of the firm. More than I had anticipated, Skybox has delivered in that aspect. It has been exciting to experience the growth and innovation in real time at Skybox. With growth comes a lot of work and time with your team. I would say our team is my favorite aspect of my job, and I believe the reason why Skybox has seen and will continue to see success.
What is your favorite way to spend your time off?
My time off is all about spending time with my family. Christina
and our daughters, Blythe (7) and Nixon (4) will always have first dibs
on my heart and time. As a family we enjoy traveling, camping, and
hitting some offroad trails in our vintage Range Rover. Additionally, I
appreciate anything to do with cars or boats. I particularly enjoy
“investing” money in various automotive purchases. Christina would add
the air quotes.
If you had to choose one “toxic trait” for yourself, what would it be?
My toxic trait is that I need an electronic reminder for all my work tasks, yet I can remember random facts about almost any vehicle. For example, the complete list of engine displacement options for a 2000 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 are 4.3, 4.8, 5.3 and 6.0 liter. I can remember that off the top of my head, but I cannot remember to pick-up the dry cleaning without a calendar reminder. Thankfully, I’ve begun utilizing this toxic trait for mission critical equipment.