Board Member Spotlight January-February 2020

As part of our new  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 PastPresident@ymf-oc.org.

For the January- February 2020 Spotlight, we would like to introduce...

RUTA BANDZIULIS, EIT

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

Ruta Bandziulis, EIT
TenCate Geosynthetics
LIN Consulting, Inc.Engineering Business Manager

We also asked her a few questions about the following:

PERSONAL LIFE

Where did you grow up?

Palmdale, CA.

What made you want to become an engineer?

I thought I wanted to be an architect at first. It seemed like the glamorous and creative dream to aim for. After an internship at an architecture firm, I realized that architects didn’t have as much of a say in the broad picture as I would have liked. (e.g. A seismic joint had to be where it is, even if it threw off the aesthetics of the railing. A shear wall could not be removed to make way for an open-concept floor plan.) Basically I didn’t like being told “No.” Civil engineers seemed to have the most ability to shape and build the world around them. I dove into civil engineering, looking for innovation and finding ways to turn “No”s into achievable possibilities. 

Favorite hobbies, sports, and interests outside of engineering?

I’ve been a competitive sailor since my second year in college. I am currently starting a women’s team at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club. I am looking forward to a week long race at Puerto Vallarta, Mexico later this year

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

... Sailing, surfing, or somewhere under the sun enjoying the outdoors!

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

- California State University Long Beach
- BS Civil Engineering
- ASCE - officer, Canoe Captain, GeoWall
- Chi Epsilon

WORK & PROFESSIONAL LIFE

Describe your responsibilities and some significant projects.

As an Engineering Business Manager, I am a resource for engineers tackling projects with poor soils. I provide solutions and recommendations for sites from San Louis Obispo, to Cabo, MX, to Arizona. Most local project was at the AES power plant in Long Beach, overcoming soft silty subgrades, high fluctuating water table, and contaminated soils for the Worlds Largest Battery Storage Plant. Most notably improving the industry by working with AGC to update their Geosynthetics specifications in the Greenbook.

What is your favorite part about being a Civil Engineer?

The engineering profession is the most concrete way to improve the broadest amount of people’s lives. A bit of a superhero statement, but it’s proven true when clean water and air, good transportation, sound buildings, sustainability, and access to resources can uplift an entire community, state, or even country

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

Confidence. In an industry where plans are checked and double checked by senior engineers, finding my own voice was crucial to level up from intern and entry level. Trust in your decisions and work! 

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

I can confidently generalize that civil engineers are some of the nicest people I have the honor to work with. Of all the Engineering disciplines, Civils are the most people oriented.  All projects and decisions are made for the safety and benefit of the affected communities. We build the world toward a better quality of life. 

ASCE & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

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

Back in college, my senior civil friends were encouraging me to join as soon as possible, and not just for the resume bonus points. It was at the ASCE Global Conference in Panama that I saw the impact this huge civil engineering community can have, for the rest of my life.  

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

The Networking part of ASCE has played a huge part in my work, to not only to follow trends in the industry but also learn about new and innovative solutions. It is also my favorite benefit to meet such bright and earnest people who also volunteer their time to ASCE. 

Who is someone you admire and why?

My older sister, who has started her own lucrative business doing what she loves. She’s the type of person that not just goes against the flow, but left the flow entirely to embrace life and explore the world. 

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

Don’t just live for the weekends, and worse don’t live to work. Explore hobbies and dreams, breathe in inspiration from any form of art, and find joy in the small moments between your schedule.   

Lastly, what would be your personal motto?

“New Years Resolution: say yes to adventure”


If you missed the last (December-January 2019) Board Member Spotlight, Gabriela Ruiz, you can click here to read her article.

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

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