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Profiles: Engineers in the Present

Today, women engineers continue to reach new heights within the profession, from their contributions through research and project management, to their growing presence as leaders in their disciplines, mentors on the job and at the university level, and through their involvement with volunteer organizations and community outreach. 

N. Catherine Bazán-Arias
Kathy J. Caldwell
Veronica Cedillos
Florence Ching
Lorraine Fleming
Patricia D. Galloway
Rumana Haque
Theresa Harrison
Sandra Houston
Athena Hutchins

Cathy Leslie
Monica Louie
Norma Jean Mattei
Cheryl McKissack
Priscilla Provost Nelson
Margaret S. Petersen
SawTeen See
Eunices Simon-Alexander
Melissa Wheeler
Gail Woods

N. Catherine Bazán-Arias, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE 

  • Cathy Bazán-AriasSenior Engineer at DiGioia, Gray & Associates, LLC
  • Lead Editor, Geo-Strata Magazine at American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University
  • Fellow, ASCE 
  • DiGioia, Gray & Associates, LLC, 2008- present
  • B.S. Civil Engineering, 1992, University of Pittsburgh
  • M.S. Civil Engineering, 1994, University of Pittsburgh
  • Ph.D. Civil Engineering, 1999, University of Pittsburgh
  • ASCE Involvement includes:Committee on Academic Prerequisites for Professional Practice (CAP3), corresponding member, 2004 to present; Geo-Strata magazine, editor, 2005 to present; Civil Connection online magazine, columnist
  • Geotechnical Group, Past Chair 2003-2004, Pittsburgh Section
  • Director, 2003-2006, Pittsburgh Section, Younger Member Forum, Educational Outreach, Newsletter Editor
  • Engineers without Borders, national and Pittsburgh member, 2007 to present
  • Involved in additional volunteer activities, including the Latin American and Caribbean Heritage Room, Nationality and Heritage Rooms, University of Pittsburgh, 2003 to present 

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Kathy J. Caldwell, P.E., F.ASCE 

Kathy J. Caldwell

  • President, American Society of Civil Engineers (2011)
  • Bachelor of Science with High Honors, major in structural engineering, minor in construction engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 1985
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Florida, April 2009 to present
  • President, Caldwell Cook & Associates, May 2008 to present
  • Fellow, ASCE
  • ASCE Involvement includes: Member, 1984 to present, Executive Committee, 2008, Board of Direction, 2005 – 2008, Strategic Planning Committee, Chair, 2008, Member, 2008 and 2009, Region 5 Board of Governors Chair, 2008, Member, 2006 to 2008, President, Florida Section, 2000, Chair, Student Activities Committee, Florida Section, 2002 to 2004
  • Memberships include: Engineers Without Borders, Transportation Committee, Florida Institute of Consulting Engineers, CEI Sub-Committee, Florida Institute of Consulting Engineers, Florida Engineering Society, University of Florida Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering External Advisory Panel, Chi Epsilon Member, Tau Beta Pi
  • Assistant Study Team Member, Post-Disaster Study regarding Hurricane Hugo, National Academy of Science, Committee on Natural Disasters, 1989
  • Participant in multi-media program to advance licensure, National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES)
  • 2006 and 2008 recipient of the ASCE Florida Section President’s Award
  • 2005 recipient of the Outstanding Alumnus Award, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Tennessee
  • 1996 Engineer of the Year, ASCE Florida Section
  • 1995 Engineer of the Year, ASCE Gainesville Branch
  • 1994 Outstanding Committee Chair of the Year, ASCE Florida Section

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Veronica Cedillos, P.E., M.ASCE

  • Cedillos, VeronicaProject Manager, GeoHazards International
  • Has been actively involved in promoting earthquake safety in developing countries
  • Earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Earned a master’s degree in structural engineering from Stanford University
  • Spent the summer of 2007 in northern India investigating the earthquake-resistant features of vernacular architecture in the Himalayas
  • In 2008, joined a U.S.-based nonprofit that focuses on promoting earthquake safety in the world’s most vulnerable communities and participated in earthquake risk mitigation activities for projects in India and Pakistan
  • In 2009 began leading a project in Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia where her work has focused on promoting tsunami preparedness using an interdisciplinary approach
  • She was chosen to be part of an Earthquake Engineering Research Institute reconnaissance team of engineers and scientists that went to Sumatra to evaluate the damage after the September 2009 earthquake.
  • Chosen by the National Engineers Week Foundation for its 2010 New Faces of Engineering as ASCE's representative

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Florence Ching

  • Ching, FlorenceM.B.A., University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • Program Manager, Military Construction and Demolition Programs, Navy Region Hawaii 
  • 2010, Edmund Friedman Young Engineer Award for Professional Achievement, ASCE
  • 2010, Young Engineer/Early Career Award, Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies 
  • National Committee Member, Committee on Diversity and Women in Civil Engineering
  • Membership Chairperson, ASCE Hawaii Section

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Lorraine N. Fleming, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE

  • Lorraine FlemingRegistered professional engineer in Washington, DC
  • Serves ASCE as a member of the Educational Activities Committee and the Committee on Curriculum and Accreditation and as an ABET program evaluator for domestic and international programs.
  • Awarded the 2008 Golden Torch Award for the Engineering Educator of the Year from the National Society of Black Engineers
  • Howard University awarded her the 2009 Inspirational Interdisciplinary Award
  • Author of “Diversity in Engineering Education: An African American Female Professor’s Perspective” (PDF)

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Dr. Patricia D. Galloway, P.E, CPENG, PMP, MRICS, CFCC

  •  Galloway, PatriciaChief executive officer of Pegasus Global Holdings, Inc., an international management consulting firm.
  • She served as the first woman President of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) (2004)
  • Appointed by President Bush to serve on the National Science Board with her term ending in 2012. She served as its Vice Chair from 2008-2010.
  • B.S., Purdue University, 1978
  • MBA., New York Institute of Technology, 1984
  • Ph.D., Kochi University of Technology, 2005
  • Dr. Galloway has been an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association (AAA) since the late 1980’s and serves on its Commercial and Construction panel
  • A licensed professional engineer in 14 U.S. states, Canada and Australia, and a certified project management professional.
  • Member of the International Center for Dispute Resolution Panel; AAA National Construction Dispute Resolution Committee (NCDRC); AAA Board of Directors.
  • Has served as both a consulting and testifying expert in numerous domestic (AAA) and international arbitration forums (International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitrations, UNCITRAL, SAIC, London),with disputes ranging from US$1 million to US$6 billion.
  • Is regularly consulted by private and public organizations and international investment banks on trends in the industry; the media regarding current topics and events; universities seeking input on university curricula, mentor programs, engineering education, and diversity issues; and professional societies relative to topics of interest to its membership.
  • Has traveled to over 100 countries and having worked on numerous domestic and international engagements including megaproject
  • She has served as an advisor to multiple Owner and Contractor clients including board audit and compliance committees and has served as a member of various risk management assessment and independent review panels.
  • Holds a certificate in Director Education by the National Association of Corporate Directors and has served on a number of private and non-profit boards.
  • An elected member of the National Academy of Construction (NAC) and the Pan American Academy of Engineering, where she serves on the board of directors.
  • Serves on the Advisory Boards of the Discovery Science Channel and the Governor’s Eastern Washington Advisory Council.
  • Prolific writer and world renowned speaker having authored over 120 papers, 30 peer reviewed journal articles and nearly 200 public speaking engagements regarding leadership, corporate governance, ethics and professionalism, communication, risk management, dispute resolution, contract administration, program and project management, and women in engineering.
  • She is the author of The 21st Century Engineer-A proposal for engineering education reform, published by ASCE Press.
  • Profiled in Changing Our World: True Stories of Women Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2006

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Rumana Haque, A.M.ASCE  

  • Rumana-HaqueTraffic engineer for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
  • Chosen by the National Engineers Week Foundation for its 2011 New Faces of Engineering as ASCE's representative.
  • Earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, working on a master’s degree in civil engineering at the City University of New York-City College.
  • Focuses on traffic safety for the Port Authority’s bridges, tunnels, terminals, ports and airports.
  • Works on identifying, mitigating and evaluating priority crash locations as well as designing and implementing various safety measures.
  • She is active in the ACE mentoring program
  • Works with the Salvadori Center’s Annual Charrette, coaching elementary school students to build scaled models of their visions of improved urban environments.

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Theresa Harrison, P.E., M.ASCE 

  • Harrison, TheresaASCE Region 4 Governor
  • ASCE Region 4 Strategic Management Coordinator
  • Senior Civil Engineer at Lawson-Fisher Associates P.C. in South Bend, Ind.
  • Served as president of both ASCE’s Indiana Section and its North Central Branch
  • Bachelor and master degrees in civil engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

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Sandra Houston, Professor, PhD,PE, D.GE

  • Houston, SandraFormer Chair of Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering faculty at ASU
  • Recipient of the William H. Wisely American Civil Engineer Award
  • Chair of the Unsaturated Soils Committee of the Geo-Institute of ASCE
  • Member of the ISSMGE Committee on Unsaturated Soils
  • Chair of the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion for ASCE

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Athena Hutchins, P.E. 

  • Hutchins, AthenaExecutive Director Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition (NITTEC)
  • Licensed New York State Professional Engineer
  • Bachelor of Science degree from the University at Buffalo.
  • Executive Director Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition (NITTEC) Executive Director Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition (NITTEC)

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Cathy Leslie, P.E., F.ASCE

  • Leslie, CathyExecutive Director of Engineers Without Borders – USA
  • In 1983 earned a B.S. Civil Engineering from Michigan Technological Univ.
  • As EWB-USA Executive Director, her responsibilities include the oversight of the national office of EWB-USA and the oversight of the diverse programs within EWB-USA, including international and domestic engineering projects, development of appropriate technology, and education programs.
  • Registered Professional Engineer, Colorado
  • 2002-2008 – Volunteer, EWB-USA
  • 1998 – 2008 Civil Engineering Manager at Tetra Tech Inc
  • 1987-1998 worked for the City of Longmont
  • 1985-1987 CDS Engineering
  • 1983-1984 Began her work in developing countries as a Peace Corps Volunteer stationed in Nepal
  • Profiled in Changing Our World: True Stories of Women Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2006

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Monica Louie, A.M.ASCE  

  • Monica-LouieTrack engineer with Parsons Brinckerhoff
  • Chosen by the National Engineers Week Foundation for its 2011 New Faces of Engineering as ASCE's representative.
  • Earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y.,
  • Pursuing a master’s degree in civil engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J.
  • Secretary for the Engineers Without Borders New York Professional Chapter.
  • Traveled to Balang, Cambodia to work on a dam project that involved the construction of a straight weir and restoration of an earthen embankment.
  • Worked on the design and construction of a clean water distribution system for a health center in Matunda, Kenya.
  • A strong advocate for engineers volunteering in developing communities, Monica recently spoke at the Science, Technology and Innovation Forum held during the UN General Assembly
  • Mentors high school students in as a part of the ACE mentor program.

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Norma Jean Mattei, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE

  • Region 5 Director
  • Associate Professor (1995-present)
  • University of New Orleans, Dept. of Civil/Environmental Engineering
  • In 1994 earned a Ph.D. in civil engineering from Tulane University
  • in 1982 earned a B.S. in civil engineering from Tulane University
  • Employed by the University of New Orleans Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering as an Associate Professor.
  • Prior to her academic career, worked for over 10 years for various New Orleans area consulting firms as a project engineer. Those firms include: Guillot-Vogt Associates Inc., Linder & Associates, and Modjeski & Masters Bridge Engineers.
  • ASCE involvement includes: Governor, 2006-present: R5 Board (Secretary, 2007; Vice-chair, 2008); Delegate, 2004: District 14; Louisiana Section: Past-President, 2005; President, 2004; President-elect, 2003; Secretary/Treasurer, 2002; Director, 2001; Chair, Louisiana Civil Engineering Conference, 2000; New Orleans Branch: Past-President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Director,; Chair of Outreach Committee; Chair, NO Branch ASCE-SEI Executive Committee; Committee on Licensure and Ethics; Committee on Women and Diversity in Civil Engineering
  • LAPELS Board, 2007-2013: Louisiana licensing board for PE/LS
  • SEM: 2006 vice-chair Residual Stress TD
  • ACI: 2009 Conference Planning Committee
  • Tau Beta Pi, Advisory Board, Epsilon Chapter
  • Order of the Engineer, UNO contact
  • Society of Women Engineers: faculty advisor
  • UNO Athletic Council
  • ASEE: Committee on Engineering Ethics 

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Cheryl McKissack, A.M.ASCE 

  • Cheryl McKissackFounder and CEO of The McKissack Group, Inc., based in New York.
  • Earned a Bachelor’s and Master's degrees in civil engineering from Howard University.
  • Her experience includes: quality assurance and quality control for government research projects, including MX missile silos, the United States Embassy anti-terrorist program and a large space structures project for NASA; serving as the principal in charge of Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field football stadium, US Airways International Terminal in Philadelphia, renovation and reconstruction of the School District of Philadelphia.
  • Other projects include: the Brooklyn NBA Stadium, the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, the New York School Construction Authority and the African Burial Ground Monument in New York City. She also served as project executive for the Medgar Evers Academic Building and Student Support Services buildings in Brooklyn, New York.
  • Memberships include: the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO), the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), and Women in Transportation (WTS).
  • Honors include: Women of Excellence from the NY Chamber of Commerce, the 50th Anniversary Award from the Boy Scouts of America, the Champions Award from the Women's Builder's Council, Community Leadership with the American Jewish Committee, and the Heroes of Liberty Award from the National Liberty Museum.

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Priscilla Provost Nelson, Ph.D., Hon.D.GE, Dist.M.ASCE 



  • Nelson, PriscillaSpecial Advisor for International Programs, New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • Provost and Sr. Vice President for Academic Affairs, New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • Distinguished Member, ASCE
  • Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Cornell University
  • M.S., Civil Engineering, University of Oklahoma
  • M.A., Geology, Indiana University
  • B.A., Geological Sciences, University of Rochester
  • Senior Advisor, Office of the Director, National Science Foundation
  • Senior Advisor, Directorate for Engineering, National Science Foundation
  • Director, Division of Civil and Mechanical Systems, National Science Foundation
  • Director, Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, National Science Foundation
  • Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Univ. Texas, Austin
  • ASCE involvement includes: Board of Governors, The Geo-Institute(2000), President, The Geo-Institute (1995-2000)
  • 2010-present, NAE Committee on Underground Geoengineering for Sustainable Development
  • 2008, Elected Fellow, American Rock Mechanics Association
  • 2007-2009, Chair, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Division on Engineering
  • 2006-2008, Executive Committee, Council on Academic Affairs, NASULGC
  • 2007, Inducted into Tau Beta Pi as an Eminent Engineer
  • 2004, Inducted into the Order of the Engineer, ASCE
  • 2002, Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • 1999, Appointed to the Senior Executive Service, NSF, U. S. Government
  • Honors and Awards include: Henry L. Michel Award for Industry Advancement of Research, ASCE; Kenneth Andrew Roe Award, American Association of Engineering Societies; Honoree, Executive Women of New Jersey (EWNJ) Salute to the Policy Makers; NEES Community Visionary Award, (Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation); Richard Owens Distinguished Alumni Award, Indiana University; Director's Award for Superior Accomplishment, National Science Foundation;
  • Profiled in Changing Our World: True Stories of Women Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2006

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Margaret S. Petersen, P.E., D.WRE, Dist.M.ASCE  

  • Petersen, MargaretOne of the nation's leading hydraulic engineers
  • Began her employment with the United States Army Corps of Engineers with the Rock Island District before becoming an undergraduate at the the University of Iowa
  • 1947 earned a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Iowa
  • 1953 earned an MS in Mechanics and Hydraulics from the University of Iowa
  • After receiving her engineering degree held increasingly responsible posts in research, design of hydraulic structures, channel hydraulic structures, channel hydraulics, and water resource planning.
  • Projects include:the Mississippi River flood control and navigation effort, the Missouri River multipurpose storage reservoirs and navigation improvements, the Arkansas River navigation project, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta project, and post-authorization planning for the $1 billion Marysville Lake multipurpose reservoir on the Yuba River in California.
  • In 1981 began teaching as an engineering professor at the University of Arizona's College of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
  • She developed new graduate-level courses in hydraulic engineering based on her own experiences
  • Author of Water Resource Planning and Development (1984), which has been widely accepted internationally because it presents procedures for planning and gives special attention to problems of the lesser developed countries.
  • Author of River Engineering (1986), widely used in the United States and internationally.
  • Has been an invited lecturer in South Africa, China, and Morocco.
  • In 1996, completed a monograph on Inland Navigation and Canalization for the Chinese International Research and Training Center on Erosion and Sedimentation, Beijing.
  • Currently University of Arizona associate professor emerita of civil engineering/engineering mechanics,
  • Involved in work with the International Federation of Scientists/World Laboratory, Lausanne, related to planetary emergencies and to improving the standard of living in developing countries and promoting peace.
  • Active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) at the section, branch, and national levels for many years, including two years as Chair of the Hydraulics Division's Executive Committee.
  • Elected to the grade of Distinguished Member in ASCE in 1991
  • Received the ASCE Hunter Rouse Hydraulic Engineering Award in 2001
  • Received the ASCE Environmental and Water Resources Institute's first Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.
  • In 2011, EWRI presented the inaugural Margaret Petersen Outstanding Woman of the Year Award, an annual award named in honor of Margaret for her commitment to the water resources profession and her active engagement with ASCE and EWRI
  • She is a member of the Advisory Board for the Huntington Library for the Trent Dames Fund for the Heritage of Civil Engineering.

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SawTeen See, P.E., C.E., Dist. M. ASCE, M. Eng. 

  • See, SawTeenBorn and raised in Penang, Malaysia
  • After completing high school, came to the United States with a full scholarship and fellowship from Cornell University
  • In just four years she completed both her BSc and her MSc in Structural Engineering.
  • In 1978, joined Leslie E. Robertson Associates (LERA), becoming the first and the only woman engineer at the firm.
  • Eight years later, became a partner; five years later she was elected as Managing Partner. In this capacity, she is responsible for the daily business and professional operations of the firm, and for the direction of the practice.
  • Her leadership in the company has resulted in an engineering staff composed of over 25% women, compared to a nationwide average of only 10%.
  • Some of the high profile profile projects she has worked on include: the AIG Tower and Footbridge (Hong Kong), the Bank of China Tower (Hong Kong), the Ambulatory Care Center at Bellevue Hospital (New York), the National Constitution Center (Philadelphia), the Shanghai World Financial Center (one of the tallest buildings in the world), Puerta de Europa (Madrid, Spain), the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame and Museum(Cleveland, OH), and the William J. Clinton Presidential Center(Little Rock, AR)
  • Elected as an Distinguished Member in 2004
  • Profiled in Changing Our World: True Stories of Women Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2006 

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Eunices Simon-Alexander 

  • Simon-Alexander, EunicesLEED Accredited Professional (BD+C)
  • Project Manager for the construction of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) laboratory building as part of the the $1.4-billion FDA Headquarters Consolidation Project in White Oak, Maryland
  • Worked on the construction of Zankel Hall, a performance space that Tishman carved out of bedrock below Carnegie Hall while the world-renowned concert hall was fully operational
  • Completed the tenant fit-out portion of the new headquarters of the American Pharmacists Association on the National Mall
  • Past President of the Washington, DC professional Chapter of The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)
  • Past President of the District of Columbia Council of Engineering and Architectural Societies (DCCEAS)
  • Past Member of the Industrial Advisory Council for Virginia Tech's Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED)
  • Current member of the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA)
  • Master's degree in Geotechnical/Structural Engineering and her Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering, both from Manhattan College

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Melissa Wheeler 

  • Wheeler, MelissaJoined Georgia Power Company’s Metro North Distribution Engineering Team in October 2010
  • ASCE Region 5 Governor
  • In 2007, became the youngest and first female President of ASCE Georgia Section
  • Georgia Engineer’s Week Committee named her the Georgia Engineer of the Year in Industry for 2011
  • Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1999

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Gail Woods 

  • Woods, GailWBQ’s Transportation Manager
  • Graduate of the FAMU/FSU College of Engineering
  • 25 years of experience in planning, design and preparation of construction drawings and contract documents for all types of surface transportation facilities
  • Active member of ASCE
  • Active member of Florida Engineering Society

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