photo of the word one painted on a wall
What's your one word for 2024?

New Year’s resolutions can be fun.

But they also tend to be stressful.

You get too specific with your resolution and suddenly it’s five days into the year and you’re already bearing the burden of guilt and failure.

We don’t want that for 2024. So the Civil Engineering Source asked civil engineers for something a little simpler than a New Year’s resolution.
What’s your one word for 2024? What’s the one word that captures your civil engineering hopes and dreams or plans for the year? Or maybe a word that captures your intended civil engineering vibe?

Here’s what they said:

headshot of Elizabeth Bialek

Elizabeth Z. Bialek, P.E., M.ASCE

Engineering manager, East Bay Municipal Utility District, Oakland, California

“Curiosity is something that is likely part of how all civil engineers approach the world. We are curious and want to know how things work. We innovate. We see problems, and we apply our knowledge of mathematics and science to solve them. So, this year my one word is CURIOSITY, and I look forward to seeing where it takes me.

“Curiosity applies not only to engineering problems but can help us face adversity. As we show up in the world to do our work as civil engineers, inevitably we will face personal or professional criticism. We will be questioned and challenged. It’s easy to say, ‘Don’t take it personally,’ but how?

“Maybe the answer is to be curious. Take a deep breath, listen to the criticism, and ask, ‘What in this message might be true?’ ‘What might be helpful to get me to a better answer or better approach?’ Curiosity holds the promise of better outcomes at work and in relationships.

“I’m hopeful that my one word will lead to a great year of professional and personal growth. Wishing everyone the same.”

headshot of Vanessa Eslava

Vanessa Eslava, A.M.ASCE

Assistant transportation engineer – rail & transit, TY Lin, San Diego

“My one word for 2024 would be GROWTH.

“I would like to continue to grow as a civil engineer in 2024. I believe that there is still so much for me to learn and develop as I grow into a leader in my industry.”



headshot of Tony Kulesa

Tony Kulesa, P.E., M.ASCE

Senior structural engineer, Burns & McDonnell, Leawood, Kansas

“I’d use the word INNOVATION.”





headshot of Heather Migdal

Heather Migdal, A.M.ASCE

Graduate student, civil engineering, Cal Poly SLO

“My word is MOMENTUM. In 2024, I want to keep my momentum as I finish time at Cal Poly and bring it with me as I begin my career this year.”




headshot of Gurjot Kohli

Gurjot Kohli, P.E., ENV SP, M.ASCE

Civil engineer, Stantec, Northridge, California

“For me, the word would be GROWTH.” 





headshot of Aimee Corn

Aimee Corn, P.E., M.ASCE

Project structural engineer, dams and hydraulics, Gannett Fleming, Commerce City, Colorado

“A coworker joked with me that my word should be SLAY. However, I landed on ELEVATE.”

[Editor’s note: the Civil Engineering Source recommends a compromise of sorts: SLAY-EVATE.]


headshot of Tolu Sanni

Tolulope Sanni, S.M.ASCE

Research assistant, civil, construction, and environmental engineering, University of Alabama

“My one word for ASCE in 2024 is THRIVE.”





headshot of Lenor Bromberg

Lenor M. Bromberg, P.E., F.ASCE

Chair, ASCE Government Engineers Council; Atlanta deputy commissioner – engineering 

“My one word for 2024 is PURPOSE.”





headshot of Tim D'Agostino

Tim D’Agostino, P.E., M.ASCE

Senior engineer, P.W. Grosser Consulting, New York City

“This was a fun exercise. I gave it some thought and selected the word, SIMPLIFY.”





headshot of Kevin Brown
Brown Jr.

Kevin Brown Jr., P.E., M.ASCE

Construction services manager, Eastern PA, TranSystems, Philadelphia

“The one word I have for 2024 is CONNECT

“While ASCE provides a space for its members to connect with each other, I’m hoping to connect people to opportunities. Where did this come from? Well, I’m the construction services manager for Eastern PA here at TranSystems, and one of my responsibilities includes hiring construction inspection staff to oversee highway construction projects in eastern Pennsylvania. One of the challenges that I think most of us are facing is finding qualified staff to hire. Recently, I’ve been thinking about all the schools that offer degrees in construction management and how my gut tells me that not many discuss opportunities in construction inspection and how construction inspection can lead to successful construction management careers.

“Knowing that these students are going to need a job to kickstart their careers and that the construction inspection industry has a need for qualified inspection staff, my goal is to connect as many students as possible to opportunities in the construction inspection industry by working with faculty to get in front of their classes and sharing what we do. In addition, I plan to keep working with the youth, especially those in our underrepresented communities, to connect them with programs, scholarships, grants, and mentors in effort to minimize the roadblocks that can potentially keep them from entering and being successful in the civil engineering/construction industry.”