Founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) in 1951, National Engineers Week was created to increase an interest and understanding of engineering and technology careers.
In honor of National Engineers Week, we’re showcasing a few of our most outstanding engineers from across the country. Our engineers are not only problem solvers, but innovators and community shapers. From being on the cutting edge of new technology to making the impossible, possible – we are proud to be the home to so many engineers who seek to make an impact on the world we live in by Building What Matters.
What is something interesting about being an engineer that people might not know? As a construction engineer, a large portion of my time entails interacting with the tradesmen and tradeswomen. So, in addition to working with calculations and drawings, my time is spent communicating with the various foremen and superintendents in the field and planning the construction activities with them.
What are you most proud of being an engineer? I am most proud to have been a member of a team that has successfully constructed the World Trade Center Transportation Hub. This project was extremely challenging in many ways and could not have been built without a tremendous amount of innovation and hard work by the many people involved in its construction. I am proud to have played a role in the construction of this iconic structure.
What made you want to be an engineer? When I was young, I decided I wanted to build things that impacted a community in a very real and tangible way. I really liked the idea of figuring out how a building or a project comes together and helping make that process go as smooth and efficiently as possible.As I have gotten older and joined the construction industry and gained more experience on a few large heavy civil projects, my attraction to this kind of work has only increased.
What is something interesting about being an engineer people may not know? It’s a job that requires knowledge and experience in both design and construction. In urban projects, engineers need to be able to communicate complex construction issues clearly to stakeholders and communities. I regularly liaise with LA building officials, LA fire chiefs, LAPD staff and Metro officials presenting our work plans and explaining the approach. It’s really important to keep all the stakeholders involved and get their buy-in on complex urban projects.
What are you most proud of being an engineer? Being part of a team building key transport infrastructure in the city where I live is very rewarding and I get a large amount of satisfaction telling people “we built that” when they tell me they rode the Expo line to Santa Monica. It has been an exciting and challenging career that has stretched me as I get opportunities to work on very complicated projects.
What made you want to be an engineer? My dad (an ironworker by trade) convinced me that I would make a lot of money and have a nice car. When I started studying engineering, I did not know any other female engineers at the time so it was a leap of faith, but I thought it would be a unique career choice.
What is something interesting about being an engineer people may not know? Engineers often ask a lot of questions – not because we don’t know the answer, but because we want to find a different, creative solution.
What are you most proud of being an engineer? I’m proud that people can come to me with questions and advice and fully value my response.
What made you want to be an engineer? I chose to be a field engineer because I wanted the opportunity to be exposed to the different data and problems that we solve on our projects.
What are some of the most notable projects you have worked on? The Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Project, originally built in 1908, is also known as the “Salt and Pepper Shaker Bridge” due to its iconic towers at mid-span. It has been one of the most challenging and unique projects I have ever worked on. This multi-modal bridge spans across the Charles River connecting Boston and Cambridge for the MBTA Red Line, motor vehicles, bikes, and pedestrians. Our team has been tasked with reconstructing the bridge to provide upgraded structural capacity while maintaining and restoring its historic nature.
What is something interesting about being an engineer that people may not know? My favorite part about being an engineer is the opportunity to innovate. Working as an engineer in the heavy civil construction industry gives me the unique opportunity to bridge the gap between design and construction. With an engineering background and knowledge of constructability, cost, and schedule, I always look to provide value engineering to the project. Our goal as engineers is to optimize the design to provide the owner with the best solution.
What made you want to be an engineer and what are you most proud of being an engineer? I have always had a passion for building and creating. Since I was very young, I have always been intrigued by the process in which things are constructed. The two most rewarding things about being an engineer for me is working with great teams and a job well done. One thing I have learned is great teams make great projects. There is nothing more satisfying then working with a group of people driven to achieve a common goal.
Marietta Alcover Ramos
What is something interesting about being an engineer people may not know? Being an engineer in construction is pretty amazing. I don’t think people realize how big of a team effort it really is. Every time we’re faced with a challenge, as an engineer, you help to design a solution and it’s not possible to have a positive outcome without the input and support of the other team members such as the superintendent, the laborers, and the designer. Sometimes you can solve a problem on paper, but when you go implement it in the field, it’s not feasible. That’s when the knowledge and the experiences of the people who are actually in the field are most valuable.
What are you most proud of being an engineer? Being part of the team that reconstructed the World Trade Center, a New York and global icon, while playing a role in the rebirth of lower Manhattan. The world will always remember the tragic events of 9/11, but at the same time being involved in building a brighter future for the city was priceless.
What made you want to be an engineer? When I applied to college, I actually applied for the pre-med program. It wasn’t until the summer before I went to college that I changed my mind. It was a combination of my interest in physics and my conversations with my high school teacher Ms. Gwendolyn that helped me make that decision. During one of my co-ops, I worked for a plumbing/fire protection/HVAC subcontractor, and that’s when I fell in love with construction. It confirmed for me that I made the right decision.
What is something interesting about being an engineer that people may not know? Being an engineer in the field of construction provides some amazing opportunities to have hands on experience. To me, spending time out of the office and in the field to understand exactly how something is constructed really lets me learn the details of constructability and helps advance my knowledge on the subject vastly.
What are you most proud of being an engineer? I’m currently working on the LaGuardia Airport CTB Replacement Project and knowing that this historical project is making national news is pretty awesome. Contributing to work that will stand and serve as an international hub for people every day is something I can take a lot of pride in.
What made you want to be an engineer? I always had an interest in problem solving, whether it was a math problem I had in school or how to fix a bike chain that fell off its gears, I was always fascinated on how things worked. After some researching in high school of what I really wanted to do with my life, I found the perfect answer that balances my passion and ever adapting work environment.
What is something interesting about being an engineer that people may not know? I’m in a field that has existed for centuries, yet it is also constantly growing and developing. Being an engineer in the 21st century offers me the opportunity to be on the cutting edge of technology and new ideas that didn’t exist until recently. I have the opportunity to learn from people who have been in the field for several decades and, at the same time, pave the way for those who are coming into the industry behind me with their own innovation and fresh ideas.
What are you most proud of being an engineer? Because I am in preconstruction, I have the opportunity to touch most of the projects that come through our office. This offers me a level of exposure and experience that I otherwise would not have. In the short time since I’ve been full time at Skanska, I have developed a stronger understanding of all facets of the construction management industry and that is something I am proud of.
What made you want to be an engineer? In high school, I enrolled in a drafting/architecture class because of my interest in math. When deciding my major, I found myself drawn to construction management. I enjoy the social side as well as the technical side, and I have found there is a combination of both in estimating engineering.
What is something interesting about being an engineer that people may not know? Most people consider engineering to be formulaic and predictable, but I have actually found it to be a profession that allows for significant creativity. Our team is always looking for innovative solutions to address challenges, mitigate risk and enhance efficiency.
What are you most proud of being an engineer? I was able to implement laser scanning technology to capture steel plate geometry for fabrication of replacement steel on the Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Project. Over the course of the project, more than 2,600 base plates required replacement. Initially, teams tied off, climbed the arches, collected hand measurements and recorded the data in AutoCAD to generate shop drawings for the base plates. This approach was time-consuming, increased safety risks and allowed for human error. Realizing this issue early on, our team utilized a 3D handheld laser scanner to improve the speed and accuracy of steel fabrication. Using the scanner allowed us to collect the data 10 times faster and generate shop drawings that were accurate to within a sixteenth of an inch. Our team used a long-range pole to scan the arches from the platform below, making the process much safer than the manual approach.
What made you want to be an engineer? I have always loved the challenge of problem solving, but I was drawn to engineering because of the tangible solutions and the means to positively impact the community.
What is something interesting about being an engineer that people may not know? The most interesting thing to me is that being an engineer in the construction industry is as much a ‘people business’ as it is exercising your technical skills. You meet people from all walks of life and can learn so much from building relationships with those around you.
What are you most proud of being an engineer? I think Skanska says it best – I am proud to ‘Build What Matters’. Being involved with healthcare projects, I am very proud to build facilities that help entire communities, both from a perspective of the people who visit the hospital, and the people that are employed by the hospitals.
What made you want to be an engineer? From a young age, I have never been able to look at something and not wonder – What is it made out of? What are the pieces and parts? How does it get put together? I think it’s just my natural persona to want to dive deeper into things beyond surface level.
What are you most proud of being an engineer? I am proud to be a project engineer because I am part of a team that can deliver successful projects to our most valued customers.
What made you want to be an engineer? My dad was my inspiration for becoming an engineer. I always liked to build things when I was a kid.
What are some of the most notable projects you have worked on? The Park Towne Place Renovation, which is a 19-story renovation of 234 apartments as well as renovations to the lobby, pool, community center, and parking garage. It was a highly logistical project that really opened my eyes to just how many aspects of the project there are to manage besides the civil and structural engineering that I learned in college. It wasn’t the grandest or most innovative of projects, but it was notable for me because I learned so much from it.
What is something interesting about being an engineer that people may not know? People may not know how people-oriented this career is. I learned the technical skills in college, but that is nothing compared to the persuasion, negotiation, leadership, and teamwork needed in order to be successful as an engineer.
What are you most proud of being an engineer? I try to take pride in the little things throughout the course of construction. For example, the crane pick that went successfully due to proper planning, the milestone date that was met, the minimal punch list reflecting quality work, and so forth. In doing so, I remember that even the seemingly small tasks play a part in making the project successful.
What made you want to be an engineer? I wanted a career where I could watch my hard work physically create something that is making a positive impact on lives.