I may not always work in the engineering field but I feel like my engineering education had given me great problem solving skills and the ability to think on my feet when a problem comes up on any project."
What types of work have you performed? What projects have you worked on?
When I first started working I mostly did field reconnaissance and construction observation. My job now focuses on new development projects in the Seattle area and dam safety projects in Washington State. We do a lot of work with deep excavations, foundation design, seismic retrofits and earthwork projects.
What have been some favorite aspects of your work?
I like that I get to see projects through from the very beginning. We receive a proposal for a new building, go out and do the exploratory drilling, give recommendations, work with the project team to create a design and then run the project management until construction is over. It's also really nice to get to work outside in the summer!
What was one of your most satisfying days as an engineer?
I think one of the coolest days I ever had as an engineer so far was going to the topping off ceremony for one of the new Amazon high-rise downtown. It had been the first deep excavation shoring job that I had ever worked on. It was really cool to think about how I had seen the first pile go in the ground for the building, and was then seeing the very last piece of steel erected at the top of the building.
Was it worth it? What has your engineering background made possible for you? What value has it added to your overall life?
I felt like I was going crazy a lot in school (and especially in grad school) but I think it was worth it. I may not always work in the engineering field but I feel like my engineering education had given me great problem solving skills and the ability to think on my feet when a problem comes up on any project. You also become incredibly bonded to all the people who are going crazy with you along the way.
What would you say to the first-year students currently sitting in your shoes?
I remember when I was sitting in small groups talking to Bill Wild about how I was certain that I was going to fail Dr. Sageev's Calc 2 class. You'll survive...I promise.