parametrix inspired people blog

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

Cody Janson | 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. 


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


“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.

Lili Jeffers_cropped

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.



Who has the best tasting water in the South Sound?


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.



Tassels, Tails, and Wastewater Treatment

Allie Reiling | 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.


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!

Eddie Soto, PE | 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!



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


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.


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)


Parametrix has offices in 7 of the hippest cities in the nation

Courtney Purdin | 12-11-2017

When the 20 Hippest Cities in the US list came out, we can’t say we were too surprised that seven of the cities that we have offices in were on the list. You can often find employee-owners gathering at cool lunch spots near the office, getting together after work for happy hour, hitting the slopes, hiking, or river rafting.

Find out from our employee-owners what the best spots in their cities are.

Seattle, WA - #20



Meet the Leadership Team at Parametrix: Denise Ledingham


DeniseLedinghamDenise Ledingham is Parametrix’s Director of Communication and Client Outreach. She has been with Parametrix for 17 years. Her home office is in Bremerton, WA but she is often traveling throughout the company.

We asked Denise a few questions about her experience, her role, and advice she has for young professionals. Read her responses below.

What did you go to school for and where did you graduate from?

I went to the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA and earned a BA in Communication. After a few years break from school, I took evening and online classes through City University and obtained my MBA in Marketing. I took one class each quarter while working full-time so it ... (more)



Three Days in the Life of the Salmonberry Trail Valley Segment Planning Team

Jim Rapp | 11-02-2017

Story first published in different form on Oregon Parks and Recreation’s Salmonberry Trail website.

Background: The majestic coastline, forests, and farmlands of Northwest Oregon are sewn together by a historic passage known today as the Salmonberry Corridor. This scenic but rugged corridor was once home to the Pacific Railway and Navigation (“fondly” known for decades as Punk, Rotten and Nasty) rail line that connected the windswept coast of Tillamook County to the fertile Tualatin River Valley in Washington County, and linked with other rail lines to take freight and passengers into the City of Portland. This corridor is now being planned for the 84-mile long multiuse Salmonberry Trail. In between the Coast and the Valley, the future 84-mile-long Salmonbe... (more)


Hiking the Elwha

Julie Brandt, PE | 10-27-2017

Recently, Parametrix employee-owner, Julie Brandt, PE, went on a pilgrimage that she had been wanting for 5 years: she hiked the Elwha. Read about the surface water engineer’s experience and perspective while exploring the breathtaking and inspiring Elwha watershed. 

The Elwha watershed is the largest in the Olympic National Park and encompasses over 75 miles of migratory fish habitat. As a surface water engineer, this gets me pretty excited. The beaches and river banks of the Elwha were settled thousands of years ago by the Strong People or “nəxʷsƛ̕áy̕əm” [pronounced “Klallam”], who relied almost entirely on the river’s local salmon populations for their livelihood. In the early 1900’s estate developer Thomas T. Aldwell bought up a large portion of the river-front property to produce and distribute electricity to customers in the region, specifically, the large paper mill in Port Angeles. In 1914, he finished... (more)


The Internship Experience at Parametrix: Dylan Kreiger


We are excited to welcome several interns across multiple disciplines and offices this summer. Parametrix is proud to give interns a meaningful experience which will guide them in their future career. Interns at Parametrix have the opportunity to work on exciting projects and have access to knowledgeable mentors.

DylanKreigerDylan Kreiger is joining our Community Building Division in Bend, OR this summer. He will be graduating from Oregon State University with a degree in Civil Engineering in the Fall. He is originally from Sublimity, OR.

Read about him and his experience as an intern at Parametrix below:

Why did you choose to pursue a career in Civil Engineerin... (more)