Board Member Spotlight 2015 Mar-Apr

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 PastPresident@ymf-oc.org.

For the March and April spotlight we would like to introduce...

Eric Walker

Eric Walker is a Engineering Designer for Stantec in Irvine, California. Eric grew up in Southern California and has been a board member with ASCE OC YMF since 2011 as the Student Outreach Chair (2011-2014) and recently as the K-12 Outreach and PSBC Co-Chair (2014-2015). He is the recipient of the 2013/2014 Vice President's award and was just recognized with 3 awards in February 2015; Orange County Engineering Council Young Engineer Award, ASCE OC Oustanding Civil Engineer in Community Service, and the ASCE Western Region Younger Member Council Outstanding Support of a Student Chapter!.

Below are a few questions we asked him:

School/Education/Background

School: UC Irvine Class of 2011! Graduated with a Bachelors of Civil Engineering with a concentration in Management, a minor in Philosophy and almost minor in Environmental Design

Where did you grow up? Rolling Hills Estates is my home town, it’s a relatively sleepy place between San Pedro and Redondo Beach about 45 minutes north of Orange County. One of the most interesting random facts about Rolling Hills is that most the signals have three sets of crossing buttons, one for people on foot, one for people on bikes, and one for people on Horseback. As you can imagine it is a horse friendly area with lots of great hiking trails.

What made you want to become an engineer? I could go with the Legos as a kid thing, and don’t get me wrong I loved playing with them and did up until I went to college, but I think the more interesting story is really the consistent encouragement from the people around me to look for a career in the engineering field. I was always the one building things, whether it was taking apart toasters to see how they worked (much to my chagrin I’m sure) or building catapults at scout camp I was always the one to tinker. I also really liked houses and architecture so it was only natural to gravitate towards Civil Engineering because at the time I was entering college I really didn’t know what the difference was between the two.

If I was to choose a different career I would probably go with real estate investment. I have started a real estate investment company and while it is challenging I also think it’s really fun. There is that element of hunting and problem solving that you get in engineering and it has the capacity to help me travel the country and the world.

College: UC Irvine was and is a place I love and have so many fond memories of. Even those late nights delirious in the computer labs working on projects with groups of people all guzzling Monsters and Del Taco, good times. As far as College accomplishments:

2008 - ASCE Conference Chair for the Hawaii Conference, Began Involvement with UCI Civil and Environmental Engineering Affiliates Group

2009 - ASCE Vice President of External Affairs, Gary Guymon Scholarship Award Recipient

2010 - ASCE President, Chi Epsilon Corporate Affairs Chair, Students Practicing Excellent Communication Skills (SPECS) Co-President

2010 Published “Engineering Integrity: Ethics for the Engineer of 2025” at the International Engineering and Construction Conference in Cairo, Egypt and presented at the conference.

Work & Professional Life

I am fortunate enough to get to work with the amazing people over at Stantec Consulting doing Land Development work. I never realized how Land development pulls together so many different facets of Civil Engineering but it is pretty cool to get to work on a variety of projects. My most significant project to date is the work I have done on the Brightwater Development in Huntington Beach. Its several hundred homes right next to Bolsa Chica State Beach and since it is now almost done with construction its amazing to see some of the designs I did on paper materialize in the real world. Granted much of the work I did is under the ground but there is still that strong sense of pride.

On the non-project side of things, I am on our Spirit Committee which helps figure out ways to engage people in the office in activities that promote community and unity; an interesting challenge when it seems some of the people would much rather just work than participate in games of “Cheer Pong” at our office wide meetings.

Favorite Part about being a Civil Engineer: I do really enjoy the pride and accomplishment that comes with seeing a project come to completion and know that the end result of that project is a benefit to the community. Whether its land development to create a community in the first place or some of the work I do with SCE to make sure there is a reliable source of electricity to southern California. Civil Engineering really make a big difference in the world and while we may not always get recognition for the role we play its worth it to know society is largely better because of what we do.

Awards & Recognition

  • 2013/2014 ASCE OC YMF Vice President's Award
  • Orange County Engineering Council Young Engineer Award (February 2015)
  • ASCE OC Oustanding Civil Engineer in Community Service (February 2015)
  • ASCE Western Region Younger Member Council Outstanding Support of a Student Chapter (February 2015)

If you missed the last Board Member Spotlight, Nestor Godinez, you can click here to read his article.

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

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