Engineers Week 2022: Celebrating our Professional Engineers

February 21, 2022

Founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers, Engineers Week was first celebrated in 1956. Now, the event is commemorated worldwide with a united goal of recognizing how engineers make a difference in our world, developing the public’s understanding of the profession, and building interest in engineering for children, parents, educators, and more. This year, we decided to take a moment to recognize several of our engineers and allow them to share their stories and what being an engineer means to them.


 

Nadeen Agag
Staff Consultant, Civil Engineering

 

Growing up in the United Arab Emirates with a father who is an architect, I was taught from a young age to look at structures from a different perspective and understand the extensive thought and process behind designing each one of them. I always wanted to be a part of that process and have a positive impact on people’s lives one day.

I moved to Syria in 2011 where I started studying environmental engineering, and in 2015, — with one year left until my graduation — my family and I had to leave Syria due to the war. We moved to Lebanon, and I was left with no choice but to start my undergraduate studies all over again. Knowing what I truly love and enjoy, I decided to study civil engineering. I met my husband who lives in Pittsburgh in 2016, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Balamand in Lebanon in 2018, and moved to Pittsburgh in 2019.

Delays with my work permit amongst other things caused by the pandemic made me question the future of my career many times, but I did not give up on my dream of doing what I love. I started at CEC in 2022, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to learn from the best and grow my career. I’m extremely excited to finally be doing what I love at CEC.

Swastik Bhandari

 

Swastik Bhandari
Project Consultant, Civil Engineering

 

For me, an engineer is the one who brings ideas into reality and develops solutions to challenging technical problems.

I received my undergraduate degree in civil engineering from Tribhuvan University in Nepal in 2013. After graduation, I worked as a civil engineer in a hydropower project where I assisted in supervising the construction of a 2.7 mile-long tunnel. I learned a lot about the hydraulic and geotechnical aspects of tunneling work. Later, I worked as a government engineer in various bridge and road construction projects. 

I came to the United States in 2016 for my master’s degree in water resources engineering. I graduated from Southern Illinois University in 2018. I joined CEC in December 2018 and got the opportunity to work as a consultant.

I gained a lot of knowledge and skills in hydrologic/hydraulic modeling by working on several bridge, roadway, and site projects at CEC. Some big projects such as the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Border Wall Project helped to broaden my technical knowledge in engineering. I passed the Professional Engineer exam in January 2021 and expect to get a West Virginia license by the end of this month. I look forward to working with challenging projects and growing as a successful engineer in the coming days.

 

Steven Gioiosa
Vice President, Civil Engineering

 

After 40+ years as a civil engineer, I think the most rewarding aspect of my career is to be able to look around and see the work we do leave a mark on the world. Driving around Massachusetts, I see countless projects that I have worked on from my early days as a surveyor to the current period where I work on large-scale commercial or renewable energy projects.

From simple projects dealing with residential house development to large-scale solar installations, our profession allows us to work on a wide range of challenging design projects. Moving from concept planning through design, permitting, and construction, it is rewarding to see the end product that will benefit the client and the community.

My background as an engineer began with obtaining a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering followed by a master’s degree. I worked as a surveyor, junior engineer, and eventually project manager for a firm for 12 years before partnering with three associates to start my own firm. After 31 years of running a consulting firm, we merged with CEC to further expand opportunities for our staff.

After being in the consulting business for 10 years, I was approached by one of my former undergraduate professors to see if I would be interested in teaching the capstone senior design project at my alma mater, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. I took the part-time position, and for 20 years it was very rewarding to work with the next generation of civil engineers while returning to the university where my career got its start. Again, it is rewarding to see some of my former students today in the consulting world, making their mark on society.

 

Matt Gramza
Principal, Water Resources

 

We are in unprecedented times to be a civil engineer with the largest infrastructure rehabilitation needs and finally funding to help bridge the gap in the field of public safety. I take pride in being in a lifelong learning profession and am excited to see what the future of engineering technology brings.

One of my favorite memories of my career revolves around my leadership in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Engineers Week. Our local board organized Engineers Week activities at local elementary schools including several STEM activities topped off with a popsicle stick bridge building competition. We provided the supplies a few weeks ahead of time to allow the students to partner up and plan out their bridge design on paper and then build it. We were amazed at the creativity and craftsmanship of the bridge plans and constructed bridge entries, and it made for a very tough judging and award selection process. Our engineering future is in good hands!

 

Zach Imbus
Assistant Project Manager, Civil Engineering

 

While in college, I got my first engineering experience as an intern at Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. in Cincinnati. I graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering in 2016 and then returned home to Cincinnati to begin my full-time career at CEC. Over my six-year career at CEC, I have primarily functioned as a civil/site designer utilizing AutoCAD. Because CEC offers consulting services across a wide range of markets, I have been fortunate to work on a variety of projects and have gained experience in residential, commercial, and industrial developments, as well as education and athletic facilities. My engineering experience includes site layout, utility design, site grading, earthwork analysis, stormwater management, hydrology studies, permitting, construction document preparation, bid administration, construction cost estimates, and specification writing.

In addition to engineering, I also became involved with Construction Quality Assurance as a certified concrete testing technician early in my career. I continued my education while working at CEC, obtained a Land Surveying Certificate from Cincinnati State, and became a licensed Surveyor-in-Training (SIT) in Ohio. I recently passed my Professional Engineer (P.E.) exam and am now a licensed P.E. in Ohio. It is an exciting time in my career, as I hope to transition into being a Project Manager and become involved with business development.

I’m proud to be an engineer. It requires being a constant problem solver and facing new challenges every day; however, solving these problems brings great pride and enjoyment. As an engineer, I know I have a responsibility to do my best for the public and improve our communities. It means a lot to me to see progress made through the work I do and to know I made a difference.

 

Abby Martin
Project Manager I, Civil Engineering

 

Being an engineer in civil engineering means I get to shape the city I live in. There are apartments, commercial buildings, industrial warehouses, high-rises, and a hospital that I have helped make happen, and it’s exciting to be a part of that, especially in a city growing as much as Austin, Texas. Changing the skyline of my city is a thrilling experience.

I started my career with CEC-acquired KBGE as their Administrative Assistant. They were a pretty new company, and everyone was really busy, so I started helping by filling out permitting applications and processing corrections. During my first year, I learned a lot about City of Austin processes, permitting, and engineering. Eventually, I was getting busy enough as a permit expediter/project coordinator that they hired an additional person to take over the administrative duties. During this time I had started going back to college and decided to pursue a degree in geography water resources from Texas State University while continuing to work full time. It was challenging but also really cool to learn something in school and immediately be able to apply it to a project I was working on. Since I have a different type of degree than most of my peers, I feel like I can bring a different perspective to the table; especially in challenges with drainage, water quality, and critical environmental features. After I graduated, I was able to give full attention to growing in my career by taking on more project management responsibilities, working with clients, and teaching new staff members.

 

Andrew Newberry-Davis
Project Consultant, Civil Engineering

 

To me, engineering means that every day there will be a problem to solve. That’s something I look forward to because it really forces me to think creatively about a realistic solution. I honestly can’t remember the last time we had a “simple” site, and the challenges and complications that go along with each site are really what excites me as an engineer.

My journey certainly had its twists and turns. I was always good at math in school, and I actually wanted to be an architect. Oddly enough, I remember having a conversation with my cousin about what I wanted to do when I grew up. He told me to download the trial version of AutoCAD and look into civil engineering. Being an overconfident 14-year-old who thought he knew everything, I just brushed it off. But once I found out what an architect actually does, I realized it wasn’t for me. I picked civil engineering as my major in college and never looked back.

My last year in college went about as good as I could have asked for. I was enjoying my classes, and I had accepted an offer shortly before graduation from a well-known firm in the Oklahoma City area. They did a lot of Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) work, and that was the department they were going to put me in. Unfortunately, ODOT received substantial cuts that year, and as a result, my offer was pulled. This put me in a really rough spot since most companies had already hired new graduates. I was driving all over Oklahoma and Texas for interviews on a weekly basis at a minimum while classes were still in session. I was lucky enough to get an interview with CEC’s Oklahoma City office, and I’ve been here ever since.

The first time I saw the completed construction of a major site feature I designed was huge for me. I primarily work with stormwater drainage, and most of that is underground, so you don’t always get to see it when it’s actually built. However, we had a project that included a large detention pond and an associated outlet structure. It was the largest outlet structure I had ever designed, around 10 feet tall and 20 feet wide. I’ve found that the scale of a project and each design element can be lost at times, and seeing it really puts things into perspective.

 

Jonathan Pasyk
Project Manager I, Civil Engineering

 

Being a civil engineer allows me to have a part in shaping the community around me. With the land development projects that we work on, it is very rewarding to see the concepts of peoples’ subdivisions, schools, healthcare facilities, offices, hotels, and retail & restaurants become realities as a result of our work.

As a kid, I always wanted to build things. Before LEGOs and other toys of the ‘90s & early 2000s, I would take computer paper and Scotch tape to construct castles, buildings, or bridges. My family was often concerned with how strange it was! I was fascinated at a young age by the skyscrapers of Chicago and how such a large metropolis could be built. Throughout school, I found that civil engineering was my avenue to build communities.

I recently became a licensed Professional Engineer in Indiana, which is an important milestone available after four years of work experience. I have pride in being licensed in the state where I’ve grown up and lived my whole life. The accreditation has motivated me to help younger colleagues and given me the confidence to be a resource for project challenges. I’ve learned that no one has all the answers to every challenge they come across, but with diligent efforts, teamwork, communication, and a good spirit, any problem can eventually be solved.

 

Thom Rosborough
Project Consultant, Civil Engineering

 

I was raised on a local beef farm in Canada, which allowed me to develop a strong work ethic and a substantial appreciation for trust, initiative, and self-motivation. In 2013, I decided to pursue the field of engineering and chose to attend St. Lawrence College. In 2016, I graduated with an advanced diploma in civil engineering technologies. I chose this school specifically for its applied and hands-on learning approach to engineering including surveying, AutoCAD design, and advanced lab testing facilities. I chose to continue my learning and began my bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Queen’s University. In 2019, I completed this four-year program, rated one of the best in Canada. I took additional courses at Smith’s School of Business to expand my business knowledge, with plans to complete my MBA in the future.

Throughout my educational journey, I gained invaluable experience through a variety of jobs. Growing up on a farm, I was fascinated with heavy equipment and tools and saw an opportunity to grow as an engineer long before I became one. I started working in construction in 2012 at a truss manufacturing facility and construction supply warehouse where I would work alongside contractors and gain practical experience with how structures were built from the foundation up. In 2018, I worked for a construction company completing a variety of work on heavy civil roadway construction. Working as a gradesman and a skilled laborer, I operated heavy equipment and expanded my knowledge of the construction industry. After graduating, I decided to move to Boston to pursue my dream as an engineer, where I started working in consulting at CEC. I have learned a vast amount over the last three years with CEC working amongst different sectors of the civil engineering practice throughout residential, commercial, and mixed-use development projects.

I love everything outdoors, especially hiking mountains and backpacking. The one rule I follow is to always leave things as good, if not better, than how you found them. I take the same approach within the field of engineering. I aspire to create a better world for generations to come, and I take pride in the work I complete daily, hoping that I can make a difference. I see engineering as a discipline that allows me to have a direct influence and impact on the developing infrastructure around us. I want to walk around 50 years from now and be proud of the work I have accomplished, helping as many people as I can along the way.

About the Author


CEC Staff

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. (CEC) provides comprehensive market-oriented consulting services to advance client strategic business objectives. CEC is recognized for delivering innovative design solutions and integrated expertise in air quality, civil engineering, ecological sciences, environmental engineering and sciences, manufacturing infrastructure services, survey/geospatial, waste management, and water resources.

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