Board Member Spotlight September-October 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

For the September-October 2020 Spotlight, we would like to introduce...


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

Esmeralda Briseno, ENV SP
Project Engineer | Jacobs
2020 | Pathway Academy Co-Chair
2020-2021 | WRYMC Banquet Co-Chair
2020-2021 | Secretary

 We also asked her a few questions about the following:


Where did you grow up?

I was born in National City, San Diego but lived in Tijuana, Mexico until I was about eight years old. I’ve lived in Southern California ever since – Norwalk, Downey, and now in the city of Paramount.

What made you want to become an engineer?

I lived in a relatively low income and underprivileged community in Mexico when I was young, and although I did not know about Civil Engineering at the time, the noticeable lack of street and building repairs would really worry me and catch my attention. Not living in the nicest community never bothered me, as I made beautiful memories living there, but what did bother me was not seeing anyone try to fix the issues that were clearly in need of attention. My dad would talk to me and point out different things as we drove around the city, which increased my curiosity even more. Wanting to help people and communities improve their existing living conditions is one of the many reasons I decided to become an engineer.  

Favorite hobbies, sports, and interests outside of engineering?

Dancing, biking near the beach, hiking, eating desert, traveling and exploring new places with my partner in crime (aka my boyfriend), evening walks, and playing with my two young nephews.

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

…hiking the hills of Orange County.

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

I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from California State University, Long Beach. Go Beach! I was on the Executive Board for the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a member of the ASCE student chapter.


Describe your responsibilities and some significant projects.

As a Construction Project Engineer, I provide technical support to my Project Managers and help develop and maintain project costs, project schedules, and accounting records. I assist in reviewing design and construction documents, RFIs, Submittals, and Change Orders, as well as preparing RFPs and Bid Evaluations and Recommendations. Communication is extremely important in our division, as coordination with our client is practiced every single day to achieve successful project planning and construction completion. Jacobs provides construction management services to both Hoag Hospitals located in Irvine and Newport Beach, California. I coordinate on a daily basis with the Hoag Engineering Team on utility shutdowns and infection control requests, with the Inspector-of-Record on OSHPD requests and submittals, and with contractors and vendors on site logistics. Additionally, I attend weekly client and design team meetings and oversee construction quality assurance.

I’ve had the privilege of being involved in multiple exciting projects. One recent project in particular is the Hoag Newport Beach Radiation Oncology Center - MRIdian Linear Accelerator Installation Project.

With project completion scheduled this December 2020, Hoag will be the only hospital in Orange County, and one of only two in California, to introduce the Viewray MRIdian, the world’s first MRI-guided radiation therapy system. The MRIdian uses next generation technology to combine a diagnostic quality MRI scanner with a radiation linear accelerator. Super grateful to be working with such a hard-working Project Team!

What is your favorite part about being a Civil Engineer?

My favorite part is knowing that I am making a positive impact in my community. What Civil Engineers do is not simple, it is challenging and requires many hours of work and preparation. However, the impact their work produces can be so amazing and life-changing.

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

I believe technical skills are super important, but developing personal soft skills can really make you stand out from others. Skills that I find to be valuable are communication (verbal and visual), teamwork, time management, and leadership. My interpersonal skills have really helped me get to where am I am today. I like to be a responsible and reliable engineer and a valuable team player!

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

When I graduated college, I had numerous individuals ask me “Will you be going into design or construction?”. I didn’t quite know how to answer that question at the time as I barely had any experience in either discipline. But as time progressed, met other professionals in the industry, and both my technical and soft skills developed, I found an interest in Construction Management. This discipline really gives you exposure to both the management and design aspects of a project. Although I might not be actually designing something, it is important for me to know how to read and interpret design plans and specifications. I highly encourage students to seek internship opportunities while in college. If I could turn back time, I would have made this a priority.


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

I joined ASCE OC YMF soon after joining Jacobs. I had been working in LA County previously and was so work-focused and not very involved with local engineering organizations. It wasn’t until I started working in Orange County that my boyfriend, also an OC YMF member, encouraged me to get involved. Joining ASCE OC YMF has been one of the best decisions I have made! I have felt extremely welcomed since day one and have made so many friendships in such a short period of time. ASCE OC YMF has allowed me to meet some of the most hard-working and passionate individuals I know and has given me the opportunity to give back to my community with the multiple community service and student outreach programs it offers. I am so fortunate to be a part of such an amazing group of professionals who are so positive and passionate about their career, their future, and life in general!

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

The opportunity to connect with so many like-minded engineers, in both a professional and social setting, is truly rewarding. And not only in Orange County, but across the country! ASCE has been an integral influence in my personal and professional development, providing me with valuable resources and connections each and every day.

Who is someone you admire and why?

I admire my boyfriend, Victor Aguirre. Despite of all the challenges he encountered at an early age, he is the most intelligent, driven, and hard-working person I know. He sees the positive side of all things and motivates me every single day to be my very best.

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

If you get denied from that internship or job you really wanted, do not get discouraged! It does not mean there was something wrong with you. Do not take it personally. Keep trying, keep learning, and never give up!

Lastly, what would be your personal motto?

Everything happens for a reason.

If you missed the last (August-September 2020) Board Member Spotlight, Matthew Picardal, you can click here to read his article.

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

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Welcome to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Orange County Younger Member Forum (OC YMF)! For those who are new to our organization, OC YMF aims to help Younger Members grow professionally and serves both the profession and the community!

I am humbled to have the opportunity to serve as the OC YMF President for the 2022-2023 Fiscal Year. I look forward to continuing my contribution to this awesome organization alongside so many great individuals.

Over the years, my experience with OC YMF has been a great one! I appreciate all of the friendships I have made, the opportunities for personal and professional growth, and the ability to have a positive impact on the community. I definitely recommend getting involved!

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