National Engineers Week Spotlight: Eleanor Rivera, PE

Eleanor Rivera, PE.png

There are many different routes to take in engineering. Why did you choose Transportation?

I didn’t actually choose transportation. I graduated with the general civil track and landed in the transportation department with BBI in 1996. I did however choose civil engineering as a major because it seemed like the most practical engineering and the Texas A&M catalog used a backhoe as the picture at the top of the page for CVEN! I was familiar with the equipment since my dad was a city manager and took me to many construction sites for water/sewer line repairs, roadway construction, and site developments when I was a kid.

What advice would you give girls who want to be an engineer when they grow up?

Take a personality/spiritual gifts test to make sure engineering is right for you. Don’t pick it just because someone said they want more women engineers. If you are good at math, love problem solving and logic, and don’t mind sitting all day in front of a computer designing or developing spreadsheets to analyze data, then engineering is for you and you should pursue it.

What has been one of your favorite BBI projects to have been a part of?

I’ve had the joy of being a part of many great projects while at BBI, but my all-time favorite was the Terry Hershey Park/Buffalo Bayou H&H study I did in the mid-90s for HCFCD. Modeling, analyzing, and designing inline detention ponds and pulling together the subsequent design plans was great as a young engineer to see your design from conception to construction. I lived in that area for 18 years and loved riding my bike and running up and down that corridor, telling my kids every time that I had a hand in the design. It’s very satisfying to be a part of a project of that magnitude.

If you had to be shipwrecked on a deserted island, but all your human needs—such as food and water—were taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you?

My husband (if I could take a person), but if I had to be alone, then a puzzle book (any kind to keep my mind sharp) and a pen that never ran out of ink!

For more information about DiscoverE and Engineers Week, click on the logo above.

For more information about DiscoverE and Engineers Week, click on the logo above.

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