Board Member Spotlight 2015 Jan-Feb

As part of our new 2015 Board member appreciation program we are showcasing a board member in our bimonthly 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 at

For the January and February spotlight we would like to introduce...

Nestor Godinez, P.E.

Nestor Godinez is a Project Engineer for SLR International Corporation in Irvine, California. Nestor grew up right here in Orange County and has been a board member with ASCE OC YMF since 2012 as our Internal Activities Chair. He is the recipient of the 2013/2014 President's award and our first choice for recognition. Below are a few questions we asked him:


What made you want to become an engineer? If you had to choose a different career what would it be? Since I was a child I have always been good with math and science and I was very curious about the world around me.  I wanted to know how things worked and I was fascinated as I found out how things worked.  Engineering was a good fit for my interests. At first I wanted to be an architect but then I realized that I didn’t have the drawing capabilities.

What college(s) did you attend? Can you list your degrees, any honors, and involvement in engineering organizations during school? I got my B.S. from UC Irvine in 2007.  I graduated Magna Cum Laude.  I was involved in ASCE on my 3rd and 4th year.  In my 4th year I was a Steel Bridge Co-Captain.  We went to Nationals and were the top bridge from the Pacific Southwest Region. I got my M.S. from CSU Fullerton in 2009.  I helped out the CSUF steel bridge team as an advisor.

Work & Professional Life

Primary role, Significant Projects? I am a staff engineer.  I work on environmental remediation projects and mine planning and environmental impact reports.  The projects I work in are national and international projects.  One of my biggest projects is the ongoing environmental cleanup of Honolulu Harbor in Hawaii which was impacted by petroleum contamination from historical tank farms in the harbor.   One of my other significant projects is the planning and environmental impact reporting of a proposed gold mine in Canada.

What is your favorite part about being a Civil Engineer? My favorite part of being a Civil Engineer is problem solving and learning to do things that I didn’t know how to do before.

What skills do you find most valuable to focus on in your career? The skills I find most valuable to focus on in my career are time management, attention to detail, and report writing.

What drew you to your specific career path? If you could start your career differently, what would you do differently? I kind of just by chance fell into my current career path.  At my workplace we are a small firm and that has allowed me learn and be involved in a little bit of everything.  I do not consider myself a specialist yet in a particular aspect of civil engineering yet. If I could restart my career I probably would have chosen the public sector as I do like the idea of public service and improving the life of the community.

Describe a situation that was a great learning experience for you? A situation that was a great learning experience for me was developing from scratch a mathematical model that modeled the natural lake system surrounding a proposed mine.


How/Why did you get involved? Why did you choose to stay? One day I realized that I did not know any other young engineers and that I had no idea what others were doing with their careers.  So I decided to go to an event, a general meeting.  I chose to attend more events because the events were fun and everyone was friendly and inviting.  I  was “convinced” aka volunteered by past president Ravi to organize that year’s soccer tournament and that got me an appetite for organizing the club’s social events.

How has ASCE impacted your work and/or what is your favorite benefit of your involvement? My favorite benefit of my involvement is all the new young friends in the civil engineering profession that I have made.

What has been your favorite ASCE event since you got involved? My favorite event was this past November’s Wine Trip.  It was just so much fun.

Personal Life

Favorite sports, hobbies, and Interests outside of Engineering? My favorite sport is soccer. I enjoy playing soccer, going to the gym, hanging out with friends, dancing, seeing new places, eating out at good eateries.

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

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