Board Member Spotlight September-October 2019

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 2019 Spotlight, we would like to introduce...


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

Manasa Vijayakumar, PE, QSD; 
Project Engineer, ENGEO Incorporated;
PE Review Co-Chair and Incoming Pathways Academy Co-Chair

We also asked her a few questions about the following:


Where did you grow up?

I grew up in India. I lived in three different cities (Chennai, Indore and Bangalore). 

What made you want to become an engineer?

Having spent most of my childhood in an ancestral home constantly in need of repair, as a kid all I wanted to do was to grow up and fix the house for once. Luckily math and science seemed fun at school, which went on to lay the foundation of pursuing an education in engineering. 

Favorite hobbies, sports, and interests outside of engineering?

Music, movies, and home improvement projects. I love exploring new places. If I am not travelling, I am looking for or planning my next destination.

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

... brunching somewhere in San Diego.

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

I went to UC San Diego for my Masters and went to MS Ramaiah in Bangalore, India for my Bachelors in Engineering.


Describe your responsibilities and some significant projects.

I perform field explorations, write geotechnical reports to provide design recommendations, provide field support, prepare SWPPPs, and manage projects. I have had the opportunity to work on varied projects at Great Park Neighborhoods, from large-scale grading, residential homes, bridges, parks, channels, and even an amphitheater! I was also fortunate to be able to work on the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art project in LA.

What is your favorite part about being a Civil Engineer?

Hope that we are making a positive change around us. Also, it is pretty cool to see a project from start to finish. 

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

Apart from my technical skills, I like interacting with other team members on the project and understanding all the different pieces involved in a project.

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

Having worked in R&D for a few years and constantly coming across soil and groundwater problems which always intrigued me, I decided to go back to school to get my Master’s in geotechnical engineering. 


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

My involvement with ASCE started after I started working at ENGEO, mostly to build a professional network. I have met some really amazing people through ASCE and it feels good to be part of a team that strives to makes a positive impact while having fun at the same time.  

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

My involvement with ASCE has taught me how to manage my time. Getting to know so many passionate engineers and working with them is inspiring and there is always something new to learn from each of them.

Who is someone you admire and why?

I have always looked up to my older sister, Preethi (I would never tell her that to her face for obvious reasons). She is the most disciplined, hardworking and persistent person I have known.  

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

Focus on your dreams! It is never too late to make that change and do what makes you happy.   

Lastly, what would be your personal motto?

“Be Happy. Be Bright. Be You.”

If you missed the last (August-September 2019) Board Member Spotlight, Jared Lindo, you can click here to read her article.

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

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