It’s National Engineers Week

What do our engineers do?

So glad you asked!

Civil engineers design, build and supervise infrastructure projects and systems. There is a broad range of sub-disciplines, all using physical and scientific principles to solve problems.

Do you like our bridges? Our #BridgeEngineers design and preserve Oregon’s bridges and measure their seismic vulnerabilities.

We have engineers in our traffic and roadway section that study sign and signal design and their best use and placement.

We have #IlluminationEngineers responsible for designing, installing and maintaining roadway lighting on the state highway system.

 Our #GeotechnicalEngineers look for effective ways to use earth and rock materials in construction.

We have #HydraulicEngineers#CulvertEngineers, and pavement marking engineers.

Then there are #AccessibilityEngineers and others who manage traffic flow with roundabouts.

This is just the tip of the list!

This week, we’re featuring a few of our engineers and sharing their stories. Here are two. Find more on our LinkedIn page or our Instagram stories.

Ray Bottenberg

We asked Ray Bottenberg, an assistant state bridge engineer what got him interested in engineering as a career. “A healthy interest in mechanical things and structures along with some career guidance showed me how I could pursue those interests with a career in engineering.

“The most fulfilling part of my career as an engineer at ODOT is applying technology to help preserve our great coastal bridges.

“If I were to give advice to a future engineer, I would say to learn your theoretical skills well, get your hands dirty and build some things, be open to learning and doing things you didn’t expect, and practice writing and public speaking every chance you get.”

Jill DeKoekkoek

We talked to Senior Region Engineering Geologist Jill DeKoekkoek about her favorite parts of her job.

The best parts of the job to me are:

• Investigating earth properties and processes (puzzles).
• Solving or mitigating issues affecting traveling public (math).
• Working with a variety of people.
• Seeing projects from beginning to end: Problem to solution, to construction.
• Seeing growth in people around me.
• Creating visual representations of the subsurface (art).
• A good mix of fieldwork and office work.

The advice I would give to future engineers is to just be you, but don’t concentrate on yourself. Be willing to learn and admit when you’re wrong. Use your strengths to do quality work and benefit others in the process. Try new things for more than two seconds. Network and ask people for help or connections. You learn more when you fail than when you succeed. Don’t feel guilty about taking advantage of an opportunity — use it to create an opportunity for others. If you’re willing to learn, you don’t need to be 100% qualified for the job you want — reach high!