2月 23, 2021

Happy Engineers Week! EWeek, as it’s also called, is dedicated to spotlighting the engineering profession and calling attention to the many positive contributions engineers have made to our society. Founded in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), it is a time to inspire interest in the engineering profession and emphasize the importance of math, science and technology education.

This year’s EWeek theme is “Imagining Tomorrow,” recognizing that, as we imagine a better world, engineers will be at the core of our progress. We asked some of our engineers about their career:

  • What made you decide to become an engineer?
  • What has been your favorite project, and why?
  • What is the most inspiring thing you’ve learned in your career?

 

 

What made you decide to become an engineer?

My dad is an engineer, so he always encouraged my brother and me to look at engineering as a career choice. I took a wandering path to get to transportation engineering, working in the fields of consumer product design, graphic design, environmental consulting and structural engineering before landing in transportation engineering. I discovered a real passion for the field and a dynamic team environment at Gresham Smith, which I truly appreciate.

What has been your favorite project and why?

One of my top favorites is the Connecting Beargrass Creek corridor study. It was an intense 6-mile project corridor. The bulk of the site design, field review and public/stakeholder engagement took place in just over three days with a diverse team of professionals as part of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) conference held in Louisville in 2019. The ability to work with so many different markets and professionals from a wide range of backgrounds made it so much fun!

What is the most inspiring thing you’ve learned in your career?

That everything is changing, particularly with how people interact with the built environment and each other. The rapid rate of technology advances, shifting public opinion on shared spaces, and how to help our urban environments evolve to equitably and sustainably meet the needs of the people who live there, means that every day is something new and exciting!

Katie Rowe, P.E., AICP
Transportation Engineer
Louisville, KY

 

 

 

What made you decide to become an engineer?

Initially, I decided to become an engineer because of the wide range of job opportunities associated with this type of work. I wanted to pursue a profession where I could make a difference in the environment and community that I live in.

What has been your favorite project, and why?

I worked on a water transmission main project for Nashville Metro Water Services called Cumberland City Low Water Transmission Main. The experience was very beneficial to both my project management and design experience. The new transmission main was an important addition to the Metro Water Services distribution system. At the end of construction, the client was very happy with the work completed.

What is the most inspiring thing you’ve learned in your career?

To not get discouraged if a task is difficult. Keep working at it and learn from the experience. As you grow in your career, you’ll take the lessons learned and become more efficient the next time. Soon, you’ll be teaching a younger engineer going through the same experience that you went through for the first time.

Akeem Turner, P.E.
Project Engineer
Nashville, TN

 

 

 

What made you decide to become an engineer?

I was a big fan of science and technology when I was a kid. My ideal career would have been an astronomer. However, I decided it was more realistic to be an engineer.

What has been your favorite project, and why?

My favorite project is a bridge over I-285 that I designed. The bridge consists of prestressed concrete beams, curved continuous steel plates and girder spans.

Jin Liu, P.E.
Senior Engineer – Transportation
Alpharetta, GA

 

 

 

What made you decide to become an engineer?

I’ve always loved math, science and problem-solving. Through wonderful guidance by my high school counselor, I learned about opportunities to become an engineer and haven’t looked back. The constant problem-solving and community involvement has kept me engaged and enjoying my job.

What has been your favorite project, and why?

My favorite projects have also been my most challenging. My design-build projects, I-MOVE KY and Graves Road, allowed me to work across our other markets at Gresham Smith and build relationships with experts in our Water + Environment, Industrial and Land Planning groups. These projects have also provided insights into the contractor’s perspective and helped me grow beyond just the design-bid-build approach.

What is the most inspiring thing you’ve learned in your career?

What I’ve found most inspiring in my career, so far, is seeing diversity grow in our industry. Having different perspectives helps enrich not only our projects, but also the teams we work with, which makes us better at our jobs.

Nikki Boden, P.E.
Senior Transportation Engineer
Lexington, KY

 

 

 

What made you decide to become an engineer?

I had a mentor who inspired me to pursue engineering as a career. I believe mentorship is a fundamental key to success. Forming trusted relationships with individuals who are goal-driven has motivated and inspired me to aspire to accomplish great things.

Jessica Jombai, E.I.
Transportation Engineer Intern
Tampa, FL

 

 

 

What has been your favorite project, and why?

The TDOT I-40 SmartWay Cumberland Plateau project. The project is located along a rugged stretch of I-40, so we had to look at unconventional design approaches to come up with solutions, some of which involved drones! Working on this project taught me how to think outside of the box, which has helped me on other projects I’ve worked on since then.

Namri Vera, E.I.
Transportation Engineer Intern
Nashville, TN

 

 

 

What is the most inspiring thing you’ve learned in your career?

I have learned that perseverance and patience are key. Sometimes, you will run into roadblocks or challenges, but if you keep pushing forward and take the time to learn from the experience, you will be a better engineer.

Morgan Byers
Electrical Engineering Technician
Nashville, TN