Board Member November-December 2017 Spotlight
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the City of Pomona. Is it a Garden or a Grove.. idk let’s just call it both! Garden Grove, CA
What made you want to become an engineer? If you had to choose a different career what would it be?
I wanted a career that would challenge me mentally but still have a social aspect to it. On a daily basis I lead, collaborate, and am placed in challenging positions that help me grow as an individual. If I had to choose a different career it would have to be a forest ranger because I could go to restricted natural areas that the public is not allowed to enter.
What college(s) did you attend? Can you list your degrees, any honors, and involvement in engineering organizations during school?
I attended Humboldt State University and graduated with B.S. in Environmental Resources Engineering with an emphasis in water resources. During school I was involved in American Society of Civil Engineers and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. I also competed in ASCE’s Mid-Pacific Conference where my team won first place in the water treatment competition.
Describe your responsibilities and some significant projects.
Primary role and significant projects?
My primary role at Jacobs is Drainage and I work on transportation projects such as rail and intermodal. I have worked on the CCX Intermodal Connector in North Carolina as one of the drainage designers. This included providing design, drafting, and modeling for the project. I am currently involved in the DART - Cotton Belt Regional Rail System Project in Dallas, Texas. My primary role is organizing and providing sheet work for the rail portion of the project.
Non-project work responsibilities?
I help interns/junior engineers/international workers train when they first arrive into the office. I also self-train in Bentley’s Storm and Sanitary.
What is your favorite part about being a Civil Engineer?
My favorite part of being a Civil Engineer is learning things outside of my specialty such as construction, business, and estimates.
What skills do you find most valuable to focus on in your career?
The skill I found most valuable to focus on my career is leadership. Leadership requires a lot of patience, persistence, and courage to deal with multiple problems at once. If you can become a good leader you will go far in your career.
What drew you to your specific career path? If you could start your career differently, what would you do differently?
My career choice was strongly influenced by living in California. Water is one of the biggest issues in California and proper management is critical to our infrastructure and economy. Water resources is such a broad field with a variety of problems to solve and that was what attracted me. I am still fresh in the industry, so I don’t see myself starting my career differently. I think my current career options and it is up to me to pursue them.
Describe a situation that was a great learning experience for you?
As the drainage designer for the CCX Intermodal Yard I was flown to Jacksonville, Florida to have a client meeting. It was the first time I had to present my design to a client and it was a good experience for public speaking. The meeting showed me where I can improve and how far I’ve come as an engineer.
How/Why did you get involved? Why did you choose to stay involved?
I got involved with ASCE to grow my professional Network and find employment. I actually found my job through one of the connections I made in ASCE. I chose to stay involved to see what other people my age were doing and how they were doing it. ASCE provides that inside scoop on what’s happening in Orange County and what type of work is out there.
How has ASCE impacted your work and/or what is your favorite benefit of your involvement?
As current Programs Chair, I organize technical tours and speaker events which gets my name out there. My favorite benefit is when people have already met me through an event I organized.
What has been your favorite ASCE event since you got involved?
My favorite ASCE event has been “Pattie Grimm – Head, Hearts, and Guts Leadership.” This event showed me the multiple personalities there are in the workplace and how that affects interactions between workers.
This is the first award I have received from ASCE but it won’t be the last!
Favorite hobbies, sports, and interests outside of engineering?
I enjoy backpacking, video games, dogs, eating good food, drinking good beer, and just having a good time.
If you missed the last (Aug-Sept 2017) Board Member Spotlight, Melissa Hilsabeck, you can click here to read her article.