Civil Engineer – Career Connections – CET

♪ My name is Justin Siegrist. I’m a civil engineer with
a company called Wade Trim. I’m part of the water resources
market segment, and I typically work
on projects that consist of water,
wastewater, and storm water management. Being in H&H specialization means that I typically provide
technical engineering and analysis for the hydrologic
and hydraulic aspects of those projects
that I work on. As it relates
to my H&H specialization, means I typically work
on developing model representations
of sewer and river systems. By developing these models
of these systems, we can identify
problematic areas that aren’t working
as intended and then develop solutions
for those problems. We can also model
those solutions and predict how well
those designs will work and alleviate those problems. For model calibration,
what we have here is a representation
of a sewer system. We’ll put in the pipes that are out in
the physical world as well as “subcatchments,” and these represent
the land surface out there. Typically, when I start working
on a new project, I begin with reading the scope
of work for that project. The scope of work provides me
with an understanding of what the project is
and the work we plan to do. Being a civil engineer,
not just an H&H engineer, gives me the background
to be able to work with civil engineers
of many different disciplines. For example, I’ll also work
with transportation engineers or structural engineers
or geotechnical engineers. I grew up on a farm and worked
construction in the summers. So the idea of being able
to work outside part-time was initially
really appealing to me. So I went into
civil engineering, and as I got into my studies, I realized there was more
to civil engineering, and hydrology and hydraulics
really piqued my interest. So, that sort of started changing what I was
interested in, and then one summer,
I had an internship with an engineering
consulting firm, and that was when I knew that
I found what I wanted to do. My education and my skill set
helps me in my job daily because, as is true
with any profession, you have to be self-motivated,
organized, and be able to manage
your time well. My degree provided me
with a basic understanding, a solid understanding
of the fundamentals of the engineering concepts
that I apply every single day. Another benefit
to my engineering degree is what I call
“brain training,” in that it taught me
to think abstractly and taught me
how to solve problems, and that’s what
any engineering degree is about, is teaching you
how to solve problems. I also, as part
of my continuing education, receive a lot
of formal training. I get to attend workshops to learn about
new engineering concepts as well as new modeling
and design software. It’s exciting
to attend these workshops because I’m learning
about software that’s on the cutting edge
of my profession. For someone who is interested in pursuing a career
in civil engineering, in high school, you should definitely take
some calculus and physics, as that’s going to help you out
a lot in college, as well as writing courses, because that will help you
in college and in your career. A civil engineer
does a lot of writing. What I like most about my job is the variety of projects
that I work on, and it’s always
in a different city. I’ve worked on projects
in not only Cincinnati, but Detroit, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Pittsburgh,
and St. Louis, to name a few. I also get to coordinate work
with subconsultants and conduct
field investigations. The same thing that I enjoy
the most about my job also provides
the most challenges. Working on several different
projects in different cities requires you to figure out a way
to meet those deadlines. Also, you have
to manage expectations for the people
you’re working with and the people
you’re working for. What I hope to achieve
through my work is to be able say that
I helped improve the community and its
surrounding environment. That could be
something as simple as replacing a leaky sewer or designing
and helping to construct a large underground
storage tunnel. Anywhere along that spectrum
is fine with me, just so long as I know that I’ve taken advantage
of every opportunity possible to get as far along
on that spectrum as I could. And I want to inspire
younger engineers to do the same
so that they can achieve the same fulfillment
in their careers that I’ve had in mine so far. Funding to purchase and make
this educational production accessible was provided by the
U.S. Department of Education. PH:1-800-USA-LEARN (V)
or WEB: ♪

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