parametrix inspired people blog

The Multi-Taskers, Can-Doers, and Part-Timers

3-30-2020

By Kami Matiatos

I first started working in the A/E/C industry in the mid-eighties when the industry was very much male-dominated. I have been inspired by the women in the industry who are master multi-taskers and have a positive, can-do attitude toward accomplishing anything. My mom was of course my first inspiration; she did it all and kept our family together and running smoothly, often by herself as my dad was a long-haul truck driver. She worked outside the home but still was extremely present for her three daughters. I am continually inspired by many of my female co-workers who can do it all—demanding careers, raising kids, volunteering at school or in the community.

Work-life balance is one of the main challenges that I’ve had to overcome as a woman in the industry. It can be difficult when you’re building your career and raising small children to juggle it all but set your priorities ... (more)

 

My Inspiration: A Career Woman with Seven Children Who Taught Sunday School and Played the Drums

3-27-2020

By Cindy Clark

During a time when it was common for me to be the only woman in a meeting, often mistaken for the secretary, my mom served as my inspiration to succeed. She was a career woman with a master’s degree back in the 1960’s.

When she married at the “old” age of 29 years, she put it all on hold to raise seven children, volunteering at the schools, teaching Sunday school, and playing the drums in a band(!). She showed me that no matter the job you’re given, you give it your all and always strive to be the best person you can.

I’ve seen the A/E/C industry evolve by leaps and bounds over the last 25 years. Now it’s much more common to see a diverse mix of people in our industry.

Cindy at her college graduation

This was me at co... (more)

 

Red or Yellow Tie?

3-25-2020

By Holli Moeini

When I began my career as a consultant, wearing a suit and tie allowed me to fit in to what was, at the time, a career largely dominated by men. I was not alone in my fashion-less choice; my female associates wore the same. Was our DNA programed to dress the part, like a man, and work harder than anyone to be noticed?  Although there were women in the industry very few “sat at the table” and I often found myself the only woman in the room. It wasn’t until the mid-90’s, when I left consulting to work for a fast-growing client, that I finally had a female colleague join me at the executive table. Interestingly, she and I both wore fancy suits while the men wore khakis. Why did we do that? In order to be listened to and respected for our insights and opinions as our male counterparts were, we felt that we needed our armor.

That was a long time ago and much has changed!... (more)

 

Meet Craig Sweet, an Emerging Construction Management Leader

3-23-2020

Craig on the site of a new baggage system at the Port of Seattle.

Craig Sweet is an engineer with our Construction Management team based out of Seattle. He has been with Parametrix for three years and graduated from California Polytechnic State University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.

Recently, he was selected to participate in the first-ever Construction Management Association of America Emerging Leaders Program. The participants from across the country were chosen based on a written application process.

I asked Craig about his involvement in CMAA and what he hopes to get out of the program.

 

How did you get involved in CMAA?

I was first introduced to CMAA by my dad. He's been in the construction management industry for almost 30 years now and... (more)

 

Three Things to Know about the Navigable Waters Protection Rule

2-26-2020

Parametrix wetland scientists delineating wetlands in Mason County, WA.

The final rule for defining waters of the United States (WOTUS) was approved in January 2020. The new rule eliminates Clean Water Act protections for the majority of the nation's wetlands and more than 18% of streams, according to the US Geological Survey’s National Hydrology Dataset.

The Navigable Waters Protection Rule, also known as the Waters of the US, or WOTUS, rule, replaces regulations that have been in place since the Reagan administration.

Last spring, I more)

 

Meet an Engineer: Younis Mahmoodi

2-21-2020

Engineers Week 2020 is coming to a close, but first, we want to introduce you to Younis Mahmoodi. Younis is an engineer with our Puget Sound Region Water group, based out of Puyallup, WA. He has 16 years of industry experience.

What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?

I chose to pursue engineering to move beyond formulas and solve open-ended problems and propose alternative design solutions. Moreover, I wanted to gain skills in project planning, analytical and logical thinking, attention to detail, communication, and teamwork.

What do you enjoy most about your career in engineering?

What I enjoy most is solving complex engineering problems by using my skills to provide an effective solution and deliver high-quality results.

What advice would you give to someone pursuing a career in engineering?

Learn to invest your time wisely.

 

Meet an Engineer: Harvin Flores

2-21-2020

We're wrapping up Engineers Week 2020 today by introducing you to Harvin Flores. Harvin is a transportation engineer based out of Boise. He has 17 years of industry experience.

What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?

Growing up, I had an uncle that was a civil engineer and he was definitely a big influence for me. Engineering seemed like a fun job and I liked the idea of designing a project and having the opportunity to be out there inspecting it.

What do you enjoy most about your career in engineering?

There are many things that I truly enjoy about engineering. I enjoy the team work and collaboration that goes into successfully completing a project. I also enjoy the interaction with the public and local agencies to come up with the best solution for everybody.

I also really like how engineering allows you a ce... (more)

 

Meet an Engineer: Sheng-Wen Seow

2-20-2020

To celebrate Engineers Week 2020, we're introducing you to several engineers at Parametrix. They'll be sharing what inspired them to pursue a career in engineering, what they enjoy most about their career, and their advice for up and coming engineers.

Today, meet Sheng-Wen Seow. He is a transportation engineer based out of Southwest Washington. He has over 20 years of industry experience.

What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?

I’ve always been interested in figuring out how things worked since I was young.  When I was a kid, I dreamt of being either an inventor or a mad scientist. Now that I am older and wiser, I realize that while being an engineer may not be as “glamorous” as being an inventor or mad scientist, but it is a career that is realistic, suits my abilities, and serves the greater good.  However, if you have the aptitude to b... (more)

 

Meet an Engineer: Elizabeth Healy

2-20-2020

We continue the celebration of Engineers Week by introducing you to several engineers at Parametrix. They'll be sharing what inspired them to pursue a career in engineering, what they enjoy most about their career, and their advice for up and coming engineers.

Today, which also happens to be Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, we're excited to introduce you to Elizabeth Healy. Elizabeth is a transportation engineer based out of our Salt Lake City office. She has 5 years of industry experience.

What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?

I wanted a career that was both rewarding and challenging. That, plus my LOVE of math made engineering seem like the perfect field to specialize in!

<... (more)

 

Meet an Engineer: Cameron Carlson

2-19-2020

To celebrate Engineers Week 2020, we're introducing you to several engineers at Parametrix. They'll be sharing what inspired them to pursue a career in engineering, what they enjoy most about their career, and their advice for up and coming engineers.

Today, meet Cameron Carlson. Cameron is an electrical engineer based out of our Seattle office. He has 5 years of industry experience.

What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?

I was sitting in my parent’s basement failing to make ends meet as a musician, and I thought about the most challenging thing I could imagine doing to improve my life. Electrical engineering was the first thing that came to mind. I was inspired by how poor my grades were in physics and math and how little I understood electromagnetism; I figured the key to my prosperity was to turn my greatest weaknesses to my greatest strengths. I was also fired up about th... (more)

 

Meet an Engineer: Hiba Farag

2-19-2020

To celebrate Engineers Week 2020, we're introducing you to several engineers at Parametrix. They'll be sharing what inspired them to pursue a career in engineering, what they enjoy most about their career, and their advice for up and coming engineers.

Today, meet Hiba Farag. Hiba is currently completing at internship at Parametrix. She attends Seattle University and plans to graduate this June with a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering.

What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?

I’ve always been drawn to math and science, but when I learned that engineers can apply their knowledge to the real world to help better communities, that’s when I decided to pursue engineering.

What do you enjoy most about engineering?

What I enjoy most about engineering is being able to take what I enjoy doing, solving problems, and impact the community for the be... (more)

 

Meet an Engineer: Seth Sokol

2-18-2020

For Engineers Week 2020, we're introducing you to a few engineers at Parametrix. They'll be sharing what inspired them to pursue a career in engineering, what they enjoy most about their career, and their advice for those pursuing a career in engineering.

Today, meet Seth Sokol. Seth is an engineer in our Portland Water group. He has 14 years of industry experience.

What do you enjoy most about your career in engineering?

For me, engineering is all about problem solving. This could be a simple calculation to determine the correct slope on a pipe or perhaps a consensus-building consultation with a municipal client to help them achieve their clean water goals. Either way, these and endless other problems are all waiting for the engineer’s judgement and hard work to solve.

What advice would you give to someone pursuing a career in engineering?

Do... (more)

 

Meet an Engineer: JC Hungerford

2-17-2020

For Engineers Week 2020, we're introducing you to a few engineers at Parametrix. They'll be sharing what inspired them to pursue a career in engineering, what they enjoy most about their career, and their advice for those pursuing a career in engineering.

Today, meet JC Hungerford. JC leads Parametrix's Puget Sound Water Division and has 13 years of industry experience.

What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering? I was a chemistry major in college hoping to get into med school and working as a survey intern during the summers. One LONG chemistry lab I was doing titrations as all of my friends were at the ski hill. It suddenly hit me that I likely didn’t have the grades to get into med school, and I didn’t want to be stuck in a chemistry lab for the rest of my life. I really enjoyed surveying and working with the engineers in the office. The next day, I talked to my advisor and cha... (more)

 

Resiliency Planning: Will your infrastructure survive when catastrophe strikes?

1-06-2020

By John Phillips, ENV SP

When catastrophes like storms, earthquakes, fires, or terrorist attacks occur, the first response is automatic: addressing casualties. The second response, which is nearly as urgent, should be ensuring that critical infrastructure is still in place, starting with power and water.

When power and water systems malfunction, the immediate effects of a disaster multiply in a myriad of ways. Power and water failure can impact critical medical care, slow down food distribution, and create conditions for crime.

Unfortunately, many communities in the world have infrastructure that is anything but resilient. Mature regions often have aging, under-maintained systems, and systems that are over capacity. Developing economies may have the opposite problem. They struggle to put infrastructure in place and then scale it to support rapid population growth.

So, what does it mean to have resilient i... (more)

 

Smart Water: How Technology is Changing the Water Industry

12-18-2019

By Eleanor Allen, Parametrix Board Member and CEO at Water For People

Although water is abundant in nature, the amount of water available to drink and sustain life on earth is fixed and is becoming increasingly more strained as demand for water increases with population growth and development. Leveraging reliable and robust technology, financing, and data to innovate every part of the water cycle – from sourcing to treatment to consumption to reclamation – is an absolute necessity to protect and manage our finite supply of water for future generations.

At the Future of the Profession event hosted by Parametrix in Seattle on November 19, 2019 (which also happened to be World Toilet Day!), leaders from across the industry were invited to discuss how technology is changing the water industry and what this means for the futu... (more)

 

Defining Smart & Connected Communities: Addressing Equity, Privacy, and More

12-11-2019

By Darby Watson

Smart and Connected Communities use the internet of things and data collection to manage assets and resources efficiently to improve people's lives. While cities and communities rise to embrace new technologies, they must also make sure that the results are equitable and provide for a more sustainable and inclusive future.

At the Future of the Profession event, hosted by Parametrix in Seattle on November 19, 2019, we invited leaders from across the industry to discuss what smart and connected communities mean for the future of cities. Panelists included Bryan Nace of GHZ Communications, Nico Larco, AIA of University of Oregon, and Steve Marshall of City of Bellevue.

Smart and Connected Communities Panel

The session began with each panelist introducing their are... (more)

 

Intelligent Mobility: Unleashing the Power of Technology to Transform Tomorrow’s Transportation Today

12-06-2019

By Bardia Nezhati, PE, PTOE

Intelligent mobility is a rapidly growing trend in urbanized areas to connect people, services and communities through the power of technology. It involves reimagining infrastructure-heavy approaches across all transportation modes and enabling the power of data and analytics, advanced technologies, and artificial intelligence. It has the potential to transform the way we move people and goods while saving lives, improving mobility, promoting su... (more)

 

Employee-Owners of Parametrix: Alex Johnson

11-26-2019

In this series, we follow the employee-owners of Parametrix to see what a day on the job for them entails.

We recently caught up Parametrix employee-owner Alex Johnson at the Shake Mill Revetment Repair project for King County in North Bend, WA. He walked us through what's happening at the project and what his role as a Resident Engineer includes.

 

Bringing Solar Energy to Rural Oregon: Parametrix Conducts Natural Resources Survey and Permitting for Solar Facility

11-25-2019

By Richard Roché, RG, LHG

Each year, Parametrix selects three projects of the year that exemplify our core values, mission, client service, and innovation. The Airport Solar project was named among the top three 2019 Parametrix Projects of the Year. Read about the project below.

Parametrix recently conducted a natural resources survey on the site of a solar energy electricity generating facility near Lakeview, OR. The team also monitored water resources, including mapping playas and potential wetlands within the 160-acre site.

Airport Solar project Mapping

The project included over 100 miles of mapping

Due to the very complicated site hydrology and soil conditions, challenges regarding defining playa edges, and evolving regulatory guidance, the project technical... (more)

 

Building a Zero-Emission Fleet: Parametrix Partners with King County Metro

11-21-2019

Eastgate P&R Rapid Charger Station

By Steve Olling, PE, PMP, ENV SP 

The concept of a zero-emission bus fleet isn’t as far off as you might think. In fact, transit agency King County Metro has been using zero-emission trolley coaches in Seattle for nearly 80 years. The agency has also been recognized as a national leader in early adoption of diesel-electric hybrid buses.

King County Metro is well on their way to meeting their goal to have a zero-emission fleet by 2040. The agency has begun using battery electric coaches, along with continuing to use and modernize their electric trolley fleet. This meets around 11% of their goal already. Starting in 2020, Metro plans to only purchase zero-emission buses as older buses retire and to increase fleet size to meet growing service needs.

The agency will transition to a fleet of all-electric trolley and battery-electric buses ... (more)