CE Roundtable: Giving Thanks

The ASCE News Civil Engineering Roundtable showcases insights from a cross-section of ASCE members on a variety of industry topics.

’Tis the season for gratitude.

And this Thanksgiving holiday, ASCE members are stepping back and giving thanks for the profession they love – civil engineering.

For what in civil engineering are you thankful this year?

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Chase Henrichs, P.E., M.ASCE, project engineer, Crafton Tull, Rogers, Arkansas

“I am thankful for the steady and ever-changing work that I am able to take on.

“With a major recession in the not-so-distant past, I have been blessed to enter a workforce that is on the upswing. Our company is taking on more work than ever before, and we’re successfully meeting our goals.

“It provides a little stress, to be sure; however, it is positive stress that makes me want to succeed. My horizons have expanded with work ranging from parks to roundabouts.

“I’m doing far more and continuously learning more than I could have ever imagined when I first entered the workforce in 2015.”

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Heidi Wallace, EI, A.M.ASCE, Wallace Engineering Structural Consultants Inc., Tulsa, Oklahoma

“One of the things that I am most thankful for about civil engineering is that, in many ways, it is a highly collaborative field.

“Starting in my earliest civil engineering courses and so far in my career, there has been so much encouragement. Instead of everyone working on an island and being highly competitive with one another, we formed study groups and truly wanted everyone to understand the material. The same has been evident in my career so far. I’ve stayed late many times helping someone get something finished, and the same has been done for me.

“I believe we are better together, and I’m thankful others around me contribute to this collective effort to improve our communities.”

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Julian Valencia, A.M.ASCE, project engineer, Costello Engineering and Surveying, Houston

“I can say civil engineering is a career that keeps bringing passion to my life.

“In 2019, civil engineering brought a lot of excitement to my professional career and personal life. Thanks to my involvement with ASCE as a student member, I was able to attend the 2019 Tex-Mex Student Symposium as one of the concrete canoe captains for the University of Houston. That experience filled me with great memories and created friendships that I know will last a lifetime. Those friendships that you know, when you need help, you can count on for true advice.

“Additionally, I was able to attend the 2019 UESI Pipeline Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. This was an amazing trip with my wife right after my graduation that reinforced my desire to continue my professional career in utility engineering.

“My educational and professional career in civil engineering keeps bringing more amazing opportunities, and I can say my passion for civil engineering has grown exponentially in 2019. Finally, but not least, I am enormously thankful to my wife. She provides the biggest support as I continue my professional career. It would not be the same if it wasn’t for all her help and sacrifice.”

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Daren Williams, P.E., M.ASCE, movable bridge engineering manager, Virginia Department of Transportation, ASCE Virginia Section past president

“I am thankful that civil engineering has provided me a ‘seat at the table’ to discuss infrastructure with my family, friends, neighbors, coworkers and other citizens in the community.

“Everyone has an opinion on infrastructure because it affects our daily lives. I like to provide civil engineering facts to the conversation, and I think the community enjoys objective input from professional engineers about infrastructure.”

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