Civil Engineering Is All Around Us

07 March, 2019

Associate John Wright Recaps Student Outreach Event

Bohler’s Warrenton, VA team recently visited a local high school to engage with students about our work. Associate John Wright, accompanied by Project Manager Jonathan Ritchie, Design Engineers Stuart Sheffield and Connor Hedges, and Office Manager Holly Randall, left the students feeling excited about engineering.

We asked John to share more about his team’s experience.

Can you tell us more about the student outreach event?

To celebrate Engineers Week, our team presented to Fauquier High School’s calculus and advanced math classes about civil engineering, specifically land development. We showcased local projects in their community that we’re involved in as well as answered questions about why each of us chose civil engineering as a career.

Our work is so technical. How did you connect with students on such a complicated subject matter?

In order to resonate with the students on some of the technical aspects of our work, Connor and Stuart, our staff engineers, did an excellent job of relating real-life issues to various design elements. For example, many of us have had issues with a runaway shopping cart in a parking lot. This visual helped explain the importance of maximum slopes in a parking lot. Civil Engineering is all around us — it’s where we live, work and play!

What do you find students are the most surprised to learn about our work?

It’s more than just a parking lot or homes in a subdivision. It’s everything that you don’t see that is occurring below ground, from utility networks to stormwater management.

These types of outreach events are often a win-win, for both the students and our engineers. Why do you find it important for you and your team to participate in events like this?

It offers the opportunity to connect with students and help explain not only the importance of developing a solid foundation in math and science but also the various career paths that exist in engineering. It’s also a chance for us to share our perspectives on why we do what we do and educate our community.

Can you give us some highlights from the event that stood out to you?

The students really enjoyed hearing our personal stories about why we chose careers in civil engineering and land development. They asked many excellent questions and our group answered with knowledge and candor. One student even said it was the best guest speaker event he ever attended in school. That kind of feedback is a testament of our team’s ability to connect with the students, share our passion for what we do, and make a lasting impression. This presentation was truly a team effort!

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