Board Member Spotlight May 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

For the May Spotlight, we would like to introduce...




We asked her to state her name, company, and position(s) in ASCE:      

Clarissa Teng, EIT
Staff Engineer | GHD
Communications Committee Co-Chair | Website Committee Co-Chair

We also asked her a few questions about the following:


Where did you grow up?


What made you want to become an engineer?

I've always been fascinated by architecture and loved building things as a kid (shoutout to Legos). In addition to gravitating towards STEM classes, I also wanted to place a positive impact on the community in some way or another through creativity and problem solving, which led me to discover civil engineering.

Favorite hobbies, sports, and interests outside of engineering?

Dance, graphic design, and more recently, watching k-dramas.

Finish this sentence: On Sunday mornings, you can usually find me...

sleeping in.

What college(s) did you attend? Can you list your degrees, any honors, and involvement in engineering organizations during school?

I attended UC Irvine and graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. During my first year at UCI, I attended my first ASCE meeting. It wasn't until my second year, I became more involved as ASCE UCI's Photographer. This role helped open up so many opportunities with getting to meet others in the same major, mentors, and creating memorable experiences (Concrete Canoe, PSWC, and more) along the rest of my college journey. During my senior year, I also joined the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) and got to work with an amazing group for the Seismic Design Competition.


Describe your responsibilities and some significant projects.

I typically work on utility research and engineering design plan productions for water/wastewater projects. A significant project we have recently been working on is the East County Advanced Water Purification program, which aims to create a local, sustainable, and drought-proof drinking water supply for East County residents. My team's role in the project involves planning the design of nearly a 10-mile advanced water purification pipeline across San Diego county!

What is your favorite part about being a Civil Engineer?

Team collaboration and contributing to the improvements of our civil infrastructure.

What skills do you find most valuable to focus on in your career?

Soft skills such as communication, time management, and adaptability.

What drew you to your specific career path? If you could start your career differently, what would you do differently?

The idea of being able to impact the lives of others through design work is what mainly drew me to engineering. I wouldn't do anything differently because my past experiences have been growth opportunities and learning lessons, whether good or bad.


How/Why did you get involved? Why did you choose to stay involved?

I got involved with ASCE because I viewed this as an opportunity to help grow my network and professional development skills; I stayed for the people and friendships made in ASCE.

How has ASCE impacted your work and/or what is your favorite benefit of your involvement?

ASCE has definitely helped me with my professional development and interpersonal skills. My favorite part about being involved is getting to meet others from various backgrounds, collaborating, and being surrounded by a diverse, inspiring group of individuals.

Who is someone you admire and why?

I admire my mom. As a first generation, Cambodian-American, I'm humbled and grateful to be where I am today because of her, who came to the United States to escape the Khmer Rouge, learn a whole new language, and start from square one. She's taught me significant values of hard work, family, and kindness.

If you have one piece of advice to give to young professionals what would it be?

Try out everything, because trying is better than not trying.

Lastly, what would be your personal motto?

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.” - Japanese Proverb

If you missed the last (April 2021) Board Member Spotlight, Kayla Kilgo, you can click here to read her article.

To view the archive of all past Member Spotlights, click here.

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