parametrix inspired people blog

Meet Cedar Simmons, PE: Parametrix’s 2018 Employee-Owner of the Year

Courtney Purdin | 11-09-2018

Each year, we name an employee-owner of the year who fully exemplifies our core values of integrity, compassion, collaboration, fun, client service, and employee-ownership. Employee-owners nominate their coworkers and vote for a winner within each office and then our leadership team selects the overall company employee-owner of the year. That individual then has the opportunity to participate in Board of Directors meetings as the Employee-Owner Representative.

We are excited to announce that this year Cedar Simmons, PE was named Parametrix’s 2018 Employee-Owner of the Year. Cedar is based out of our Bremerton, WA office and is a part of our environmental planning & compliance industrial group.

I asked Cedar a few questions to learn more about her career and goals as employee-owner of the year.

Tell us about your career path – how did you get to where you are now?

After graduating fr... (more)

 

Parametrix Supports Washington State Opportunity Scholarship’s Opportunity Talks Breakfast

Courtney Purdin | 11-02-2018

"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door" - this was the theme of the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship's Opportunity Talks Breakfast held on the morning of November 1. Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) is focused on reducing barriers to higher education and launching young professionals into STEM careers. The organization leverages private donations with state matching funds to provide scholarships along with mentoring and networking opportunities for the scholars.

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Parametrix was a proud sponsor of the event, which served as a fundraiser for WSOS. Other sponsors included Sound Transit, Microsoft, Uber, Battelle, and Fred Hutch to name a few. The event raised a total of $895,000 for the organiz... (more)

 

Parametrix Employee-Owners Help to Build “Field of Dreams”

Elizabeth Diamond | 10-30-2018

Several Salt Lake City employee-owners plus significant others participated in a Habitat for Humanity build in Salt Lake County, Utah last Saturday, October 27. This particular Habitat for Humanity project is referred to as the “Field of Dreams.” The primary objective of the “Field of Dreams” project is to provide affordable, energy efficient housing to qualifying low-income families. Once completed, housing units within this community will generate approximately $1.50 a day in utility costs.

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What Does “Employee Ownership” Mean to You?

Courtney Purdin | 10-19-2018

October is Employee Ownership Month. As a 100% employee-owned company, Parametrix proudly celebrates this month each year. I asked a few employee-owners, who also happen to serve as the Trustees of Parametrix’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan, what  “Employee Ownership” means to them.

cindyclark“Employee Ownership means that no matter what position you have  – upper management, accountant, word processor, surveyor, or a brand-new engineer straight out of college – each one of us has a voice because each one of us owns a part of Parametrix. Each one of us contributes to the bottom line. And best of all, each one of us directly benefits from the success of Parametrix.”

-Cindy Clark, PE




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Parametrix Archaeologists Conduct Salvage Excavation of Human Remains in Eastern New Mexico

Ethan Kalosky | 9-27-2018

Co-Authored by Greg Mastropietro and Jessica Alden

It was a calm evening on the plains of eastern New Mexico in mid-August of this year. The sun was slowly setting and painting the sky in hues of yellows, oranges, reds, pinks, and purples reflecting off wispy cirrus clouds. A man was out walking along a desolate dirt road, the nearest house at least half a mile away. The man, Darren Pollock, is an entomology professor at Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) in Portales, New Mexico. As he walked along the road about 30 miles west of Portales, swishing his bug net to collect samples of assassin flies for further study, he noticed a strangely shaped rock protruding out of the road cut. Naturally, his scientific curiosity led him to further investigate, and after careful digging, he removed a large stone spear point measuring 8.5 inches in length. Thrilled with his discovery, Dr. Pollock returned to the site with his s... (more)

 

Affordable Housing in Chicago: Culminating my Master’s Degree with 6 Weeks of Service Learning and Research

Michael Baker | 8-16-2018

University of Utah ChicagoLAB 2018 participants. Photo courtesy of ChicagoLAB.

Salt Lake City Parametrix employee-owner, Michael Baker recently completed his Master of City and Metropolitan Planning degree at the University of Utah with the help of Parametrix’s educational benefit program.To culminate his degree, Michael participated in ChicagoLAB – an intensive summer research studio and service learning course in which students spent 6 weeks in Chicago meeting with local practitioners, networking and researching planning issues that matter to the city. This year, the project focused on maintaining housing affordability in Chicago’s Puerto Rican and Latino neighborhoods.

In cities everywhere, renters and homeowners are experiencing the increasing pressure of rising housing costs. In Chicago, the construction of the 606 Trail and linear park—like New York’s Highline Trail—sparked skyrocketin... (more)

 

Parametrix Employee-Owners Embark on the 12th Annual Boise Rafting Trip

8-09-2018

August 3 - 5 marked the 12th consecutive year a group of employee-owners from the Boise office have tamed the S. Fork of the Boise River Canyon. Parametrix employee-owners Doug Camenisch, Brock Strand, Matt Iseger, Trey Parry (from the Seattle office), and I spent 3 days rafting, camping, fishing, indulging, eating, and not discussing work! It’s amazing how peaceful life can be when you lose cell reception.

The S. Fork of the Boise River is home to some of the best wild rainbow trout fishing in the west and that proved accurate this year with over 100 fish landed by the group (all but two fish taco candidates were released unharmed). Highlights for the year included: Cody and Trey finding both sheds to a 7 point bull elk, 88 degree days, cliff jumping, the Buffalo Creek Rapid, and a canyon all to ourselves! Only 5 other rafts floated through all weekend.

This trip is a great tradition that we all look forward to... (more)

 

Parametrix Employee-Owner Receives Remote Pilot License

Courtney Purdin | 8-02-2018

Parametrix has been using drones (also known as UAV or UAS) for several years to document preconstruction conditions, construction progress, and to gain perspective of hard to reach places like under bridges, above landfills, over waterways, and along cliffs.

Parametrix received an FAA 333 Exemption in the early stages of drone applications to fly commercially and now requires all of their operators to be FAA certified Remote Pilots. That’s when Parametrix employee-owner Brad Rhoades, LSIT decided to join the highly skilled UAV team at Parametrix. Brad is a surveyor in our Bend, OR office. He decided to get his Remote Pilot License so that he can fly drones on projects for our clients. He said he believes that the use of drones will increase over the next several years and he wants to be a part of those future opportunities. He also adds “plus they’re just cool and it’s a chance to relive some childhood fun of operating rem... (more)

 

The Internship Experience at Parametrix: Sean Angel

Courtney Purdin | 7-23-2018

Sean joins our Bend, OR office as a land surveying intern. He is from Dairy, OR and is currently a student at the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) where he is working toward a Bachelor of Science degree in Geomatics with a focus on Land Surveying. Prior to joining Parametrix, he had an internship at the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and has worked at a family ranch and the hospital in Klamath Falls. 

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What made you decide to pursue a career in surveying?

I like that the job allows you to do a good portion of your work outside in the field. I also like that I’ll have the opportunity to travel to remote places.

What hobbies do you have outside of work?

I enjoy doing pretty much anything... (more)

 

The Internship Experience at Parametrix: Jill Shinn

Courtney Purdin | 7-16-2018

This summer Parametrix has the honor of hosting several interns. Over the next couple months we will be introducing a few of them on the Inspired People Blog.

Jill Shinn is an intern in the project and construction management group based out of our Seattle office. This is her second summer interning at Parametrix. She is currently pursuing a Master in Civil Engineering degree at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She is originally from Woodinville, WA and enjoys running, walking and hiking with her puppy, swimming, and skiing.

I asked her a few questions about her career, why she chose Parametrix, and what she is looking forward to in the future. 

Jill Shinn Puppy

How did you become interested in civil engineering?

I have always been inte... (more)

 

Parametrix Employee-Owners Volunteer at the Special Olympics 2018 USA Games

Courtney Purdin | 7-11-2018

The 2018 USA Games kicked off in Seattle, WA on Sunday, July 1 with the Opening Ceremony held at University of Washington’s Husky Stadium. As a Seattle-based firm, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to get involved in this year’s games. Parametrix is an official partner of the 2018 USA Games and gave employee-owners paid time off to volunteer during the week.

Sixty-five Parametrix employee-owners attended the opening ceremony including several that gathered before to be a part of the cheer line as the athletes made their way to the field.

cheerlineParametrix employee-owners, along with friends and family, lined up to cheer on athletes as they made their way to the field.

Kim Stuth, a graphic designer in our Puyallup, WA office, volunteered for tennis on July 3r... (more)

 

International Women in Engineering Day: The Women of Parametrix

Courtney Purdin | 6-22-2018

International Women in Engineering Day is Saturday, June 23. The day was created “to support, inspire, celebrate and raise the profile of women in engineering. It is an opportunity to draw attention to the careers in engineering for girls and young people and to celebrate the achievements of women engineers.”

So today we are featuring a few of the inspiring women in engineering at Parametrix. They’re sharing their challenges, triumphs, and career advice. Read their stories below.

Clara Olson
Puyallup, WA | Water Resources Engineer | 2 Years of Experience

claraolson

“Ask questions. Stay curious.... (more)

 

Camping in Navajo Country: Parametrix Archaeologists Search for Prehistoric Sites

Ethan Kalosky | 6-15-2018

Co-authored by Greg Mastropietro, Archaeologist 


In early May 2018, Parametrix undertook a cultural resources survey along Bread Springs Road in western New Mexico, approximately 7 miles south of Gallup, NM. Bread Springs Road services a rural Navajo community of about 2,000 people. Parametrix was contracted by DePauli Engineering to provide cultural resources clearance in advance of a 5.5-mile roadway improvement project. Currently, the road is narrow and unstriped, has deteriorated asphalt, substandard vertical and horizontal curves, and experiences a relatively high traffic volume that travels at a high speed. The roadway will be reconstructed to improve safety for its many rural users.

The project is situated between the Four Corners region and Chaco Canyon. Both of these areas witnessed significant prehistoric cultural developments on a scale virtually unparalleled elsewhere in the United States. W... (more)

 

The Internship Experience at Parametrix: Lili Jeffers

Courtney Purdin | 6-13-2018

Lili Jeffers joins our Portland office this summer as a technical aide. She is from Laguna Beach, CA and currently attends Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. She anticipates graduating in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Finance and minor in Psychology.

I asked her a few questions about her background and what she is excited for at Parametrix. Read her responses below.

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What sparked your interest in business and psychology?

I was interested in business due to its versatility as well as its application in the working world. I chose psychology because I am interested in learning about human behavior, including how people think and why they do what they do.

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Who has the best tasting water in the South Sound?

3-27-2018

Parametrix had the honor of once again hosting American Water Works Association’s South Sound Subsection's Annual Water Taste Test & Meter Madness Challenge! Water companies from around the South Puget Sound region came to compete for the title of best tasting water. Judging is based on scent, flavor, and aftertaste. This year's winners were:

1st Place - Mt. View Edgewood
2nd Place - City of Sumner
3rd Place - Lake Josephine Rivera

The winner goes on to compete for "Best in the Northwest" at the 2018 American Water Works Association Pacific Northwest Section conference in Tacoma, WA.

The event also includes a "Meter Madness Challenge". Carlos Camacho from Tacoma Public Utilities Water took home 1st place in that competition.

Another part of the fun – a beer SCADA machine designed by Parametrix’s water and electrical engineers.

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Tassels, Tails, and Wastewater Treatment

2-23-2018

Parametrix had the honor of working on a project for some very special clients – here’s a hint, they have four legs, fur, wagging tails, and help visually impaired people. If you guessed Guide Dogs for the Blind, you’re correct! The Oregon Campus needed upgrades to their wastewater treatment facility and Parametrix was selected to provide those services. The Oregon Campus of Guide Dogs for the Blind has a large facility with many kennels and they treat their own wastewater on-site. Parametrix continues to provide wastewater and groundwater sampling for the organization.

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After working on this project, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to attend a Guide Dogs for the Blind Graduation (they call them “tassels and tails”) in Downtown Portland along with my co-worker, Jen Murphy. ... (more)

 

Meet ACEC Washington's 2018 Engineer of the Year, Parametrix CEO Jeff Peacock, PE

Kami Matiatos | 1-22-2018

Jeff with his family. His granddaughters hold the Engineer of the Year Award.

To his surprise, on Friday evening Parametrix CEO Jeff Peacock, PE was named the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Washington’s 2018 Engineer of the Year! We kept it a secret as long as we could, but he did get a little suspicious when his family began showing up at the banquet. The Engineer of the Year Award recognizes the success, commitment, and contribution of an outstanding individual to the engineering profession.

DSC_0296Jeff Peacock’s leadership and vision have impacted the engineering industry, transportation policy, and infrastructure in Washington State. After earning a BS in Civil Engineering from New Mex... (more)

 

Obtaining my PE License the Non-Traditional Way and How You Can Too!

1-18-2018

When I got out of high school I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. My mom told me if I didn’t go to college now I probably wouldn’t go - so I needed to find something that interested me now. This led me to an 18-month program for Computer Aided Drafting and Design where I learned CAD. So 6 days after I graduated high school I started at ITT Tech while working a full-time job.

In my first job out of school I worked for a structural and civil firm where I started as a CAD Tech I. I mostly did redlines and that is where my curiosity in design started. I was there for 2 ½ years before coming to Parametrix as a CAD Tech I. I was here for about 6 months when Brad Phillips gave me my first opportunity to do design full time when he needed help on the SR520 Floating Bridge Project. I volunteered to go to Seattle and work out of the project office which was a great experience and really helped me get into the project design wo... (more)

 

What did you do with your time off?

Courtney Purdin | 1-10-2018

In early December, Parametrix CEO Jeff Peacock announced that all employee-owners would receive FOUR extra paid days off in the week between Christmas and the New Year. What a huge gift! This was the result of all the hard work of employee-owners and the generosity of our company.

So, we asked employee-owners, what did you do with your extra time off? 

Some traveled far...

Grace Amundsen (Puyallup, WA) took her honeymoon in Thailand and Cambodia!

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Oregon Department of Transportation Holds Ribbon Cutting for Newberg Dundee Bypass Project

12-21-2017

It's official! The ribbon cutting ceremony for Phase 1 of the Newberg Dundee Bypass project was held on Monday, December 18. Parametrix has been a part of this project since the idea of a bypass was just beginning to be explored. Parametrix provided permitting, stormwater design, erosion control, and landscape design. We also led the earlier environmental documentation and alternatives analysis work.

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Oregon Governor Kate Brown was the keynote speaker at the ceremony, held between Newberg and Dundee to allow members of both communities to attend. Governor Brown announced that the bypass will be open to traffic on January 6, 2018 after contractors finish the remaining work.

Parametrix employee-owners Bill Ciz and Brian Bierwagen attended the ceremony. The two have both worked... (more)