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Who inspired you to pursue civil engineering?

  • 1.  Who inspired you to pursue civil engineering?

    Posted 06-14-2018 02:09 PM

    We want to take the time to appreciate all our civil engineering dads this Father's Day weekend. Fathers often mold and build us throughout our lives. For some ASCE members their fathers were instrumental in exposing them to civil engineering. Read their stories.

    We would like to use this space to honor role models in the profession. Who has inspired you throughout your career?



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    Tirza Austin Aff.M.ASCE
    Collaborate Coordinator
    ASCE
    Reston VA
    (703)791-2794 EXT 1
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  • 2.  RE: Who inspired you to pursue civil engineering?

    Posted 06-15-2018 10:03 AM
    My Father.  He is a retired civil engineer and public servant.  All three daughters followed in his civil engineering footsteps, with our own spin.  With his support and encouragement I enjoyed a 25 year career as a public servant as well.

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    Nancy Albright P.E., M.ASCE
    Lexington KY
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  • 3.  RE: Who inspired you to pursue civil engineering?

    Posted 06-16-2018 10:42 PM

    In my case neither of my parents completed high school. Dad never went, mother had to quit sophomore year to provide for her brother and sister.  Neither of my siblings went to college either. I actually have more years of formal education than both my parents put together. My parents knew little about "college" or "Engineering."  I can recall walking out of the Registrar's office at UMR (now Missouri S&T) after talking about what I would be able transfer from my previous military college experience (a long story much about my hearing loss) to a BSCE degree. Dad had driven down with me to keep me company. Walking out of the office Dad questioned me, "Boy, what is a major?" "Boy, what is a prerequisite?"

    My parents where likely the most "skilled" people I ever knew firsthand, true craftsmen. They were certainly the hardest working. Mother was a seamstress who made my sister's wedding dress. Dad was a lithographer (printer). Dad said his Apprenticeship was seven years. He would often work arithmetic on the side of the newspaper as he read. Big things with lots of long division, fractions, gallons and pints. He said he did it to keep his mind sharp so he could "mix" the inks and colors and get the right quantities, waste was bad.  he would go by the hardware store to look at the paint swathes, said he was learning his "color wheel."

    I never knew people who were as willing to learn and try and do new things as Mom and Dad. Everything from trying to keep the car running, to making the finest gourmet dinner to removing and pouring the concrete driveway. Dad always said, "Learn a skill, get an education, no one can take that away from you!" Both valued work and thought everyone had an obligation to contribute.

    So I cannot say my parent's led me to Engineering. I can say they encouraged me to learn as much as I could and try and be useful. A little money support, when they really didn't have much and came from less, lots of encouragement , lots of respect for learning and the occasional kick in the tail. I hope I can give my boys half that.

    Sorry for the long post, missing Dad this weekend.



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    Michael Buechter P.E., D.WRE, M.ASCE
    Program Manager
    Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District
    Webster Grvs MO
    (314) 968-9723
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  • 4.  RE: Who inspired you to pursue civil engineering?

    Posted 06-18-2018 10:15 AM

    My Uncle Ray Hoffman.  Ray was an engineering graduate of Bradley University and VP of a general construction contractor in Peoria, IL.  When I was boy growing up, he would take me and his son (my cousin) to view the construction of I-74 through downtown Peoria.  I was fascinated by the dozers and scrapers moving earth for the I-74 construction.  Those experiences stimulated in me a desire to "build roads and bridges."  With Ray's encouragement, that desire was later refined into a desire to design roads and bridges and become a civil engineer.  I still remember him cheering me up when I was taking Calculus II in college by informing me that calculus was not used on a daily basis in the civil-works construction business.  :-)  Uncle Ray was a man of courage, strength, and integrity; a true professional.  I am indebted to him for helping launch my career in civil engineering.

     

    Warren A. Knoles, PE

    Sr. Consultant & Principal Value Management Associate

    Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, Inc., Engineers & Consultants

    Springfield, Illinois






  • 5.  RE: Who inspired you to pursue civil engineering?

    Posted 06-15-2018 01:58 PM
    My father was my primary role model for the engineering field.  He was a PhD civil engineer (structures), and I was always impressed by how he could teach (US and international) and design / build.  He designed and performed construction management on the junior high school that I attended.  It wasn't until years later that I learned that the foundation design was the first for that application.  He was well regarded in his field, but to me, he was Dad - and the poster guy for what an engineer should be.

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    Nancy Kralik P.E., ENV SP, LEED AP, F.ASCE
    Sr. Director, HSE and Sustainability
    Houston TX
    (832) 593-9135
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  • 6.  RE: Who inspired you to pursue civil engineering?

    Posted 06-18-2018 10:17 AM
    ​That's a great question. You know in my case it was both my parents. Ever since I was a boy Math and Science came naturally to me. They were always my best subjects in school. I also had a knack for building mammoth structures out of Lego. My parents were schools teachers and worked in a public position for the City of New York. My parents new what my strengths were and that I liked to build things so they are the ones who first put civil engineering in my mind and spired me to pursue the field.

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    William Marin P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer
    MTA NYC Transit
    Brooklyn NY
    (718) 694-1376
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  • 7.  RE: Who inspired you to pursue civil engineering?

    Posted 06-18-2018 11:51 AM
    I was inspired by my nephew who was a great Civil Engineer and Architect. I followed his innovative works in Civil Engineering and I decided to study Civil Engineering. I have been an "A" student in Mathematics and Physics from Secondary school to University level. My motivation for Civil Engineering has inspired other youths to become a Civil Engineer.

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    Adam Salifu Kamara
    Cosenza, Italy
    Civil Engineer
    Infrastructure Implementation Unit
    Rende, Cosenza
    +393923973982
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  • 8.  RE: Who inspired you to pursue civil engineering?

    Posted 06-26-2018 02:59 PM
    My brother who is a Mechanical Engineer inspired me to be a Civil Engineer. When I started my Undergrad study, I found that the structural analysis and concrete and steel design courses are the ones that I like; therefore, I chose to be a structural engineer.

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    Abdalkader Alsabawy S.M.ASCE
    Student
    Lawrence KS
    (785)312-2052
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  • 9.  RE: Who inspired you to pursue civil engineering?

    Posted 01-13-2019 09:34 AM
    For those women and men who wish to look beyond themselves and seek a higher level perspective as a Civil Engineer,
    I offer the recent obituary posted below.

    A Romanian civil engineer, Eugeniu Iordachescu,  who helped save some of Bucharest's most emblematic churches from destruction in the 1980's by literally rolling them to safety, died on Jan. 4 at his home in Bucharest. He was 89.
    "I was in the area that was to be knocked down, and I saw a beautiful small church and started wondering how it was possible to demolish such a jewel," he told The Guardian in 2016.
    His breakthrough came when he saw a waiter carrying a tray of drinks. "I saw that the secret of the glasses not falling was the tray," he said, "so I started trying to work out how to apply a tray to the building."
    Mr. Lordachescu came up with the idea of digging under the buildings and putting a reinforced concrete support beneath them; the structures could then be placed on tracks. After that, engineers would sever the foundations and use hydraulic levers and mechanical pulleys to move the buildings to their new locations. Foundations would be put in place at the other end to support the relocated structures.

    Source: Eugeniu Iordachescu, Who Saved Bucharest's Churches, Dies at 89
    Nytimes remove preview
    Eugeniu Iordachescu, Who Saved Bucharest's Churches, Dies at 89
    BUCHAREST, Romania - Eugeniu Iordachescu, a Romanian civil engineer who helped save some of Bucharest's most emblematic churches from destruction in the 1980s by literally rolling them to safety, died on Jan. 4 at his home in Bucharest. He was 89. The cause was a heart attack, his son Nicholas said.
    View this on Nytimes >



     Some would say "Why?"

     Civil Engineer Mr. Lordachescu said "Why not?"



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    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
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