Katie moved to Christchurch from the United States, where she was a licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.) doing transportation engineering and road design at a consultancy in upstate New York. She has a particular specialty in traffic signal system planning and signal design. Katie is a driven professional who likes to stay active in her community and has served in local leadership roles of the American Society of Civil Engineers for many years.
What made you decide to become a Transportation Engineer?
I am a hands-on person and did volunteer work in construction before graduating. In addition, my ability in maths and science and desire to make a difference, led me to a career in civil engineering. Transportation ended up being the most natural fit and I enjoy the mix of soft and hard engineering skills involved with such projects.
What did you do before joining Abley?
I was a Senior Transportation Engineer for a consulting firm in upstate New York, USA doing roadway design, traffic signal systems, trails and streetscape design. I fulfilled all tasks to take these projects from the feasibility stage through to the detailed design and site implementation stage.
What does a typical day in the office include?
A mix of meetings with clients and peers, technical design, analysis and report writing.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love figuring out how things work, devising solutions to problems and taking pride in seeing something I worked on be built.
What’s the most challenging thing about your job?
Since moving to a country that drives on the left side of the road it has been knowing my left from my right! After that is sorted the most challenging part of my job is spending so much time in an office as I am an outdoors person.
What’s been your career highlight so far?
I designed a mixed-use recreational trail that converted an elevated railroad corridor and used an historic railroad bridge as part of the trail system. It was a multi-faceted project with many interest groups and design considerations and the resulting product is a gem for the community that is not far from my hometown. I got a kick out of taking family and friends to hike the trail and boring them when I pointed out all the special engineering components along the way!
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
A little bit of everything! The staples are traveling, hunting and fishing, archery, tramping and camping, kayaking, skiing, baking, line-dancing and catching live music. I'm pretty adventurous and will try just about anything at least once, which in the last few years has resulted in a dogsledding excursion, attending racing school at Watkins Glen International and also participating in a demolition derby (which are all very different types of driving).