Board Member Spotlight Oct-Nov 2016
- Michael Pierce
- Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona
- Mentorship Program YMF Chair
Where did you grow up?
What made you want to become an engineer? If you had to choose a different career what would it be?
When I was in high school, I always thought I was going to be a computer programmer. I began taking computer programming classes at the local community college before I was a junior in high school. By the time I finished high school, I was half way done with my Associates degree and realized that computer programming would not be a good career for me because I am naturally a very outgoing, active person and I didn’t want to be sitting at a desk all day. I decided then that I was going to become a fire fighter because it is a respectable career that allows you to be very active and socialize with the community. However, it wasn’t long before I learned the incrementally small odds of actually getting hired on to a department due to the very large number of people who also want to be fire fighters. I continued to take general education classes at the community college hoping that something would spark my interest. By the time I received my Associates of Arts degree, I still had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.
I went to my dad to seek advice and he told me that I would be a great engineer. He said that civil engineers solve complex problems and get to design and build large infrastructure projects that help civilization continue to grow. I did some research on the career field and decided that it was something I would enjoy; And here I am.
What college(s) did you attend? Can you list your degrees, any honors, and involvement in engineering organizations during school?
Associates of Arts degree from Crafton Hills Community College
- Alpha Gamma Sigma Honors Society
Bachelors of Science Degree from Cal Poly, Pomona.
- ASCE Concrete Canoe – Placed 13th nationally
I am a civil engineer for the United States Navy. I support the war fighter by designing training facilities around the world. That’s as much detail as I am allowed to give.
Some work responsibilities that I have accomplished during my career include networking with outside organizations.
I like how this is a career where you work with a team to create a final, finished result and when you’re done, you can stand back and be proud of what you have helped create.
I began my career as a transportation design engineer because I hate the traffic in Southern California and I wanted to help be a solution to the problems. I was at my first job for over three years before I stumbled across the opportunity to work with the U.S. Navy. Though I enjoyed my work as a transportation engineer, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to help my country by working with the U.S. Navy and being a part of unique projects that I otherwise would never have been able to be a part of.
When I was a transportation engineer, we had a large design-build project that required very quick turnarounds on complicated new designs. The two lead engineers who had been working on the project for a couple years moved away and had to resign from the company. My project manager at the time entrusted me to step up and make sure the project kept moving forward. I practically lived at the office for the first couple of months while I learned the ins and outs of this project. I feel that this run-before-you-can-walk approach bumped up my design skills to someone with two more years’ experience in just a short few months and I thank my project manager for giving me the trust and opportunity that he did.
My favorite ASCE event has to be the 2016 Western Regional Younger Member Council (WRYMC) conference. At this conference, I was given the opportunity to present to over 100 people on the inner workings of the ASCE OC Mentorship Program.
- Dirt bike riding
- Go kart racing
- Scuba diving