Board Member Spotlight January 2021
As part of our new Board Member Appreciation Program, we are showcasing a board member in our monthly Board Member Spotlight. Our board member spotlight recognizes board members of outstanding contributions to the profession and our local communities. For any questions regarding the program please contact the Past President PastPresident@ymf-oc.org.
For the January Spotlight, we would like to introduce...
ALEX LIN, PE
We asked him to state his name, company, and position(s) in ASCE:
Alex Lin, PE
Water Project Engineer | AECOM
Pathways Academy Co-Chair | Design Challenge Chair | WRYMC 2021 Programs Co-Chair
We also asked him a few questions about the following:
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma but spent my childhood years living in Taipei, Taiwan. I moved back to Tulsa when I was a teenager and moved to San Diego, CA a few year later to attend college. Currently, I reside in Irvine, CA! As you can see, I’ve moved around but still consider all of these places my home!
What made you want to become an engineer?
My family has a history of being in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (A/E/C) industrie. My Grandpa was an architect and my dad went into Construction Management. When it was time for me to select a college major, I asked both of them for advice on what career I should pursue. Unsurprisingly, both my grandpa and my dad suggested I become an engineer. Although family tradition is important, I think I would highly advise my future child to become an Urban Planner instead.
Favorite hobbies, sports, and interests outside of engineering?
In college, I definitely spent more time on tennis and basketball courts than in classrooms or the library, I enjoy watching professional tennis and basketball just as much as i enjoy playing them.My other favorite hobbies include playing any and all card and board games. My weekend activity has now become playing Mahjong at nights with my family since the Stay-At-Home order began earlier this year.
Finish this sentence: On Sunday mornings, you can usually find me...
...definitely sleeping in. Lazy Sundays are the best.
What college(s) did you attend? Can you list your degrees, any honors, and involvement in engineering organizations during school?
UC San Diego: B.S. Environmental Engineering
Columbia University: M.S. Civil Engineering
WORK & PROFESSIONAL LIFE
Describe your responsibilities and some significant projects.
As a water resources engineer, I work on the water components (Drainage/Water Quality/Wet Utility Design) for all types of projects (Land development, Aviation, Municipal Roadway, Highways, Water/Wastewater infrastructure). The two projects that have had the biggest impact in my career thus far are the LAX Midfield Satellite Concourse Project and San Diego’s Mid-Coast Light Rail Extension Project. I’m now reshaping my career to focus specifically on water infrastructure (treatment plant, pipeline conveyance, stormwater management & dam improvement) projects.
What is your favorite part about being a Civil Engineer?
Civil Engineering allows me to connect and relate to anyone I meet immediately! Everyone has their own opinion on infrastructure and it’s interesting to hear what issues they care about the most. Developing hydrology & hydraulic models & simulations are just added bonuses of being a civil engineer. My favorite part is when my model performs exactly as intended after spending numerous hours working on it.
What skills do you find most valuable to focus on in your career?
Negotiation skills and storytelling; being able to express your visions and ideas to others while motivating them is definitely the most valuable skill in my opinion.
What drew you to your specific career path? If you could start your career differently, what would you do differently?
I’m a water engineer because water is involved in all aspects of our lives. Getting the opportunity to manage the sustainability and continued development of such an important resource is what encouraged me to take part in the water resource field. If I could start my career differently, I definitely would have begun networking sooner and learned from others who share the same passion as me in the industry.
ASCE & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
How/Why did you get involved? Why did you choose to stay involved?
ASCE Younger Member Leadership Symposium (YMLS) in 2016 was the exact reason I became so invested in ASCE. It is a 3-day leadership workshop with like-minded individuals from across the country! Although I didn’t know anyone from my local ASCE chapter, I still decided to sign up and fly to ASCE’s Headquarters in Reston, Virginia, which is where the event took place. Since my participation in YMLS, I’ve been so inspired to serve my community and have been a part of 3 different ASCE YMF chapters. In gratitude, I will continue my contribution to ASCE in the future!
How has ASCE impacted your work and/or what is your favorite benefit of your involvement?
My favorite benefit of my involvement is having colleagues who work at different firms and, thus, being able to compare different work environments.
Who is someone you admire and why?
My mother, who immigrated to the US so that my sister and I could have more opportunities in our lives. She’s an engineer as well and helped me with my math/physics homework in high school and taught me to play the sports I’ve now grown to love (Basketball/Tennis).
If you have one piece of advice to give to young professionals what would it be?
Appreciate those who have helped you along the way and maintain that close connection with them. Try sending them a holiday card so they know you appreciate them or update them on your career development every so often! Also, give back to your community whenever you have the opportunity to do so.
Lastly, what would be your personal motto?
Scouting has had a fairly large influence in my life.
Do a Good Turn Daily – Scout Slogan.
Always Be Prepared – Scout Motto.
If you missed the last (December 2020) Board Member Spotlight, Alex Lin, you can click here to read her article.
To view the archive of all past Member Spotlights, click here.