Discussion Thread

  • 1.  ASCE Plot Points Season 3 Member Memos Request: Impression of CE in high school

    Posted 01-08-2020 12:46 PM

    Plot Points is a podcast by ASCE that tells the robust story of civil engineering one episode at a time. The podcast is in Season 3 and is looking for answers for their first Member Memo question of the season: "What were your impressions of civil engineering when you were in high school?"


    If interested in a chance to be featured on future episode of the podcast, record your answer as a voice memo on your phone (60 seconds or so) and email it to  ascenews (at ) asce.org with "Member Memo" in the subject line! I submitted an answer to one of the featured questions during Season 1 so feel free to respond here or message me with any questions about the process.


    If not interested in recording a voice memo for the podcast, I would love to hear about your experiences in this thread! As the current K-12 Outreach Co-chair for my local Philadelphia YMF section, I love to hear about others impression of Civil Engineers back when they in grades K-12 and how they have changed since you entered the profession.  Also, here is the link to the first episode in which this Member Memo question was asked: https://news.asce.org/asce-plot-points-season-3-episode-1-bring-your-dog-to-work-day/




    Danielle Schroeder EIT, A.M.ASCE
    Associate Engineer
    Pennoni Associates
    Philadelphia PA

  • 2.  RE: ASCE Plot Points Season 3 Member Memos Request: Impression of CE in high school

    Posted 01-11-2020 07:38 AM
    Hi Danielle,

    I find this thread highly resonates with my trying to look for the causations that I had decided to study in civil engineering. 

    On the summer break in my third year at high school, I got a temporary job in a security service company which was providing a service to Toyota (China), which owns and operates a large-size manufacturing base. The facilities in the base included structural steel plant, office building, plant infrastructure, etc. Although I worked in there for just about one month, I developed a strong curiosity about how structures, concrete building or steel plant, are designed, constructed and how they function. This short period of exposure to the built environment, to some extent, led me choose to study Cost Engineering at college. 


    James Wang, M.ASCE
    Senior Cost Estimator
    Turner & Townsend
    Shenzhen, China

  • 3.  RE: ASCE Plot Points Season 3 Member Memos Request: Impression of CE in high school

    Posted 01-13-2020 10:40 AM

    I love the question, but I also love working with students. 

    I ended up in civil engineering after my HS guidance counselor MADE me visit a local firm.  The firm president was a friend of the counselor, but was pressuring him to send students his way.  After one visit, I knew it was the right fit...who knew you could play with dirt for a living.  The largest thing that has changed is my perspective of interactions with others.  I honestly went into engineering because I thought I could sit behind a desk or be out in the field all day and NEVER have to deal with people. As I've grown, I'm glad this is not the case. Just as an athletic doesn't start by running a 4-5 minute mile, an engineer doesn't start by speaking at press conferences or to decision making boards.  My advise - civil engineering is so diverse, don't let fear of public interaction keep you from entering the field. 

    As far as scope of work, I don't think my perspective has changed much because I've stayed close to the area where I grew up.  After college I went to work for the firm I visited in HS, so the kind of work was similar to what I expected.

    Best of luck on your podcasts.

    Melanie Carlson, PE, LEED AP
    City Engineer - City of Fairfield
    Fairfield, Iowa