I graduated in May of 2015 with a BS in Civil Engineering and began working for HDR in June with the Transit Rail group in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The group I am working with has led many different transit projects including light rail, street car, and bus rapid transit.
Upon graduating from Michigan Tech, I knew I wanted to work in consulting but I had no idea what area I would fit into best. I read about traffic positions and roadway positions and was convinced this was where I would end up. In my last semester, I took CE4407 – Transportation design that covered design aspects of both roads and railways. The amount we learned in this class still amazes me today and while in the class, I began to realize I really enjoyed working on designs and learning all that goes into them. I had never had a class that was as challenging, but also as full of information and hands-on activities. The CE 4407 experience really helped me realize what path I wanted to take for my career, as I had never imagined myself working on railway design before the class and I would have never applied for any jobs in rail without taking this class.
I have worked at HDR for about nine months and am learning something new every single day. I have worked on designing multiple turnout options for a streetcar project in Minneapolis. The project I have worked on the most is a Bus Rapid Transit project in Albuquerque, New Mexico. My colleagues have taken their time to train me on AutoCAD and MicroStation and although most of my work at HDR has been in AutoCAD, learning MicroStation during CE 4407 has helped me throughout. I love what I am doing and am grateful for all that I have learned and accomplished so far!